If you test positive for COVID-19

If you test positive for COVID-19, follow these steps:

  • You will need to isolate for a minimum of 5 days from when you were exposed, or if you don’t know the exposure source, from when you tested positive.
    • If you are a student who lives in the residence halls, you will be offered a room in the isolation quarters in Spooner Hall or you can isolate at home.
    • If you are a student who lives in an on-campus or off-campus apartment, you will be able to isolate in your apartment or you can also head home, if you choose.
  • Email SafeOnCampus@nmu.edu to report that you’ve tested positive. Please provide your name, NMU ID and information about whether you live on campus or note.
  • You will receive an email with contact information of those on campus who can help you address academic, isolation and on-campus work matters.
    • You will be responsible for making up any class materials and exercises missed during your isolation period.
    • It is the choice of your faculty member whether to provide virtual learning options or not, or whether to give you another option for making up missed class time.
  •  Heading into isolation or during isolation, if you need additional medical or health guidance, contact your personal health professional or contact the NMU Health Center at 906-227-2355.
  • If you work on campus, contact your supervisor and develop a plan. Some individuals feel well enough to work remotely, others do not, or you may not have a position that allows for remote work. Your supervisor will help you to fill out the NMU COVID exposure form.
  • Consider if there are friends, classmates, work colleagues you interacted with closely who you should inform of your infection so they can monitor for symptoms or get tested.
  • You can return to the residence hall, classes and/or on-campus work on the 6th day if you have no fever and you are symptom-free, but you must mask when you are on campus for an additional 5 days (for a total of 10 days from exposure). You do not have to bring any medical documentation to return to class or work (and your faculty members and/or supervisors are not supposed to ask for documentation). If faculty or supervisors have questions, ask them to email the to SafeOnCampus@nmu.edu.

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Close up of a technician wearing gloves conducting a COVID test

COVID-19 Symptoms

Before coming to campus, please self-assess for the common symptoms of COVID-19. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or feel otherwise unwell with new symptoms (unrelated to known health conditions) do not come to campus. Symptoms of COVID-19 include: 

  • Headache 
  • Sore throat 
  • Runny nose
  • Cough, newly developed or worsening 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Chills or repeated shaking with chills
  • Feeling feverish or have fever above 100.4F
  • Muscle aches 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Recent loss of smell or taste

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 when mask mandates are implemented during the academic year (other than their own private residence):  

  • General: Northern Michigan University may require KN95/N95/KF94 masks be worn indoors, indoors when in classrooms and/or lab settings or at other locations on campus. When masks are required, it will be announced through an email sent campus-wide and posted on the Safe- On-Campus website. Most often, NMU will only require mask wearing when COVID-19 cases are high on campus or when the CDC elevates Marquette County to higher transmission levels. Northern has a COVID-19 Advisory Group that advises the president on when masking wearing is recommended and the University received regularly updated information about area cases from the Marquette County Public Health Department. For more information about face masks, including how to wear and care for one, visit the CDC website.
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  • Residence Halls: If there is a mask mandate of any kind in place at NMU, you are not required to wear a mask while in your own residence hall room. However, if you test positive for COVID-19, you must mask when in your residence hall room during the period of transition to isolation.


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.

NMU Official Statement on class absences during the pandemic

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not attend class, work, or campus and community activities. Please communicate with your instructors and/or work supervisors via email or phone to say you are not feeling well and will be absent. Stay home, avoid contact with others as much as possible, and contact your healthcare provider or the NMU Health Center for next steps. Instructors are not required to provide remote class sessions for absent students. If you are absent due to COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your instructor to discuss what options may be available to you. You can visit the SafeOnCampus website or the Dean of Students Office for help with non-course related COVID-19 and pandemic questions.


During the course of the pandemic, NMU students will:

  • Stay home if they feel sick.

  • Mask during those periods of high transmission when the University requires masking.

  • Isolate if diagnosed with a current COVID-19 infection.

  • Abide by Health Department and University Health Center orders to isolate and/or quarantine. 

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 staff to isolate. 

NMU has set aside a separate floor in a residence hall for persons with a COVID-related diagnosis. Any student living in an NMU residence hall 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 and are diagnosed with COVID-19, you must let your supervisor know and complete the COVID-19 exposure form. 

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 15, 2022. 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.