EMU's Fall 2021 Operations

The University looks forward to a fall 2021 season that looks more like semesters prior to COVID-19. Students will enjoy a variety of options for classes (in-person, hybrid, and remote) numerous opportunities for housing, and various on-campus events.

At the same time, the University will continue 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. 

  • 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 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.

    Residence hall students must complete the screening every day. 

    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. 

    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, 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, must complete the COVID-19 Report Form and may, if they wish, contact their primary health care provider or the University Telehealth Clinic(734.487.3865 or [email protected]).

  • Testing for COVID-19

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    Students identified by the University as being at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 may be required to undergo baseline antigen testing before returning to campus. (Antigen testing detects the presence or absence of COVID-19 antigens). Examples of such students include those who live in on-campus housing and student-athletes. Additional mandatory testing of students may occur depending on the circumstances.   

    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.

    Aside from completing the COVID-19 Report Form, students 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.

    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 University 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 ([email protected], 734.487.3865). In this case, the student must also complete the COVID-19 Report Form

  • Face Masks and Physical Distancing

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    Indoors: Everyone (faculty, staff, students, and visitors) on University property is required to wear a face mask that covers both the nose and mouth and engage in physical distancing of six feet while indoors on campus or other University properties unless any of the following exceptions apply to you:

    •  You are fully vaccinated and have reported your vaccinated status to the University through EMU’sCOVID Vax Certification system. (An individual is generally considered “fully vaccinated” two (2) weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer (BioNTech) or Moderna vaccines, or two (2) weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine).You only need to report and certify your vaccination status through this system one time. Information will be confidentially and securely stored, separate from an employee’s personnel file and student records, and accessible only by authorized individuals.

    • You have a disability-based University accommodation related to wearing a mask or vaccination (employees requesting an accommodation should contact [email protected] and students requesting an accommodation should contact [email protected]).

    • You are alone in a private office with the door closed, living space, private motor vehicle, or other isolated space.

    • You are eating, drinking, or swimming.

    • Removal of a mask is necessary for physical examination of your mouth, nose, or throat by a medical professional.

    • Your event has been approved for a special exemption. Requests to consider exemptions may be made online through the Office of Conference & Event Services (CES) ([email protected]).

    Please note that during the summer semesters face masks must be worn, and six feet of physical distancing continues to be required, for all individuals in classrooms when class is in session regardless of vaccination status. Decisions about classroom policies for the fall semester will be finalized and communicated in the coming weeks.

    Certain offices (e.g., health care providers) may continue to require individuals to wear face masks and engage in physical distancing regardless of vaccination status where such precautions are consistent with public health policy and institutional safeguards. Those decisions will be communicated by area managers to the impacted employees.

    Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action. Students who violate this policy may be subject to the University’s Code of Community Responsibility.

    Outdoors: Individuals in outdoor spaces on University property are generally not required to wear face masks or engage in physical distancing regardless of their vaccination status or the size of the gathering. It may be necessary in a few specific functional areas to continue to wear a mask while outside due to public health and safety risks for exposure. In those situations, you will be directly informed of the need to wear a mask.

    When choosing a face mask, 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, mouth, and chin by cupping your hands around the outside edges of the mask and make sure no air is flowing from the area near your eyes or from the sides of the mask. If the mask has a good fit, you will feel warm air come through the front of the mask and may be able to see the mask material move in and out with each breath. Face masks are available in a variety of locations, including at check-in stations located in many campus buildings.

    A three-layer mask provides enhanced protection against COVID-19. The EMU-branded face masks contain three layers. When a three-layer mask is not available, wearing two masks, such as a cloth mask over a surgical mask, can provide added protection, particularly if cloth masks are thin or one layer. KN95/N95 masks may be worn, but they require customized fitting and are therefore not recommended. Gaiter coverings (which are worn around the neck instead of over the ears) and vented masks are not permitted. A face shield is not a substitute for a face mask; a face shield should only be worn with a face mask.


    Face Mask Do's and Don'ts

  • 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 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 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 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 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 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
    • 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. To reduce housing density, EMU offers  single rooms in the residence halls to students who requested one. Housing check-ins are 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. 

    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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    All student-athletes are required to undergo periodic COVID-19 testing and will be notified when and how to undergo such testing.

  • 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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    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.