Northern Michigan University is revising its mask protocol for the start of the fall semester because of the higher transmissibility of COVID's Delta variant and rising caseloads nationwide. Whether vaccinated or not, all individuals will be required to wear masks in common areas during residence hall move-in activities Aug. 19-23, and in classrooms and labs effective with the first day of classes Aug. 23.
In a campus-wide email, President Fritz Erickson also stated that faculty and staff will be allowed to require masks for visitors to their individual offices, where social distancing is not possible.
“Although Marquette currently has a low rate of COVID-19 cases, the start of the semester brings a lot of people together coming from areas all over the state, region and country, including many areas where the COVID-19 Delta variant is prevalent,” wrote Erickson. “In light of the new CDC information and rising Delta-related COVID cases, we feel that requiring masks where we know larger groups will be gathered indoors for at least the start of the semester will add an extra layer of protection. This is especially true for activities that are required, such as classes, while other campus activities, which are not required, remain the choice of each individual.”
Individuals who have been vaccinated but have not yet uploaded their information to NMU's Bridge app are encouraged to do so here in order to receive a $100 dining credit for use at any of NMU's on-campus eateries.
“Northern consults regularly with the Marquette County Health Department on COVID-19 trends in Marquette and the Upper Peninsula,” Erickson said. “We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation locally, statewide and beyond.”