NMU to Begin Random Testing

Stock image from previous testing event

Northern Michigan University will implement mass random COVID-19 testing when the winter semester begins next week. It will also expand vaccination and booster shot availability at the NMU Health Center. Interim President Kerri Schuiling made the announcements in a campus-wide email on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, globally the pandemic is worsening, primarily due to the Omicron variant,” she said. “While cases of COVID in the UP seem to be moderating, the number of infected persons is beginning to rise, probably due to gatherings and travel over the holidays. And, just recently, the Omicron variant has been identified in cases in the UP.

"Further complicating the current health front is that we are entering into the period of the year typical for high cases of flu and colds. As a nurse, I cannot stress how important continuing with the easy steps [of wearing masks properly, washing hands frequently and staying home when not feeling well] is to the overall health of everyone on our campus.”

Starting Monday, Jan. 17, Northern will begin a surveillance COVID-19 testing program to develop a relative sense of the number of cases in the campus community. The plan is to test 700 individuals weekly: 300 employees (150 vaccinated, 150 without proof of vaccination in the Bridge system), 300 students (150 vaccinated, 150 without proof of vaccination in the Bridge system), and 110 student-athletes. The details of the required testing are as follows:

  • Individuals in each category are randomly selected. Compliance is mandatory.
  • Testing will take place each week, except the week of spring break (Feb. 28 – March 6) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays in Peninsula II of the Northern Center.
  • Individuals selected to undergo random COVID-19 testing will be sent an email from SafeOnCampus@nmu.edu that includes a link to select a preferred testing time.
  • If the OSHA/MIOSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for mandatory vaccination or weekly testing is approved by the U.S. Supreme Court (oral arguments begin Jan. 7), NMU will adjust its testing pool to meet the ETS requirements regarding mandatory testing for all employees—from students to full time) who have not provided proof of vaccination.

“We must all continue to commit to doing what we can to take care of ourselves and our NMU community,” Schuiling wrote. “We also remain flexible and continue to be ready for change as decisions are made to address circumstances as they develop.”

Prepared By

Kristi Evans
News Director

Categories: Around NMU