EMUSafe Actions for Students

Until a vaccine is developed, a single action alone is insufficient to slow the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the University will take a layered approach using multiple strategies that will make our campus community safer by reducing the spread of COVID-19. Following health protocols (e.g., wearing a face covering, physical distancing, personal hygiene) dramatically reduces your risk of contracting COVID-19. These requirements are therefore designed to overlap and reinforce each other and must be observed in their entirety.

Consistent with the principles outlined above, the details surrounding EMU’s phased safe return to campus will continue to evolve. The safety actions outlined below will be updated as society learns more about the most effective ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, government regulations change, and new decisions are made for our campus.

  • Daily Health Screening

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    All students are required to complete a COVID PASS Daily Health Screening every day they plan to be on campus to identify symptoms of COVID-19.

    The symptoms of COVID-19 include:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    This strategy is used effectively by hospitals, grocery stores, and other organizations. This system requires everyone’s participation to succeed. Compliance may be verified at check-in stations located inside campus buildings.

    The COVID PASS Daily Health Screening is available here for use on a computer or mobile device. The University highly recommends completing the form before you leave your residence each day. For individuals who arrive on campus before completing the screen and do not have a smartphone, the form may be completed electronically at check-in desks.

    Students who pass the screening are cleared to be on campus for that day. Students may be required to verify that they passed the screening before entering a campus building. Residence hall students should also complete the screening every day. 

    Students may enter a building up to 30 minutes before the start of their class and must exit the building within 30 minutes following the class's conclusion. 

    If students do not pass the screening, they must notify their instructor(s) that they will miss class, and, if employed on campus, notify their supervisor that they are ill. 

    Students may follow up with the EMU Telehealth Clinic ([email protected], 734.487.3865 with questions about their screening.  

  • Students who become ill while on campus

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    If a student develops symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus, they should make arrangements to return home as soon as possible and avoid contact with other individuals as much as possible. A student must notify their instructor(s) that they will miss class, consult a healthcare provider and, if employed on campus, notify their supervisor that they are ill.

    Students who have symptoms, or believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, should complete the COVID-19 Report Form and may, if they wish, contact their primary health care provider or the IHA Primary Care @ EMU Health Center at 734.896.4110.

  • Testing for COVID-19

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    Students at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 may undergo baseline antigen testing before returning to campus. (Antigen testing detects the presence or absence of COVID-19 antigens). Additional testing may occur depending on the circumstances. Government health agencies do not recommend wide-scale testing beyond individuals who are symptomatic or at higher risk of exposure and, as a result, is not recommended by the University’s Public Health Work Group.

    Students who test positive for COVID-19 must (a) return to their residence immediately, taking care to avoid contact with other people (or, if they are not on campus, they should stay home), (b) notify their instructors that they will miss class, (c) notify their immediate supervisor (if employed by the University) that they will miss work, and (d) complete the COVID-19 Report Form

    Students who learn that a fellow student or other individual who recently visited campus has tested positive for COVID-19 should immediately complete the COVID-19 Report Form and/or notify the Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs at [email protected].

    Students should not notify anyone other than by completing the COVID-19 Report Form or contacting the Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs about a positive test for COVID-19. Other individuals on campus are notified as appropriate pursuant to government protocols for contact tracing and notification.

    A student who has questions about possible exposure to COVID-19 and how that impacts their ability to come to campus  or remain in their residence hall should contact the Assistant Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs at [email protected] or the TeleHealth Clinic ([email protected], 734.487.3865).

    Any individual who has symptoms of, or believes they may have been exposed to, COVID-19, should contact  their primary health care provider or the IHA Primary Care @ EMU Health Center at 734.896.4110. In this case, the student must also complete the COVID-19 Report Form

  • Physical distancing

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    Physical distancing is one of the most effective strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Whenever practical, all individuals on University grounds must maintain a physical distance of six feet or more from other individuals who are not part of their household. Although on-campus housing roommates are part of the same household, these standards apply in campus housing common areas.

    Each campus building may have designated entry and exit points and signage regarding hallway traffic flow. Elevators have restricted capacities. These restrictions are clearly marked, and all individuals must adhere to these designations. Where traffic flow in hallways is not marked, individuals are encouraged to walk on the right side of the hallway.

    Individual classrooms were evaluated to assess new capacity restrictions and seating configurations to allow for physical distancing. The capacity and layout will be different for every classroom based on its layout, whether the furniture is fixed or movable, etc. In classroom situations where physical distancing is not possible, additional precautions have been implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

    Signage encouraging physical distancing is installed throughout campus.

  • Face coverings

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    Wearing a face covering is one of several important actions that reduce the spread of COVID-19. Everyone on campus (e.g., students, faculty, staff, and visitors) is required to wear a face covering that covers both the nose and mouth in or on all University buildings and grounds, both indoors and outdoors. Members of the campus community should wear face coverings that loop over the ears; “gaiter” coverings, which are worn around the neck instead of over the ears, and vented masks are not permitted. Individuals need not wear a face covering in a private office with the door closed, living space, or other isolated space.

    The University will provide face coverings to students. During the academic year, face coverings will be distributed in a variety of locations, including at check-in stations located in many campus buildings.

    Students who believe that they have a medical condition that prohibits them from wearing a face covering should contact the Disability Resource Center at [email protected]. Student employees who believe that they have a medical condition that prohibits them from wearing a face covering while working on campus should contact University Human Resources at [email protected]. Without an approved accommodation, face coverings are required.


  • Hygiene

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    Good hygiene practices help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    • All individuals should regularly wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. At a minimum, individuals should wash their hands before eating and after using the restroom, touching anything in a public area, or blowing their nose. The Custodial Services Office will ensure that public restrooms are equipped with soap.
    • Use hand sanitizer when needed (but not in lieu of hand washing when soap and water are available). Hand sanitizer stations are in all buildings, and offices may purchase hand sanitizer for use by employees and visitors.
    • Do not cough into the air. Instead, cover your mouth when you cough using your sleeve or a tissue (but not your hand). If you use a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw away the tissue after use. If wearing a face covering, do not remove it to cough or sneeze.
    • Blow your nose using a tissue, and immediately throw away the tissue after use. Individual offices may purchase tissues for use by employees and visitors.
  • Wellness & Community Responsibility

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    We expect every member of the campus community to follow these standards as part of our community commitment to safety. Students who do not comply with the University's policy requiring face coverings and physical distancing are subject to the University's Code of Community Responsibility. Questions regarding enforcement involving students should be directed to the Office of Community Wellness & Responsibility at [email protected] or 734.487.2157.

  • Gloves

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    In general, wearing gloves is not recommended to protect against COVID-19. The University will therefore not require most individuals to wear gloves. Some student employees may be required to wear gloves based on the nature of their work.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting

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    All public areas in campus buildings (e.g., restrooms, hallways, classrooms, offices) are subject to more frequent and in-depth cleaning. For example, disinfectant electrostatic fogging is used in large areas and spaces that are difficult to clean using traditional methods (such as locker rooms), and touchpoints (e.g., light switches, elevator buttons, desks, and door handles) are cleaned daily. The standards for each building vary based on the building size, layout, use, and other relevant criteri. Cleaning standards may evolve depending on the time of year, day of the week, government regulations, and other criteria.

    Classrooms are cleaned and disinfected daily by custodial staff. Scheduling was modified to provide more time between classes to reduce the flow of people and allow time for additional cleaning if needed.

    As part of the layered approach to providing a safe campus environment, EMU will also apply a special microbial polymer to create a protective covering on hard and soft surfaces in classrooms, public areas, and elsewhere. Used by many hospitals and other public universities in Michigan, the covering creates a long-lasting film on the treated surface that is proven to kill many viruses upon contact.

  • Ventilation

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    The University has modified building ventilation systems to increase the use of outside fresh air. The type of ventilation filter used varies depending on the type of work performed in the building and any limitations on the building’s filtration systems. Fans should not be used in classrooms and other interior public spaces.
  • Class instruction

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    EMU is offering a full selection of courses in the fall semester. Courses may be delivered in-person, online asynchronous, online synchronous, or in a hybrid format. Decisions about how individual courses are delivered will be made at the college and department level to ensure that each course’s pedagogical needs were addressed and that students receive access to the excellent education they expect. The Office of the Provost worked with Deans to execute this process.  Classroom space is extremely limited in the fall because of physical distancing standards. Room scheduling is therefore managed centrally by the Office of the Provost, and a majority of class sections are offered in an online or hybrid format.

  • Dining

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    EMU Dining developed a comprehensive plan to enhance health and safety for customers and employees. The plan incorporates their unique needs as a food service provider and the largest employer of students on campus. Changes for the fall include:

    • an increased focus on speed to reduce congregation
    • delicious to-go meals with more mobile-ordering options
    • plexiglass at high-contact customer-service stations
    • directional signage and digital communication tools
    • removal of self-service options
    • extensive training and employee health screening
    • enhanced cleaning, and frequent sanitizing
  • Housing

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    EMU Housing developed a comprehensive plan to enhance health and safety protocols for the fall. To reduce housing density, EMU offered a single room in the residence halls, at a discounted rate, to students who requested one. Housing check-ins will be staggered to support physical distancing. Plexiglass is installed at front desks that are currently in use, and will be added to other customer-facing stations as needed. Non-EMU guests are not permitted in housing facilities after move-in. Residents are required to wear face coverings in common areas. Additional health protocols will be implemented and communicated to housing residents in advance of fall semester.

    Residence hall students are required to complete COVID PASS Daily Health Screenings, even on days they are not attending class. 

    Additional health protocols will be implemented and communicated to housing residents. 

  • Athletics

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    The Mid-American Conference Council of Presidents unanimously decided to postpone Fall 2020 competition until Spring 2021 for men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and field hockey. Furthermore, the fall competitive schedules for men’s and women’s golf, women’s tennis, and fall competition for sports in their non-traditional segments, such as baseball and softball, are postponed.

    This decision does not impact the Mid-American Conference winter sports of swimming & diving, gymnastics, indoor track & field, and men’s and women’s basketball.

  • Travel

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    Individuals who use public transportation (e.g., buses) are encouraged to:

    • always wear a face covering;
    • practice physical distancing whenever possible; and
    •  wash their hands after their trip or, if soap and water are not readily available, carry and use hand sanitizer immediately after their trip.

    Please see www.theride.org for information about the AAATA bus system. 

  • Visitors and events

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    New limitations and restrictions on visitors to campus will be in place this fall. A “one-size fits all” approach will not work. Instead, specific protocols will be developed and announced in advance for specific types of campus events, including athletic events, housing visitors, student organization events, and community gatherings. Many events may be held online. The campus experience for visitors this fall will be different from prior years, but these sacrifices are necessary to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.