Health and Safety

Students studying in indoor space

Personal Safety Practices

The following guidelines, effective May 26, 2021, are subject to change as guidance from our state and local leaders changes.

  • Outdoors on campus: Individuals are not required to wear masks outdoors on campus, regardless of their vaccination status. We recommend individuals continue to practice physical distancing when possible.
  • Indoors in closed offices and residence hall rooms: As has been the case for many months, individuals are not required to wear a mask while in their own offices or workspaces — which may include private offices or cubicles with tall walls or with appropriate Plexiglas partitions — or living spaces. If more than one person is in an office, vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask and unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask and maintain appropriate physical distancing.
  • Indoors in public and/or open areas: While in communal areas, such as hallways, lobbies, large gathering spaces and facilities such as the University Center and Park Library, masks must be worn by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. This is done both as a safety best practice and as a courtesy to our students, friends, colleagues and visitors.
  • Classrooms: While in classrooms for instructional purposes, all individuals must wear a mask. This is based on guidance related to the lower number of younger individuals — those within the age group of the majority of our students — who have been fully vaccinated at this time.
  • Health clinical spaces: As required in the current MIOSHA emergency rules, masks are required for all individuals in our health clinic areas.
  • Indoor meetings and events of fewer than 25: If fewer than 25 individuals are gathering indoors in a well-ventilated space, vaccinated individuals are not required to wear their masks. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distance from others.
  • Larger capacity indoor gatherings: If more than 25 individuals are gathered indoors in a single room or enclosed space, everyone must wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

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.

Hand Washing

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.

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.

Travel Precautions

Travel for university purposes remains suspended until further notice, unless it is deemed essential by the appropriate division vice president. CMU travel permissions, when granted, will follow federal and state restrictions and the advice of CMU Health, as informed by recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, particularly when travel includes visiting any identified high-risk location.

All travelers should carefully review and adhere to the CDC guidelines and recommendations related to travel, which can be found at the CDC travel website.

Before traveling, students, faculty and staff should carefully consider how their trip may impact the health and safety of their classmates, colleagues, friends and families. Please refrain from participating in high-risk activities and remember to wear a mask, wash your hands often and practice social distancing.

CMU does not require travelers to quarantine following domestic; however, travelers are encouraged to get tested before and after traveling outside of Michigan.

  • Students, faculty and staff may be tested through CMU’s surveillance testing program.
  • Testing before and after travel can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
  • Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when paired with a period of staying at home and precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at travelers’ destinations.

For those traveling internationally, follow CDC guidelines found here.

Personal responsibility is critical to keeping our community safe. According to the CDC, in general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

  • If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions.
  • Keep these items on hand when venturing out: a face mask, tissues, and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible.
  • Here is a list of daily events and activities and measures the CDC recommends you take in order to stay safe.

Learn what factors to consider before you go out. Remember: Your activities can directly impact the safety and wellbeing of your friends, neighbors and colleagues.

COVID-19 Symptoms and Testing

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 covidtracking@cmich.edu). 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 covidtracking@cmich.edu 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 14 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 covidtracking@cmich.edu 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 www.MyLifeExpert.com
  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.