Eastern Michigan University gives students early "wellness" start to Thanksgiving break; offers free COVID testing prior to break

Monday, Nov. 23, Tuesday, Nov. 24 classes canceled to extend Thanksgiving break

Eastern Michigan University gives students early wellness start to Thanksgiving break; offers free COVID testing prior to break

YPSILANTI -- Eastern Michigan University is canceling classes on Monday, Nov. 23, and Tuesday, Nov. 24, in order to give students two additional days to rest and recharge given the challenging semester. Students will now have an extended Thanksgiving break beginning the end of day on Friday, Nov. 20 through Monday, Nov. 30. 

In making the anouncement, Eastern Michigan University President James Smith said, "This has been a challenging semester, particularly for our students. Simply put, our students need a break to rest and recharge. Instructors also may use the time to prepare for the rest of the semester. We encourage students to take full advantage of this extended recess by focusing on their physical and mental wellness."

The University also announced all residential students will be provided the opportunity for free COVID testing prior to departing for the Thanksgiving break, with the University covering testing costs as it has all semester. 

The details were outlined in a message to campus Sunday (Nov. 15) from Eastern Michigan University President James Smith following the State of Michigan's new actions to slow the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases.  

In the message, President Smith affirmed the State's new restrictions that include the suspension of  in-person instruction at colleges and universities from Wednesday, November 18, until Tuesday, December 8. 

Although nearly all course sections have been delivered in an online/hybrid format for the current fall semester, approximately 10 percent of courses that had been delivered in-person will move to a fully remote format beginning Wednesday, November 18, through Tuesday, December 8. 

Classes originally scheduled (including online courses) on Monday, November 23, and Tuesday, November 24 are now canceled in advance of the Thanksgiving recess. During this two-day period, the University will remain open and all employees will work as scheduled - most will continue to work remotely. 

President Smith said, "Regardless of your plans for the Thanksgiving recess, we urge all members of the campus community to engage in safe practices during the holiday break. These safe practices include wearing face coverings, avoiding social gatherings, maintaining physical distancing, and practicing good hygiene. Please comply with the updated safety provisions contained in the state order above as they relate to gatherings and other activities.

"I thank our students, faculty and staff for your compliance with these safe practices. We must all continue to work together to keep one another as safe as possible."

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

November 16, 2020

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Geoff Larcom