Eastern Michigan University adds new layer to #EMUSafe initiatives, launches “Students Stay Safe” program requiring all students attending on-campus classes who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to undergo weekly testing

Students Stay Safe promotional image

YPSILANTI --  Eastern Michigan University today launched the Students Stay Safe program requiring all students attending on-campus classes who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to undergo weekly testing. The move is the University’s latest action in its layered safety practices to minimize exposure to COVID-19 among its students, faculty and staff.

“As we approach the start of the fall semester, the University continues to evaluate guidance from local and state health agencies to assess the best tools available to promote health and wellness for our campus community. Important to this analysis is yesterday’s announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granting full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after applying the FDA’s ‘high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality,’ said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. “Based on this comprehensive analysis, we are implementing the Students Stay Safe program.

Read President Smith’s message to campus.

Students who choose to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and report their vaccination status through EMU’s Vaccine Certification system are not required to undergo regular testing, and are eligible for the Vax to Win program.

“We encourage all members of the campus community to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Smith.The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and free. There are many opportunities to receive a free vaccine, including pop-up clinics the University has scheduled for Saturday, August 28 and in September.

Students who attend at least one class with an on-campus component and who choose not to be vaccinated must undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. They will be notified of their testing requirement through their EMU e-mail. Free testing is available at EMU’s on-campus testing center or students may upload test results to a portal that will be provided to students. 

Some student populations may be required to undergo more frequent testing if they participate in certain activities. Those students will be notified of their additional testing requirement separately. Similarly, some students and staff may be required to be vaccinated in order to participate in certain programs such as on-campus housing, intercollegiate sports, Marching Band, and others as previously announced: 

Students are exempt from the Students Stay Safe program if they are not enrolled in any EMU courses with an in-person on-campus component and are not subject to a vaccination mandate as part of another University program.

The new policy is effective with the start of the fall semester on Monday, August 30. Students who have not received their final COVID-19 vaccine shot and reported their vaccination status through the University’s Vaccine Certification system by Friday, September 3, will receive an email with details about their weekly testing requirements. Students who receive their final shot after that date will no longer be subject to weekly testing as soon as they report their vaccination status via the certification system.

The Students Stay Safe program is designed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 on Eastern’s campus, in combination with other EMU Safe policies, such as the use of masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, the COVID PASS Daily Health Screening, and the wastewater testing system.
President Smith said, “As we have repeatedly shared, the University will continue to evaluate applicable guidance from government health agencies and will update our policies as appropriate. Throughout this pandemic, we have been committed to promoting the safety and wellness of our campus community.

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.

August 24, 2021

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Walter Kraft