Northeastern University announced today it's planning on fully re-opening its Boston campus for the fall semester, although students and staff will still need to keep those faces covered and maybe even come in for some Covid-19 testing.
In a letter to the Northeastern community, Provost David Madigan writes:
[O]ur current plans envision returning to a normal fall semester with regular campus activities. While Covid-19 will not be eliminated (it will likely be with us for years to come) the vast majority of scientific forecasts anticipate that the virus will be well under control by September. This includes the likelihood of widespread vaccination and the resumption of on-site K-12 education, which will relieve the tremendous care-giving burden that many of our faculty and staff, as well as students, have shouldered over the past year. ...
While it is likely that many precautious will still be in effect on our campuses - such as face coverings and some degree of viral testing - we want to be clear that we expect a “normal” fall semester to commence on the first week in September.
Madigan added that while the school has become quite adept at online learning, there's a continued need for bringing students and professors together in person:
We developed many innovations and experiments to make the most of this unprecedented period, and some of these new approaches will continue to serve us well into the future. But the past year has reinforced the importance of our physical campuses for teaching, learning, research, and work. As President Aoun has said, the "power of place" remains central to our mission of transmitting and creating knowledge. As the fall approaches - and as we have done throughout the pandemic - we will continue to follow the science, including the expertise of our own faculty, and adhere to public health guidelines in each of the regions where Northeastern maintains campuses. The safety of our community will remain at the forefront of our planning. We will remain agile and prepared to pivot in the event that conditions change beyond our control. If we need to make a shift in plans, we will inform the community immediately.