Fall policies for physical distancing and masks

To the Eastern Michigan University community:

The fall semester begins in just four weeks! As outlined in more detail below, the following policies regarding face masks and physical distancing will be in place as the fall semester begins. Please read this email carefully and in its entirety.

As always, these policies are subject to change based on guidance and/or regulations from local, state, or federal health agencies. We are keeping a close eye on the Delta variant and case counts throughout Michigan, and will continue to carefully monitor conditions and work with our health agency partners.

Face masks

We intend to continue our current face mask policy as fall semester begins:

  • All students will be required to wear face masks in classrooms regardless of vaccination status.

  • In other indoor areas (outside of classrooms), all individuals who are fully vaccinated and have reported their vaccination status to the University are not required to wear face masks unless otherwise noted (for example, face masks are required regardless of vaccination status in the campus COVID-19 testing center).

    Individuals who are not fully vaccinated must wear face masks indoors except in specific circumstances that are detailed in the University masking policy (e.g., they are alone in an isolated area or are actively eating/drinking). 

  • In outdoor areas, individuals are not required to wear face masks regardless of vaccination status. 

Individual University employees and offices cannot waive the University face mask mandates -- including the mandate that face masks be worn by all students in classrooms -- without the approval of the President’s Office. When necessary, instructors should reference and follow the University’s Guide to Classroom Management in the event an individual in the classroom refuses to comply with the University’s face mask policy. 

 

Physical distancing

The University’s physical distancing policy for fall semester is as follows:

  • All students must engage in three feet of physical distancing in classrooms regardless of vaccination status. As outlined above, all students must also wear face masks in classrooms regardless of vaccination status.

  • In other indoor areas (outside of classrooms), individuals who are fully vaccinated and have reported their vaccination status to the University are not required to engage in physical distancing unless otherwise noted.

    Individuals who are not fully vaccinated must engage in three feet of physical distancing indoors except in specific circumstances that are detailed in the University distancing policy.

  • In outdoor areas, individuals are not required to engage in physical distancing regardless of vaccination status.

Going forward

The University’s COVID-related policies are developed in consultation with the University’s Safe Return Steering Committee and are based on guidance from health agencies. These policies are designed to provide students and employees with an excellent academic and student experience while reflecting the unfortunate reality that COVID-19 remains present in our lives. Although we had hoped to loosen these policies for fall semester, we believe the current policies should be continued for the time being, particularly in view of rising COVID-19 case counts around the country.

The best way to defeat COVID-19 and work together as a community is to get vaccinated. You may learn more about vaccination opportunities here. All members of the campus community are encouraged to report their vaccination status through the University’s secure online vaccination certification system even if you do not regularly visit campus. Data regarding campus vaccination levels are useful in evaluating further policy updates.

As always, these policies will be updated as appropriate based on guidance from government authorities and health agencies. Please continue to read your email and visit the EMU Safe website for information.

August 04, 2021

Written by:
Office of the President

Contact:
Walter Kraft
wkraft@emich.edu
734.487.6895