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 January 5, 2023. 

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

    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 may complete the COVID-19 Report Form, but youmay 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 tests positive for COVID-19 must complete the COVID-19 Report Form and may contact their primary healthcare provider or the University Telehealth Clinic ([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.

    Here are helpful tips about assessing whether to stay home if you don’t feel well and steps employees should take if they miss work due to illness.

  • 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. The COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, and effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying – especially people who are boosted. Toward that end, EMU has enacted several policies and programs to promote vaccination.

    All employees are encouraged to report their COVID-19 vaccination status to the University through the University’s confidential and secure database.

    All employees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 may be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Although enforcement of the University policy requiring unvaccinated employees to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing is paused, the University may resume enforcement of the policy in the future. These frequently asked questions also provide helpful information about the policy.

    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 up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines) may be required to undergo periodic COVID-19 testing as part of the University’s use of “evidence-based testing” to proactively 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. Free at-home COVID-19 tests are available at the Student Center Information Desk or can be purchased from various locations in the community

    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.

    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 how their positive COVID-19 test impacts their ability to come to campus should contact the EMU Telehealth Clinic ([email protected]).

    Any individual who believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their primary healthcare provider or the University Telehealth Clinic ([email protected]).

  • Face Masks 

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    Face masks are optional in most indoor public spaces on campus, but are required in the following spaces:

    • Instructors may require students in their class/lab to wear face masks while class/lab is in session. The syllabus for a class/lab in which face masks are required must include language approved by the University.

    • Face masks will continue to be required in other specific settings that have been approved by the Office of the President.

    • Face masks may 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.

    • Consistent with CDC guidance, employees or students may be required by University Telehealth to wear a face mask for a period of time after having a close contact or testing positive for COVID-19.

    It is important that we respect the choice of community members who choose to continue wearing face masks. No employee may prohibit any other person from wearing a face mask. The University will continue to make face masks available for free at the Student Center Information Desk and at DPS Headquarters (1200 Oakwood).

    We expect every member of the campus community to follow these standards as part of our community commitment to safety. Employees who do not comply with this policy are subject to disciplinary action.

    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.

  • 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.
  • Cleaning supplies

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

  • Ventilation

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    The University has aligned ventilation and circulation systems consistent with guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Clean Air in Buildings Challenge” and other appropriate agencies. For example, 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 2022-23 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.

    Instructors may require students in a specific class/lab to wear face masks while class/lab is in session. The syllabus for a course/lab in which face masks are required must include language approved by the University. Students who violate this policy may be subject to the University’s Code of Community Responsibility.

  • 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].