Student and Employee Policies

The University continues to take a common-sense approach using multiple strategies to promote campus safety. Our practices have been effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19 and we remain committed to providing a safe environment for students, employees, and visitors. 

The policies outlined below will be updated as appropriate and consistent with applicable government guidance. Last updated March 24, 2022. 

  • Daily Health Screening

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    All employees are encouraged to complete a 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

    The COVID PASS Daily Health Screening form is available here for use on a computer or mobile device. The University recommends completing the form before you leave your residence each day. 

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

  • Reporting COVID-19 cases, close contacts, and symptoms

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    All employees and students are required to complete the University’s online COVID Report Form if you meet any of the following criteria:

    1. You are known to have COVID-19 by medical diagnosis or by testing positive - even if you are not showing symptoms of COVID-19.

    2. You have been informed that you were in close contact with another person who was medically diagnosed or tested positive for COVID-19.

    3. You have any of the following symptoms of COVID-19: fever/chills, cough shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle/body aches, headache, new loss of taste/smell, sore throat, congestion/runny nose, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, new rash.

    4. You have learned that an EMU Community member (student, faculty, staff, employee) has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been medically diagnosed with COVID-19, has been exposed to COVID-19, or is exhibiting symptoms.

    If you learn of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you must complete the COVID-19 Report Form, but you may not share that information with other individuals.

  • Individuals who become ill while on campus

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    If an employee develops symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus, they must notify their supervisor immediately that they are ill, make arrangements to return home as soon as possible, and avoid contact with other individuals as much as possible.

    Any individual who has symptoms of COVID-19, or believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19, should complete the COVID-19 Report Form and may contact their primary health care provider or the University Telehealth Clinic (734.487.3865 or [email protected]).

    Most of EMU’s workforce has access to paid sick time as outlined in Board Policy 3.2.5 (for non-bargained-for employees) and the collective bargaining agreements (for employees in a collective bargaining unit). The University does not retaliate against employees (through discharge, discipline or otherwise) who stay home or leave work when they are sick or at particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19. University Human Resources is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy and investigating allegations that this policy was violated.

  • COVID-19 vaccination requirements

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    Our goal is to have every member of the campus who is able to do so to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccines are safe and effective. Toward that end, EMU has enacted several policies and programs to promote vaccination. 

    All employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or must undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Employees are encouraged to review the University policy  and frequently asked questions.

    Students are subject to various vaccine and testing requirements

    You can learn more about the safety of vaccines, and where to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, here.

  • Testing for COVID-19

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    Employees (including those who are fully vaccinated) may be required to undergo periodic COVID-19 testing as part of the University’s use of “evidence-based testing” to pro-actively mitigate the spread and impacts of COVID-19. Employees may be selected for such testing based on campus wastewater testing, the presence of positive COVID-19 cases in specific geographic areas, and/or if an employee’s work includes a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. Testing is available at the campus testing center (appointments are required) and may be completed during work hours

    Employees who test positive for COVID-19 must (a) leave campus immediately, taking care to avoid contact with other people (or, if they are not on campus, they should stay home), (b) notify their immediate supervisor that they are ill, and (c) complete the COVID-19 Report Form.

    Individuals who learn that a student, co-worker, visitor or contract employee who recently visited campus has tested positive for COVID-19 should immediately complete the COVID-19 Report Form.

    Other than completing the COVID-19 Report Form, employees should not notify anyone about a positive test for COVID-19. Other individuals on campus are notified as appropriate pursuant to government protocols for contact tracing and notification.

    An employee who has questions about possible exposure to COVID-19 and how that impacts their ability to come to campus should contact the EMU 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 University Telehealth Clinic (734.487.3865 or [email protected]). In this case, an employee must also complete the COVID-19 Report Form.

  • Face Masks 

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    Beginning Monday, March 28, 2022, face masks will no longer be required in many indoor public spaces on campus. However, face masks will continue to be required in the following spaces where individuals gather for an extended period of time in a relatively confined space:

    • Face masks will continue to be required in classrooms, labs, and other instructional spaces while class/lab is in session (instructors who are vaccinated and have reported their vaccination status to the University may be maskless while teaching).

    • Face masks will be required in larger events, including the April Commencement ceremonies and Undergraduate Symposium.

    • Face masks will continue to be required in the COVID-19 Testing Center, located in the Student Center.

    • Face masks must be worn in University vehicles or other shared transportation (cars, vans, buses, trains, air).

    • Face masks may also be required in private individual offices at the office occupant’s discretion because these spaces are typically smaller and used for longer interactions, and because only one individual occupies the space. However, there will be no requirement for masking in shared reception or student or employee service areas. By way of example, in an office such as the University Advising and Career Development Center (UACDC), the reception areas will have no masking requirement, while an individual advisor or career coach may require face masks in their private individual office.


    These spaces will be clearly identified with the University’s new “mask required” signage. It is important to respect these signs when entering these areas.

    As a reminder there may be continued masking and or other requirements for individuals who are verified by University Telehealth as close contacts or diagnosed with COVID-19, and individuals must still report to the University if they are a close contact or test positive for COVID-19. 

    It is important that we respect the choice of community members who choose to continue wearing face masks. The University will continue to make face masks available for free at the Student Center Information Desk and at DPS Headquarters (1200 Oakwood).

    Here are tips for how to properly wear a face mask:

    When choosing a face mask, you should wear a mask that offers the most robust protection possible. You should consider how well it fits, how well it filters air, and how many layers it has. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and around the edges of the mask. Ensure that it fits snugly over your nose and mouth. 

    A three-layer mask provides enhanced protection against COVID-19, especially when using the knot and tuck method for fitting. New EMU-branded green or white surgical masks contain three layers and are available at the Student Center or DPS Headquarters.

    Watch video on Knot and Tuck Method for a Better-fitting Face Mask.

    When a three-layer mask is not available, wearing two masks, such as a cloth mask over a traditional face mask, can provide added protection. Cloth masks worn without a surgical mask are not recommended.

    N95/KN95/KF94 masks may be worn at your own discretion. KN95 masks will be made available at the Student Center Information Desk or the DPS Headquarters with a limit of two per person. The State of Michigan also provides free KN95 face masks at various locations around the State. Persons with underlying medical conditions may want to check with their physician before wearing any of these respirator-type masks for extended periods of time.

    N95 masks may be worn, but are neither provided nor required by EMU. N95 respirator masks require medical clearance and customized fitting. EMU departments that require N95 masks work with the Office of Environmental Health & Safety to do so. 

    A face shield is not a substitute for a face mask; a face shield should only be worn with a face mask.

    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 this policy are subject to disciplinary action. Questions regarding enforcement involving employees should be directed to the Office of Environmental Health & Safety at [email protected].

  • Physical Distancing

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    All members of the campus community must engage in three feet of physical distancing in classrooms. Physical distancing is not required in other settings unless specifically directed. 

  • Hygiene

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    Good hygiene practices help reduce the spread of respiratory and other viruses, including 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 will be 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.
  • 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 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.  The standards for each building vary based on the building size, layout, use, and other relevant criteria, and cleaning standards may evolve depending on the time of year, day of the week, government regulations, and other criteria.

    Classrooms are supplied with hand wipes. Instructors may also request hand sanitizer for classrooms

    As part of the layered approach to providing a safe campus environment, EMU applied 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 use ventilation filters with higher ratings and to increase the use of outside fresh air. The type and number of ventilation filters 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 during the 2021-22 academic year. The majority of course selections will be offered in-person, but there are also ample options for online asynchronous, online synchronous, or hybrid format course selections. 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.  Room scheduling is managed centrally by the Office of the Provost.

  • 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 include:

    • an increased focus on speed to reduce congregation
    • mobile ordering and to-go options across campus
    • plexiglass at high-contact customer-service stations
    • contactless payment and hands-off at all registers
    • cashless campus(except at Chick-Fil-A)
    • digital payment and communication tools
    • hand sanitizer stations in all dining hubs
    • self-service areas will be frequently sanitized and utensils changed frequently 
    • extensive training for associates
    • frequent sanitizing of high-touch point areas
  • Athletics

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    All student-athletes (including students participating in Marching Band, Cheer Team, and Dance Team), and some Athletics employees, are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Students and employees will be notified if they are required to undergo periodic COVID-19 testing. 

  • Remote work and flexible work schedules

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    The Remote Work Group developed new policies and practices to support remote work by non-instructional staff. These policies and practices will support the flexibility needed when considering remote work arrangements for staff alongside individual office needs and state and federal health-related workplace mandates. Staff who have not been directed to work remotely but nonetheless request remote work arrangements must have them approved by their supervisors.

    A variety of tools exist to support employees who are assigned to work remotely. For example, to date the University:

    • doubled its VPN capacity;
    • purchased a campus-wide Zoom license;
    • permits employees to ask to bring desktop computer equipment home; and
    • ramped up use of softphone software that allows employees to make and receive telephone calls from their computer using their University telephone number, and voicemail forwarding to email.

    Faculty and staff requesting medical accommodation or leave to work from home or teach online pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or any other available leave should submit such requests to University Human Resources at [email protected].

  • Research labs

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    Research labs have been re-opening on a phased approach pursuant to applicable State of Michigan orders. Their detailed plans and procedures include special protocols for training, cleaning, physical distancing and other standards.

  • Visitors and Events

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    Special limitations and restrictions on visitors to campus are in place. A “one-size fits all” approach will not work. Instead, specific protocols have been developed for specific types of campus events, including athletic events, housing visitors, student organization events, and community gatherings. You may contact [email protected] if you have questions about a specific event.