COVID-19 Planning – Current Pandemic Protocols as of January 2022

Protocol Area/Concern

Current Protocol   

Class Syllabi Statement

Faculty are strongly encouraged to add a statement in their syllabi telling students not to attend class if they are experiencing symptoms and make reminder announcements throughout the semester.

Documentation of absence(s) from class or work

Documentation is not required to return to class or work following an absence due to COVID-19.  Employee supervisors and faculty teaching courses should not ask to see documentation for COVID-19 related absences.


Employees and student employees who test positive are asked to fill out the “Positive Result/ Potential Notification” form that is posted on the MyNMU portal.

Athletics, NCAA & NTS

Wildcat intercollegiate and National Training Site teams are to follow the most current NCAA and conference pandemic protocols (for competition, practice, masking, testing, vaccinations, etc.) unless instructed to follow an NMU protocol that differs from the NCAA or conference standards.  


Athletics, Club Sports

Club sports teams are required to have a 70% vaccination rate. A 70% vaccination rate must be validated prior to the first Winter 2022 practices or games.


 Additionally, it is required for travel to games. Club sports teams are required to mask during practices until the end of January 2022. This will be re-evaluated at that time.

Commencement, May 2022

NMU is planning to hold an in-person May 2022 commencement; however, the feasibility of this will be reviewed in February to determine the best plan for anticipated spring COVID-19 rates.  A decision will be posted at

COVID Information Phone Line (227-2684)

Operational.  The line is set up with menu choices to direct callers to the right area quickly.

Departmental Meetings and Events

 Departments will hold departmental meetings and events virtually until the end of January 2022.  This will be re-evaluated at that time.

Dining, Designated eating areas around campus

 NMU removed designated eating areas around campus in July 2021. 

Dining, Dining Services to-go options

To-go options are limited in the Northern Lights Dining facility, but are available at Fieras and the Wildcat Den.  A sick tray program is operational in the Northern Lights Dining for those who are not feeling well.

Facilities, Cleaning

Custodial staff will continue to follow CDC recommendations for IHE’s for cleaning frequency in high traffic/high touch areas.  Staff is periodically testing effectiveness of the microbial spray (applied August 2020, two-year lifespan). Students, faculty and staff can request cleaning supplies, such as wipes, be put in rooms and areas, as needed.

International students, Travel and Isolation/quarantine

Northern continues to follow the CDC’s recommendations and U.S. State Department’s requirements


26 rooms are available on first floor of Spooner Hall and 25 rooms in Spalding Hall. Northern is following the CDC guidelines updated January 4, 2022. Current isolation period is 5 days if an individual does not have continuing symptoms.

Job Searches, Finalist Interviews and Visits

Job searches can continue.  Format options include:

  1. Interview top finalist – bring a top finalist to campus for an interview, make a decision about that finalist and proceed to the next finalist, if needed;
  2. Interviews for multiple finalists – If a finalist chooses not to come to campus for an interview due to COVID-19 safety issues and requests to interview virtually, the search chair should call the EEO office for guidance.

Mask Use, Indoors 

KN95, N95 or KF94 masks are required of all NMU employees during their work period and students and faculty in NMU classrooms and instructional facilities. Mask exemption/modification for K95, N95 or KF9F masks requests regarding medical and mental health issues are being handled by Disability Services (students) and Human Resources (employees).


NMU is making KN95 and other types of masks available to the campus community. Distribution logistics are communicated in emails to the campus.

Mask Use, Outdoors

Masks are not required for individuals who are on NMU property but outdoors.

Mask Use, Performance Areas

Masks are required to be worn by students, faculty and staff at all non-performance activities for dance, music and theater until the end of January 2022. This will be re-evaluated at that time.

Mask Use, Recreational Activities

NMU is reinstating the mask use requirement at all times, including during period of physical activity, within NMU recreational sports facilities until the end of the January 2022.  This will be re-evaluated at that time.

Mask Use, NMU Vehicles (campus buses, vans, and other university vehicles)

Masks are not required if there is only one individual in a university vehicle, but are required at all times when there is more than one individual in a vehicle.  One exception: Individuals can remove their masks when actively eating or drinking in the vehicle, but must immediately replace the mask when not actively eating or drinking.

Mental Health Promotion

CDC recommendation to IHE’s: promote national distress hotline (1-800-985-5990)


NMU will continue to promote and provide mental health and general wellbeing resources, including about national resources.

Movies, On-campus

NMU is limiting capacity for on-campus movies to 100 and implementing social distancing through the end of January 2022, during which time some of the movies may also be available virtually. This will be re-evaluated at the end of January.

Recording COVID positive cases

The NMU Health Center records COVID positive case numbers on the NMU COVID dashboard. Individuals testing positive at the Health Center and those tested at testing sites in Marquette County will automatically have their cases posted to the dashboard.  Individuals who test positive on home tests or at testing sites outside of Marquette County are asked to send notification to when they are positive so they can receive assistance from the University, as needed, and their case can be counted on the NMU dashboard. 


Employees and student employees who test positive are asked to fill out the “Positive Result/ Potential Notification” form that is posted on the MyNMU portal. 

Spectator Activities, On-campus

Masks worn properly (over nose and mouth) are REQUIRED for attendees or all indoor NMU spectator activities.  Attending these activities (e.g. sports, music, theater) is the sole CHOICE of the attendees; attendees may be at higher risk for contracting serious illness from COVID-19 or who have family members who are at high risk are strongly advised not to attend in person but rather to participate virtually, if that option is available.

Summer Orientation, In-person vs. Virtual

A decision will be made in February regarding format.

Student Activities

Student groups are requested to hold group meetings and on-campus activities virtually or outdoors until the end of January 2022.  This will be re-evaluated at that time.


NMU will randomly test 600+ individuals each week of the Winter 2022 semester: 300 students (150 vaccinated, 150 with no vaccination documentation in the Bridge system) and 300 employees (150 vaccinated, 150 with no vaccination documentation in the Bridge system), in addition to student-athletes as per current NCAA guidelines.  Northern Michigan University is covering the cost of these tests through the use of federal stimulus funds.


Students, faculty and staff who are taking classes, teaching or working but not physically on campus at any point during Winter 2022 can request to be removed from the testing pool by sending an email to

University Travel

All university-sponsored international travel must be submitted to NMU international travel registry and will be reviewed for pandemic-related issues.

If NMU departments or offices are sponsoring group travel (students groups, groups of faculty or staff, etc.), they must turn in a plan for dealing with COVID-19 cases that happen during the travel period. Contact Mike Bath ( or Cindy Paavola (, co-directors of the NMU COVID Response Team, for more information.

University community members are strongly encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and U.S. State Department levels regarding both domestic and international air, land and water travel for university-related and personal travel.

Vaccination mandates, University-wide

Northern does not have a vaccination mandate, but does encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated.


Vaccination are required by some clinical sites for employees, students and faculty who participates in those sites (e.g. clinical sciences, nursing).


Athletic teams (intercollegiate, NTS and club) must have a 70% team vaccination rate in order to travel to games at other institutions. Those teams with rates below 70% can only travel with players who are vaccinated (medical and religious exemptions available).

Vaccination mandates, Exemptions

Where vaccinations are required, Northern provides the opportunity to request a medical or religious exemption. Medical exemption requests are reviewed and approved the medical staff of the NMU Health Center. Religious exemption requests are reviewed and approved by members of the President’s Executive Council.  


Only medical exemptions are available for federal, state or university-required COVID-19 testing.

Vaccination mandates, Individual spaces

Individual faculty or supervisors are not allowed to have vaccination or testing requirements for their spaces that are different than the university’s requirements.

Visitor Guidelines

Visitors to NMU must be properly masked when inside a University facility. Additionally, they must not have COVID-19 symptoms.  


Visitors to NMU campus activities, including sporting events, must properly wear a face mask (covering their nose and mouth). Non-compliance places the individual at risk being asked to leave.


Until the end of January 2022, NMU is suspending eating in the Northern Lights Dining area for visitors here for campus visits. Additionally, group visits to the residence hall showroom during campus visit tours are suspended until the end of January 2022.