NMU reinstates mask mandates

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University has reinstated a mask mandate for in-person classrooms and labs, effective Aug. 1, in response to an uptick in local COVID-19 cases that has elevated Marquette County to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “high transmission” category.

President Kerri Schuiling provided an update of NMU’s pandemic protocols heading into the fall semester in a Tuesday email to the campus community.

The following protocols are subject to change:

≤ There is no vaccine or booster requirement, although full vaccination is strongly encouraged.

≥ There will be no weekly surveillance testing. Symptomatic testing will continue at the Health Center.

≤ NMU will continue to provide a designated isolation area for students who live on campus and test positive for COVID.

≤ There will be no mask requirement, except when COVID cases significantly increase on campus and/or Marquette County climbs into the CDC’s high transmission category.

≤ The university will continue to provide free KN95, N95 and KF94 masks throughout the academic year for those who choose to wear them and for any periods when mask requirements are reinstated. Masks can be picked up at the NMU Police Department and the Dean of Students Office.

“This serves as a gentle reminder that the pandemic is ongoing and the virus is ever present,” Schuiling said in the email to students, faculty and staff. “Please continue to use careful hand washing and other mitigation procedures, such as testing, if you are symptomatic and staying home if you test positive.”

Schuiling said NMU will also monitor the spread of monkeypox, a viral disease. There have been no reported cases in the Upper Peninsula, but area public health officials anticipate cases will occur as the virus continues to spread in the U.S.

The Luce-Mackinac-Alger-Schoolcraft District Health Department said that as of Tuesday, there were 37 cases in Michigan, and a statewide vaccination strategy is underway. Developments in Michigan can be followed via the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at bit.ly/3Qh2I1N.


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