Skyline photo of the City of Marquette and Lake Superior

Official University Communications & Dashboard

The university's formal method of communicating decisions made about related to the pandemic is email to your NMU account.

View all email communications since July 1, 2021

NMU has assembled a reporting dashboard that provides real-time updates regarding the status of COVID-19 on our campus.

Study Abroad Suspended

NMU's COVID Logistics Team's academic work group recommended and the Executive Committee approved (September 2021) that there be no university-sponsored study abroad for the Winter 2022 semester. This includes faculty-led study abroad programs. Students planning to study abroad for Winter 2022 through exchange or third-party vendors assume the risk of foreign travel during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. If students, staff, or faculty members return from abroad before the end of the semester, they will be required to follow CDC guidelines regarding  quarantining and testing.

Student Responsibilities and Safety Protocols During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Northern Michigan University being one of the nation’s friendliest, most helpful campuses is not simply a ranking our institution has enjoyed. It is a Wildcat tradition to support and take care of one another. In fact, furthering the NMU community is formally one of the University’s eight core values. Community, we have collectively stated, is about being collaborative, on campus and off, and about valuing partnership and service to each other, the community, and the region. This commitment to each other, our campus community and the region may never be more important or evident as it is during the current COVID-19 worldwide pandemic when our individual and collective actions may literally be life-saving. 

The actions necessary of all students (as well as faculty, staff and campus visitors) to keep our campus safe from the community-wide spread of the COVID-19 virus are simultaneously easy and hard. In general, the more closely you interact with others, and the longer the interaction, the higher risk of COVID-19 spread. To help keep the Wildcat community safe, NMU students are asked to practice the following requirements while on campus:

To help keep the Wildcat community safe, NMU students are asked to practice the following recommendations while on campus: 

NMU Students will use a face covering while in all indoor spaces (other than their own private residence):   


General: An approved face covering is required when in a public indoor space, regardless of vaccination including without limitation classrooms, study spaces, hallways, the library, etc. unless an exception applies. Wearing a face covering is recommended but not required in outdoor spaces when social distancing requirements (at least 3 feet) cannot be consistently maintained. NMU will make university-purchased masks available each semester of the academic year to students, and students are allowed to wear their own as well. Ensure the mask covers both the nose and mouth. As of January 10, 2022, Northern is requiring all students, faculty and staff to wear either an N95, KN95 or KN94 mask type inside all NMU facilities until further notice, which would be posted on the SafeOnCampus website’s mask information page. For more information about face masks, including how to wear and care for one, visit the CDC website.

Residence Halls: While in the residence halls, you may only remove the face covering in your own personal room/apartment/suite. Keep the face mask on in all common areas of the residence halls, including hallways, TV rooms, study rooms, etc. You are welcome to keep the mask on while in your suite and we recommend that you wear it if people from other residence halls visit your private residence.

Dining: You may remove your face covering after you are seated in a dining facility and while you are actively eating. But you cannot be without your mask when not actively eating, nor while you walk through the dining space or choose food from a buffet. You cannot enter a dining facility without wearing a face covering. Keep your face covering on while you wait to pick up carry-out food as well. 

Other exceptions: Exceptions to wearing a facial covering have been identified for specific classroom settings. These can be initiated by the classroom instructor but only after receiving approval from the curriculum’s Dean. For example, the mask may be removed while playing certain types of musical instruments.

» Mask Exemption Document

NMU’s mask requirements are subject to change as the area’s COVID situation changes. Northern will make every attempt to follow the CDC’s recommendation regarding mask wearing for area classifications of substantial and high COVID-19 infection rates.

Required Testing  

Northern Michigan University students will submit to any COVID-19 testing required by the federal or state governments or the University.

Beginning January 2022, Northern will do random weekly testing of students and employees known to be vaccinated and those who have not provided vaccination information to NMU’s Bridge system. If selected it is mandatory that you test during that week’s testing options. Failure to comply will be considered a violation of this Official University Requirement, and as such, a Student Code violation, and will be reported to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action, possibly up to suspension.

Students who have medical reasons to be exempted from COVID-19 testing can contact the NMU Health Center for the proper documentation forms.  There is no religious exemption for COVID-19 testing.

During the course of the pandemic, NMU students will:

  • Stay home if they feel sick.
  • Quarantine if unvaccinated and they have been exposed to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, as recommended by a health-care provider, or quarantine if they are vaccinated, experiencing symptoms and recommended to do so by a health-care provider.
  • Isolate if diagnosed with a current COVID-19 infection.
  • Abide by Health Department and University Health Center orders to isolate and/or quarantine. 

The words “quarantine” and “isolate” have specific definitions during a pandemic. Quarantine means to separate and restrict the movement of people who have been exposed while waiting to see if they become sick. The word isolate means to separate sick people diagnosed with a contagious disease. NMU expects students who feel unwell to stay home, meaning do NOT physically attend class, go to work, or otherwise expose others to the (potential) COVID-19 virus.  

Students with symptoms of COVID-19 or who believe they should be tested based on exposure are encouraged to contact their primary physician or the NMU Health Center at 227-2355. If you need emergency care, call 911. 

People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, exposed to a person with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, or are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test must follow the most current CDC guidelines.  The details for these requirements have been rapidly changing, so your healthcare provider will guide you for your particular situation. In certain situations, you may be ordered by a public health authority or the NMU Health center to isolate or quarantine. 

NMU has set aside a separate floor in a residence hall for persons with a COVID-related diagnosis. Any student living on campus and diagnosed with an active COVID-19 virus must leave their residence hall room for either the designated NMU isolation hall or another location where they will not come into contact with NMU students, faculty or staff for the required isolation period. Failure to isolate or leave the hall will result in a temporary suspension and Student Code charges.

On campus jobs:

If you work on campus, you will receive additional information, including information about self-screening.

Good hygiene:

Finally, as always, practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Cover coughs and sneezes – use a tissue or the inside of your elbow to cover your mouth and nose. Immediately wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

About Official University Requirement and Requests:

The requirements above are enforceable according to the provision for Official Requests under the NMU Student Code. The Requirement was issued by NMU's Executive Council on August 9, 2021. Violation of the student code may result in disciplinary action.

University Official Requests are authorized by the NMU Student Code Section 2.3.5-Compliance with Official Requests. The Code states:

.01 -  No students shall fail to comply with reasonable and lawful requests or direction by University officials, or officially recognized volunteers acting in performance of their official duties.
.02 - No students shall fail to answer promptly to summons from University officials.

The general answer is that students do not have to report people who are not complying. While our health depends on keeping COVID-19 from spreading to our community, students are only expected to govern their own health practices. If it seems safe to remind others of our expectations, feel free to do so, but no reporting is required.  

The Dean of Students Office reaches out to any student who has been identified as not adhering to the Student Code requirements. So if someone seems to blatantly ignore the safety and health rules, you may contact the Dean of Students Office at with the student’s name and a brief description of the requirement violation. The Dean of Students Office will send a reminder to the student or escalate the issue to an appropriate level.  

Some students have qualified for medical exemptions to some of the rules. The University is using a system to keep track of any medical exemption from wearing an approved mask. These exemptions were developed using medical and legal advice. Persons who receive a medical exemption will have evidence from the Disability Services Coordinator, but they are not required to present it to other students. Also, your faculty will know if anyone in their classroom has received a medical accommodation. If there is an issue in the classroom, your faculty will handle it.

Our dining areas have to follow State of Michigan rules, and must deny face-to-face ordering and seated dining to persons not wearing face coverings or otherwise not adhering to good health practices. Dining services can also use information coded in the dining system to confirm medical exemptions.