Touchless temperature check in the Northern Center

Event Overview

While the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has transformed what learning, living and working on campus will look like this winter, we are eager to welcome our students back to NMU's physical campus again. 

The return to campus for most of you will begin with the Passport to Campus event. You will register for a time slot between January 6 and January 18 where you will participate in a COVID-19 screening test*, receive your NMU facemasks, and be given the resources you need to have a healthy, successful semester at NMU. 


Exterior of the Northern Center parking lot in winter

Testing Schedule

Students with Marquette County permanent addresses: 
Jan. 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13 OR external testing

Non-residence hall students:
Jan. 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15 OR external testing

Residence hall students: 
Jan. 15, 16, 18 OR external testing

Who is Exempt:

There have been several questions about who is exempt from taking the COVID-19 test. Here are some clarifications. You are exempt from meeting the COVID-19 testing requirement if:

  • You have been approved from a medical exemption.
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19 at any point after Oct. 17.  You do, however, need to upload documentation of your diagnosis into the COVID-19 testing database using the same link as for testing sign-up, but choosing the “Upload test results” button once having logged in.  A screenshot of your documentation works best for uploading, but you can use other formats (i.e. PDF) if they are not too large.
  • You are taking only remote courses, are student teaching or have an internship this semester and do not live in Marquette County

Who is NOT Exempt:

These situations do not exempt NMU students from the COVID-19 test requirement.   

  • You are taking only remote, are student teaching or have an internship and live in Marquette County.  If you live in Marquette County, you must complete the COVID-19 test unless you are medically exempt.
  • You have had a COVID-19 vaccination. It is still unproven if the vaccine prevents secondary transmission. Current vaccines are 94-95% effective, which leaves 5% of those vaccinated as still susceptible.

Testing Externally:

  • Northern will provide $25 Cat Cash to students who test externally as it frees up testing times in our very limited testing period before the start of classes on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and spreads out the testing analysis more broadly for potentially speedier results.
  • The external test must be a PCR test, not an antigen test. It must be done during the NMU testing period of Jan. 6-15 and should be done within 4-5 days of your arrival on campus, if possible.
  • Test results need to be uploaded into the COVID-19 testing database by Sunday, Jan. 17, using the same link as for testing sign-up, but choosing the “Upload test results” button once having logged in. The uploaded documentation should include your name, date of test, results, name of testing site. A screenshot of the documentation is the easiest uploading format, although other formats work, too, if they are not too large. The documentation will be reviewed by the NMU Health Center staff for approval. 

Event Walk Through

For a preview of what this event might look like for you, follow NMU sophomore Josie Hodges as she participated in the fall 2020 Passport to Campus event at the Northern Center.

Additional Event Details

Entering the Building

You will be required to enter the Northern Center through the main entrance on the first floor. Prior to entering, you must text the check-in staff and let them know you have arrived. You will receive a text message when they are ready for you to enter. 

Mask Distribution

Northern ordered 20,000 cloth masks and is providing two to each student and employee at the Passport to Campus Event. Students and employees are not required to wear the NMU face covering; if you have other face coverings that you find more comfortable, you are welcome to wear those.

COVID-19 Testing

NMU has partnered with testing firm Tempus to administer 8,500 to all NMU employees and students. The tests will occur in 20 private bays located within the Northern Center ballrooms. It is a short-swab test that will be self-administered with a healthcare profession there to oversee it. It will take approximately five minutes. The costs for the test will be covered by NMU. Visit this page for more information on COVID-19 testing at NMU.

*If you are unable to receive a COVID-19 test for medical or religious reasons, please email