NMU revises mask protocols as cases fall
MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University, in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent revision of mask recommendations and Marquette County’s current classification as a medium transmission area, has made several changes to its mask protocols.
Interim President Kerri Schuiling, in a Monday letter to students, faculty and staff, said that effective today, KN95, KF94 or N95 masks continue to be required in all classrooms and labs, but are no longer required in other indoor areas on NMU’s campus.
Masks are strongly recommended for individuals with compromised immune systems or who interact with family members with compromised immune systems, or who are at high risk for COVID-19, Schuiling said.
She urged anyone who has possible COVID-19 symptoms, such as cough, sore throat and headache, or who does not feel well, to stay home and to communicate with faculty and/or a work supervisor about the absence.
Wearing a mask in all NMU facilities is required for any individual who is symptomatic and seeks testing and/or guidance from a personal health care provider or the NMU Vielmetti Health Center.
“NMU students, faculty and staff must be prepared to revert back to required mask wearing throughout campus should COVID positive cases on campus or in the community increase significantly,” Schuiling wrote. “All individuals who feel more comfortable wearing masks anywhere on campus are encouraged to do so. The university will not tolerate actions by individuals to discourage mask wearing at NMU.”
KN95 masks, she said, will continue to be distributed free of charge to NMU students, faculty and staff at the Dean of Students Office at 2001 Hedgcock during business hours, or at the NMU Police Department, located in the Services Building along Sugar Loaf Avenue, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Everyone on our campus has done an outstanding job following masking and testing protocols in our goal to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Schuiling said. “The combined work of everyone enables us to make the masking changes.”
She also noted that surveillance testing at the Northern Center continues.
“The university is in its second week of working with a new lab,” Schuiling said. “We were pleased with the timely delivered results in our first week with this lab, which was the week prior to the break. Selection for surveillance testing is random, therefore you can be selected more than once.”
She stressed that testing is required if an individual is selected.
Upon selection, individuals will receive an email that asks them to create an account with the lab.
“Once that is completed, you will receive a second email directly from the lab with a link to schedule your testing time,” Schuiling said. “If the system doesn’t accept your address, use the NMU address of 1401 Presque Isle Ave.
“If you have had COVID and are still in your no-testing period or if you’ve tested three times already this semester, send that information to SafeOnCampus@nmu.edu to be exempted from testing.”
NMU updates numbers
According to the NMU’s COVID-reporting dashboard, found at https://nmu.edu/safe-on-campus/dashboard, there have been 233 cases reported during the winter semester, with one current active case as of Monday.
The total case count for the fall semester was 137.
With winter semester surveillance testing, 44 positive cases were discovered among 2,493 tests done so far.
Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is email@example.com.