Health and Safety Protocols

Students studying in indoor space

Personal Safety Practices

Everyone has a personal responsibility to practice social distancing, frequent handwashing, cough/sneeze etiquette, proper tissue usage and disposal, avoidance of touching their face, and respecting others.

Social Distancing

Maintaining space between yourself and others is a best practice and is required on CMU's main campus and in satellite locations to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus and slow its spread.

People can spread the virus without being sick or knowing they are sick, so it is important to maintain social distance from others whenever possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who may have higher risk. Everyone on campus should follow these social distancing practices:

  • Stay at least 6 feet, or about two arms' lengths, from others.
  • Do not gather in groups larger than the size allowable by current state guidance.
  • Stay out of crowded places, and avoid mass gatherings.

Handshaking and other forms of physical contact are discouraged. All members of the CMU community should enforce social distancing protocols in common areas and where individuals are likely to interact. Supervisors are expected to ensure that employees self-enforce social distancing protocols in all areas.

Face Masks and Coverings

Icon: Face Mask

The university requires everyone to wear a face covering or face shield over their nose and mouth as directed below. If you are unable to wear a face covering, you will need to access classes and services remotely. You should speak to your instructors about being able to attend remotely. If that is not possible due to the nature of the course, contact your academic advisor to adjust your schedule. Most services on campus are generally available by phone or online.

Everyone is encouraged to wear their own workplace-appropriate personal face coverings — such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana or handkerchief.

Employees in need of an employer-provided face covering should contact their supervisor, and a face covering will be provided. University Stores will stock standard masks at a reasonable cost, and must be utilized for the purchase of standard masks so long as stock is available. CMU will no longer require special approval for the purchase of non-standard masks; if programs need to purchase specialized masks, departments may use their university credit card to purchase them. In addition, for masks purchased between July and December, there is no additional requirement for approval if an exception to the Business Expense Manual was not yet been requested.

Face coverings must be worn in every indoor area of the university. However, face coverings are NOT required to be worn by individuals who are:

  • Alone in their workplace space, which may include private offices or cubicles with tall walls or with appropriate Plexiglas partitions.
  • Alone in their residence hall room.
  • Outdoors, unless working near others where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Faculty delivering on-campus instruction are required to wear face coverings at all times, even when socially distanced from others in their classrooms. For classes that require lip reading or musical instruction, faculty can substitute a face covering with a Plexiglas shield.

The use of face masks or coverings helps to minimize risks to the wearer and to those around them. Face masks and coverings are not a substitute for social distancing and are required to help protect the CMU community, our families and the general public. This applies to all satellite, off-site and leased building spaces, and the main CMU campus.

Employees are required to wear face coverings at the direction of their employer. It is the responsibility of each individual to comply with this requirement. This requirement will be enforced by supervisors for employees and by units providing services to students and guests.

If you are on campus and need a mask, you can purchase them for $2 at vending machines in the following locations:

  • Anspach Hall.
  • Biosciences Building.
  • Bovee University Center.
  • Combined Services Building.
  • Dow Science Complex.
  • Education and Human Services Building.
  • Grawn Hall.
  • Health Professions Building.
  • McGuirk Arena.
  • Moore Hall.
  • Pearce Hall.
  • Rowe Hall.
  • Sloan Hall.
  • Warriner Hall.

For more information about masks and face coverings, including instructions to appropriately wear and clean face coverings, please visit this informational U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page.

Face Shields and Goggles

A face shield is primarily used for eye protection for the person wearing it. At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer.

There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks.

Thus, CMU does not require individuals to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus. All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to practice good hand hygiene and should avoid touching their faces.

However, wearing a mask may not be feasible in every situation for some people — for example, people who are deaf or hard of hearing — or those who care for or interact with a person who is hearing impaired. Here are some considerations for individuals who must wear a face shield instead of a mask:

  • Although evidence on face shields is limited, the available data suggest that the following face shields may provide better source control than others:
    • Face shields that wrap around the sides of the wearer's face and extend below the chin.
    • Hooded face shields.
  • Face shield wearers should wash their hands before and after removing the face shield and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth when removing it.
  • Disposable face shields should be worn for only a single use and disposed of according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Reusable face shields should be cleaned and disinfected after each use according to manufacturer instructions or by following CDC face shield cleaning instructions.

CMU does not require individuals to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus. All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to practice good hand hygiene and should avoid touching their faces.


Gloves are not considered necessary unless you are a health care worker or in other high-risk areas. Hand hygiene is considered the best everyday practice in prevention of disease.

Hand Hygiene

Frequent handwashing is one of the most important actions you can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Handwashing should occur after touching anything in a public area, after using the restroom, prior to eating, and after touching your face or blowing your nose.

Correct handwashing technique:

  • Wet your hands, apply soap and thoroughly rub hands together for at least 20 seconds, about as long as it takes to sing the lyrics to "Happy Birthday" twice or to sing the CMU fight song. Be sure to clean under your fingernails and in between all of your fingers.
  • After thorough rinsing, use a paper towel when available to dry your hands. Use the same paper towel to turn off the faucet and to turn the door handle in public restrooms upon exiting. If a paper towel is not available, you can use your elbow to turn off the faucet and to activate the accessible door to exit the restroom.

If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and rub into your hands until dry.

Coughing and Sneezing

If you are alone and not wearing a face mask or covering, always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the used tissue away.

If you do not have tissues, the CDC recommends you cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow, not into your hands. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Cleaning and Disinfection

Personal Disinfection

Icon: Spray Bottle

Per CDC guidelines, routine cleaning and disinfecting are an important part of reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Normal routine cleaning can reduce risk of exposure and is a necessary step before disinfecting surfaces.

CMU custodial staff routinely clean workspaces, classrooms and public spaces. Additionally, surfaces frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles, handrails, light switches and faucets, will be cleaned and disinfected more frequently.

The CDC also recommends individuals wipe down all living, studying, working and eating areas before you leave any room in which you have been working or eating. This includes a private workspace or any shared-space location or equipment (for example, computers, audiovisual and other electrical equipment, copiers, desks and tables, chair arms, light switches, doorknobs, handles, etc.). To the best of your ability, you should clear desk and table surfaces in personal offices and workstations to aid in thorough cleaning. Using a hand sanitizer also is effective after contact with commonly used surfaces.

Cleaning Instructional Spaces

CMU custodial staff will continue to clean and disinfect classroom areas, and cleaning supplies are available in each classroom so faculty and students may clean chairs and desks between classes should they wish to do so. Hand sanitizer stations are available at main building entrances and outside classrooms.

Mandatory Daily Self-Screening

CMU requires all faculty, staff and students to self-screen each day for symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to CMU's main campus or other satellite location or participating in CMU-sponsored activities.

Icon: Checking Temperature

Each day you come to campus or to any other CMU satellite location, you must first answer a few brief questions using one of the following options:

You must be free of any symptoms before you come to any CMU location.

Every member of the university community, including students, faculty, staff and visitors, is required to monitor their symptoms daily before coming to campus. Remember, people can spread the virus before they even know they are sick, so it is important to take steps to protect yourself and others.

Individuals without symptoms may still be COVID-19 positive, potentially spreading the virus to contacts. Please remember to adhere to all other health and safety measures, including social distancing, wearing a face covering or mask, and washing your hands.

We all must take responsibility to protect ourselves and others.

COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing

Symptoms/Positive Test

Any faculty, staff or student who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has symptoms related to COVID-19, must contact the CMU COVID Tracking Team (via the CMU health screening app or In addition, you may also contact your preferred health care provider for treatment, and you should self-isolate or quarantine until you reach the designated released date.

  • If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please call 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency room.

Additional information for CMU employees, including student employees

If you feel unwell while on campus or at another CMU location and show any symptoms related to COVID-19 not due to an underlying chronic health condition, your supervisor may direct you to go home. If your symptoms suggest COVID-19, the supervisor must immediately email to report a possible case of infection in their area.

If a faculty member, staff member or student employee believes they have contracted COVID-19 after exposure to a known COVID-positive person while working on campus, they must report the exposure to the CMU Workers' Compensation office at 989-774-7177 as soon as possible.

When to Quarantine or Isolate

Close Contact (Known Exposure to Someone With COVID-19)

If you are identified through contact tracing as having come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you will be contacted by the Central Michigan District Health Department and instructed to quarantine.

Employees and students NOT living on campus: If you have been identified as having been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should not come to campus. If you are already on campus, you must leave campus immediately, even if you are not showing symptoms.

  • Faculty, staff and student employees: Notify your supervisor if you have been identified as a close contact, and keep your supervisor informed of your return-to-campus status. A medical clearance to return to work might be required.

Students living in residence halls who test positive for COVID-19 or who are named a close contact have two options:

  • Self-isolate in Wheeler Hall.
  • Return home to self-isolate with permission from the health department.
  • Students living in on-campus apartments are allowed to self-isolate in their apartment, because they have their own bedroom and access to a kitchen.

If You Test Positive for COVID-19

Faculty, staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms must isolate until:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed with no fever without fever-reducing medication and
  • Symptoms have improved.

*Depending on your health care provider's advice and availability of testing, you might get tested to see if you still have COVID-19. If you are tested, you can be around others when you have no fever, respiratory symptoms have improved, and you receive two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart.

Faculty, staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms must isolate until 10 days have passed since a test, if they continue to not have symptoms. In addition, they must report this positive test by email to or Student Health Services at 989-774-6599.

* Depending on your health care provider's advice and availability of testing, you might get tested to see if you still have COVID-19. If you will be tested, you can be around others after you receive two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart. If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for "Faculty, staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms."

Employees and students NOT living on campus who test positive for COVID-19 must leave campus immediately and isolate.

Students living in residence halls who test positive for COVID-19 or who have been named a close contact have two options:

  • Quarantine/self-isolate in Wheeler Hall.
  • Return home to quarantine/self-isolate with permission from the health department.
  • Students living in on-campus apartments are allowed to quarantine/self-isolate in their apartment, because they have their own bedroom and access to a kitchen.

For Individuals at Higher Risk for COVID-19

According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. Those conditions include:

  • Age of 65 and older.
  • Hypertension.
  • Obesity.
  • Immunocompromised.
  • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma.
  • Serious heart condition.
  • Diabetes or liver disease.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Pregnancy.

Employees are not required to disclose if they are in a higher-risk category based upon a preexisting medical condition; however, if an employee voluntarily self-identifies as being at higher risk for COVID-19 and has concerns with returning to campus, they may request accommodations by contacting Faculty Personnel Services at 989-774-3368 or Human Resources at 989-774-2010. Student employees who wish to seek accommodations related to returning to campus should contact their supervisor at 989-774-3018 to request accommodation.

Your Health and Emotional Well-Being

Employee Assistance Program

Encompass, the Employee Assistance Program provider for CMU, has several options for you: webinars and information, counseling, coaching, and more. 

  1. Go to
  2. Click the green "Sign Up" button on the right side of the page.
  3. Enter cmuni as the company code, and follow the instructions to create your secure and confidential personal account.
  4. Click on the "Chat & Video" link for live chat support.

Health Services

If you feel physically ill — particularly with fever, cough or difficulty breathing — call your health care provider immediately, and tell them you think it's possible you have COVID-19. Visit the CMU Health website, or call 989-774-6599. Call before visiting.

Students who need health care may contact CMU Student Health Services, located in Foust Hall. Call 989-774-6599 before visiting the clinic. CMU Health also provides psychiatry services.

Students also may contact the CMU Counseling Center for free, confidential counseling services. Call 989-774-3371 to schedule an appointment.

Take Care Logo

CMU Care Team

Not sure where to start? Whether you need help or are concerned for a student or colleague, the CMU Care Team provides confidential assistance.

  • Find resources for physical and mental health, safety and well-being, food, and housing at the Find Help website.
  • Concerned about a colleague or student? Leave a confidential message at 989-774-2273 or submit a Care Report.