Message to Parents and Families: Update on COVID-19
March 14, 2020
Dear EMU Families,
This is a stressful time for students and families. The spread of the COVID-19 disease around the country has caused fear, anxiousness and a disruption of our daily routines. As we adjust to a new normal, please know that we remain committed to the education and well-being of each of our students.
We have provided daily detailed updates to our students, faculty and staff, and wanted to share with you where we stand as of today.
Our University’s leadership team has been working extensively to address all matters related to COVID-19 and its impact on our campus community. There is no more pressing issue than this. Our overarching focus is on how to best ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. It should be noted that there are no known cases of COVID-19 among Eastern Michigan students, faculty or staff at this time.
Our team is working closely with state and local health officials. We are closely monitoring and following guidance for higher education institutions as provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Public health experts are clear on this: social distancing is key to preventing the spread COVID-19. Our actions reflect that priority.
We’ve made several important decisions designed to keep our students, faculty, staff and community safe.
Steps we’ve taken thus far include:
- Suspending all on-campus classes on March 11 and 12, 2020;
- Transitioning on-campus classes to online classes, beginning March 16, 2020;
- Canceling all campus events through March 31, 2020;
- Suspending university travel;
- Suspending study abroad programs;
- Suspending all athletic activities and events;
- Providing prevention, hand washing and sanitizing tips and educational materials in residence halls and all buildings on campus;
- Increasing frequency and intensity of campus cleaning and disinfection protocols;
- Expanding the availability of disinfectant wipes;
- Strongly encouraging students living on campus to return to their permanent place of residence temporarily (unless they are international students, from out of state or have other special circumstances); and,
- Updating the campus community regularly, and this week every day, with information about the steps we are taking and precautions.
Transitioning to fully online/virtual class delivery is a significant undertaking but one in which our team has been preparing for several weeks. We know this will be a change for many students and we appreciate their patience and understanding as all of us adjust to these new operations. Our faculty and staff remain fully committed to the academic success of our students.
We understand that you have many questions. Our EMU Coronavirus Response Team meets daily on issues of health, safety, and how to continue to deliver a top-notch education through these challenging times. We are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure the health and well-being of each and every one of our students.
We have a website where we post regular campus updates as well as resources from the Health Department and the CDC. Please visit www.emich.edu/coronavirus for updated and detailed information.
E-mail remains our primary method of communication with the campus community. Please use e-mail to communicate with campus offices, and continue to check your e-mail for updates from us. If we can be of any assistance to you or your student, or if you have any questions, email us at [email protected]. Due to the volume of inquiries we are receiving it may take some time to respond but we assure you we will address your questions as quickly as possible.
James Smith, Ph.D.
President, Eastern Michigan University