Information for Employees

Faculty member teacking in classroom with mask
CMU’s COVID-19 workplace preparedness and response plan, developed in accordance with MIOSHA Emergency Rules, can be accessed here. All of the information in this plan can be found on the Fired Up for Spring site.

​Summer Classes

We are continuing to utilize the HyFlex model for many classes this summer. CMU instructors will find resources at Succeeding with HyFlex Instruction and on the FAQ page. See additional tips and suggestions for moving face-to-face content to remote/online learning.

For instructors new to CMU, there are several how-to guides and videos in the Knowledge Base for using Blackboard, CMU's learning management system.

There are several Student Resources for Online Learning with tutorials, videos, guides and tools including Webex and Microsoft Teams. The Office of Information Technology has secured additional connections for specialized software used in some classes to be downloaded and installed on users' machines. Check the Virtual Lab configuration instructions to see if the software you use is available to your students.

Procedure for Students Returning to Class

Faculty and staff, if Student Affairs informs you that a student in isolation or quarantine is medically cleared to resume regular activities and return to classes, know that Student Affairs has worked with CMU Health Services to make that determination.

Please note: Faculty or staff should not contact Health Services or Student Affairs to "verify" the medical sufficiency of a return-to-class note from Student Affairs or the date upon which the return slip is effective. Such verification requests are redundant and create a bottleneck of vital staff resources dedicated to other critical activity.

COVID-19 Positive Case Management

Internal Communication Process


Health official

The Central Michigan District Health Department, CMU Health Services and/or a personal health care provider.

Close contact

For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Confirmed COVID-19 case

According to the CDC, this is the report of a person with COVID-19 and meeting confirmatory laboratory evidence.

  1. Individual testing positive for COVID-19 immediately completes the CMU health screening app and contacts appropriate CMU representative (supervisor, resident advisor, residence hall director, faculty member, coach, trainer). The individual will then be contacted by the CMU COVID Tracking Team to explain the process.
  2. The CMU COVID Tracking Team Process
    1. Document:
      • The team will immediately contact the individual to document the details of the positive case and provide them with tentative isolation dates.
      • The team will coordinate with the Central Michigan District Health Department on the official isolation dates and add to the documentation.
    2. Notify:
      • CMU COVID Tracking Team — contacts the positive individual to provide instructions and unofficial isolation dates. The Health Department will contact the individual with official isolation dates.
      • Students – Student Affairs to notify professors regarding class release and Residence Life for isolation housing (for campus residents).
      • Staff – HR to coordinate supervisor awareness.
      • Faculty – FPS to coordinate awareness.
    3. Release: The day prior to being released from isolation:
      • Residential students: Student Affairs to notify the student, their professors and Residence Life of the return to class and residence hall.
      • Non-resident students: Student Affairs to notify the student and their professors of the return to class.
      • Faculty/Staff: COVID Team to notify the employee and Faculty Personnel Services or Human Resources, as appropriate, of the release date for return to campus.
  3. CMU COVID Tracking Team determines internal communications and data gathering by contacting:
    1. Student Affairs, if a student, to coordinate and identify:
      • Classes they attend and fellow students in those classes.
      • Organizations where positive person may have had "close contacts" (e.g. athlete, band member, Greek, RSOs, etc.).
    2. Human Resources or Faculty Personnel Services, if an employee.
      • Human Resources and/or Faculty Personnel Services will refer supervisors to the guidance on this page on expectations of employee before returning to work.
    3. University Communications to add case to the Confirmed COVID-19 Cases page.
  4. Facilities Management Service Center to direct any facility closure or perform necessary cleaning following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
  5. CMU COVID Tracking Team and CMU Health to keep EM Team informed of positive cases and trends.
  6. CMU COVID Tracking Team coordinates with CMDHD to document positive cases.

COVID-19 Guidance for CMU Supervisors

  • Establish expectations:
    • Regularly remind employees that they are not permitted to report to work on campus if they are sick or have symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat.
    • Send an employee home if the employee:
      • Exhibits observable symptoms and/or behaviors in alignment with a severe cold, flu or COVID-19.
      • Is otherwise "under the weather" in a manner that impacts their ability to successfully perform their duties.
    • Remind employees that they should complete the CMU health screening app and notify the supervisor promptly via telephone if the employee tests positive for COVID-19 or if the employee is exposed to a close contact who has tested positive for COVID-19 as defined above.
  • Email if they learn that an employee tested positive or is a close contact.
  • Explain to employees that the guidelines for requesting sick leave and/or Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) still apply. If an employee is unwell and unable to work, they should use sick time.
  • Maintain full confidentiality of any information obtained in connection with an employee request for leave based upon a medical condition, and maintain strict compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Encourage a healthy workplace by promoting and requesting that employees adopt recommended infection control practices in the workplace.
  • Discourage intraoffice conversations that:
    • Blame colleagues for spreading contagion.
    • Assume someone has COVID-19.
    • Mock those who have COVID-19.
    • Disclose the personal health status and medical conditions of others.
    • Politicize issues (i.e. face coverings, compliance with public health mandates, etc.).
  • Inform employees that offices and common spaces will be cleaned by custodial staff and as directed by Risk Management/Environmental Health and Safety and CMU Health in accordance with latest U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.
  • Ask employees to disclose personal health status or medical conditions.
  • Discuss, question or list concerns regarding an employee's symptoms or perceived medical condition publicly or in open spaces.
  • Threaten an employee's employment status based upon recent travel or based upon their exposure to someone returning from travel.
  • Assume an employee has contracted COVID-19 upon return from travel.
  • Compromise their composure or leadership when leading in this challenging time.

CMU Communication of Positive Cases

Daily COVID-19 updates are available to the campus community via the CMU COVID-19 confirmed cases page.

You may receive questions about where individuals who test positive for COVID-19 have worked on campus. CMU reports daily an updated count of the number of positive cases on campus, yet cases are identified on campus only in broad terms for the following reasons:

  • To protect the privacy of the infected individual, no identifying information will be shared, including the location of their workspace.
  • CMU works with the CMDHD to conduct thorough contact tracing. CMU community members who are close contacts will be contacted by the health department or the CMU COVID Tracking Team.
  • By following the personal safety practices outlined by the CDC, which include handwashing, wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing, most individuals can reduce their risk of exposure to the virus.

Remember: Every daily activity conducted outside the home carries some risk of exposure, including visits to the grocery store, gas station and the homes of neighbors, friends and family. Precautions such as wearing a face covering, frequent handwashing and personal disinfection are important steps to stay safe.

Expectations of Supervisors and Action Steps – Quick Guide

It is critical that supervisors know the full protocol for how positive cases are handled to:

  • Ensure that they follow protocol should a case arise in their area.
  • Help lessen employees' fears.

It is important that supervisors communicate with their direct reports in a manner that aligns with CMU's established protocols so that we:

  • Consistently reinforce messages on social distancing, masks, handwashing and using the mandatory CMU health screening app.
  • Maintain consistent messaging throughout the university.
  • Maintain reassuring and appropriate communication with employees.
  • Minimize potential anxiety experienced by employees.
  • Maintain behavior consistent with CMU Leadership Standards.

How to address issues of noncompliance

What should you do when you see someone without a face covering when they should be wearing one? Most of the time, just a friendly reminder is all that is needed, and even those conversations can be difficult to start. But what about the difficult situations where someone simply doesn't want to comply with our protocols, or the person is two reporting levels above you? Listen in on the recording of a panel discussion with CMU staff and administrators for tips and answers to these questions and more.

Watch panel discussion (Global ID required)

Frequently asked questions for supervisors

  • Direct the employee to complete the CMU health screening app so they can be contacted by the CMU COVID Tracking Team (which includes CMU Health).
  • Limit discussion to asking about the presence of only COVID-related symptoms.
  • Do not ask about underlying medical conditions.
  • You may not mandate that an employee not report to work because the employee disclosed, or you are aware of, a medical condition unrelated to COVID-19.
  • The employee must follow the guidance of their health care provider, CMU Health or the Central Michigan District Health Department. Employees whose health care provider advises them to self-isolate may claim sick time or they may ask to work remotely.
  • Immediately report the information to
  • If in doubt about whether an employee’s symptoms are consistent with COVID-19, advise the individual to stay home until they have no symptoms or have been in contact with their primary care provider or CMU Health for further assessment and testing if indicated.
  • Immediately send the employee home and encourage them to self-quarantine.
  • Direct the employee to complete the CMU health screening app so they can be contacted by the CMU COVID Tracking Team (which includes CMU Health).
  • Instruct the employee to contact their own health care provider or, if they can't get an appointment with their health care provider, complete the CMU health screening app to be contacted by CMU Health. The provider will give further direction on the next actions to be taken.
  • The employee must follow the guidance of their health care provider, CMU Health or the Central Michigan District Health Department. Employees whose health care provider advises them to self-quarantine or isolate may claim sick time or they may ask to work remotely.
  • Immediately report the information to
  • If in doubt about whether an employee’s symptoms are consistent with COVID-19, advise the individual to stay home until they have no symptoms or have been in contact with their primary care provider or CMU Health for further assessment and testing if indicated.
  • Offices and common spaces will be cleaned by custodial staff and as directed by Risk Management/Environmental Health and Safety, and in accordance with latest CDC guidance.
  • Immediately notify
  • Instruct the employee they are not to report to work until they have reached their release date determined by the CMU COVID Tracking Team or the public health official they spoke with.
  • If they are having symptoms, instruct the employee to call their primary care provider or CMU Health for assessment, if they haven't already done so.
  • If tested at CMU, inform the employee that CMU Health will report positive test results to CMDHD, and the individual will be contacted to determine appropriate actions.
  • Employees in isolation may claim sick time or they may request to work remotely.
  • No. The person’s identity is confidential.
  • Reasons for employees being absent are confidential unless the absent employee chooses to share. You may say only "Pat will not be at work today."
  • You may tell other employees an employee has tested positive and that they would be notified by the health department if they were considered to be a close contact with that person. The language below is offered as an example:
    "For any cases that emerge among the university community, CMU Health and the Central Michigan District Health Department will determine if contact tracing is warranted. If you don't receive a notification from CMU Health or CMDHD, there is no further action needed on your part. Please continue to monitor yourself closely for symptoms and practice disease prevention behaviors such as wearing a face covering, hand washing and social distancing. Should you not feel well, please stay home and contact your primary care provider or CMU Health."
  • The COVID-positive employee plays the primary role in contact tracing and should notify all known close contacts.
  • CMDHD endeavors to perform contact tracing.
  • Employees contacted may be directed by the CMU COVID Tracking Team or a public health official to obtain a COVID test and will most likely be placed in self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Remind them of the CDC definition of close contact above.
  • If this does not reassure the employee, suggest they complete the CMU health screening app and talk with the CMU COVID Tracking Team, and to schedule a test by emailing

Speak to the coworker with suspected exposure to COVID-19 to learn more about their concerns.

  • If that employee is not demonstrating symptoms but believes they were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, advise the employee to complete the CMU health screening app questionnaire and respond "yes" to the "contact with others" question.
  • As a supervisor, you must immediately report the information to
  • Encourage the employee to observe requirements for face coverings, social distancing and frequent handwashing.
  • Consider remote work, if practical.

When a public health official or health care provider has directed the employee to self-isolate due to symptoms, the employee must meet all of the following criteria before returning to the workplace:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  2. Improvement in symptoms — e.g. cough, shortness of breath.
  3. At least 14 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  4. Past their isolation release date and received a confirmation email from the CMU COVID Tracking Team.

Based on CDC guidance, the employee may return to work only after all of the following conditions are met:

  1. At least 14 days have passed since symptom onset.
  2. At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  3. Other symptoms have improved.

Employees who never develop COVID-19 symptoms may discontinue isolation and other precautions 14 days after the date of their first positive test.

  • The employee should complete the CMU health screening app to notify the CMU COVID Tracking Team of their close contact status. They will be provided an initial release date, pending health department review.
  • On the day before release from quarantine, the employee will receive an email from the CMU COVID Tracking Team notifying them of the pending release.
  • If a quarantined employee has completed a 14 day self-quarantine without developing symptoms, the employee may return to work after the 14th day without a return-to-work slip from an appropriate health official.
  • If a quarantined employee develops symptoms or tests positive during the self-quarantine, the employee must follow the requirements of their health care provider or CMU Health. See the guidance above for an employee with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result.
  • A return-to-work note from a doctor is no longer required, however returning employees should have some notice from a health department authority or from indicating they have been released from quarantine (based on the standard for days in quarantine following a close contact).
  • If a faculty member, staff member or student employee believes they have contracted COVID-19 after exposure to a known COVID-19 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.

COVID-19 Workplace Training Resources for Employees

At Central Michigan University, we are committed to the health and safety of each person in our campus community. We all have personal accountability and must be conscientious and responsible community members.

To help you understand the requirements and expectations for working on campus, CMU will provide training for all employees as guidance with resources for assistance. This also fulfills a state mandate to safeguard our employees by providing training. The training will be distributed by email to all employees, and acknowledgement of receipt and completion will be required.

CMU employees must access and complete this training through this page to fulfill the mandatory requirement.

The pandemic is a complex and fluid situation that continues to evolve rapidly. All information is subject to change as deemed necessary by CMU's Emergency Management Team in accordance with guidance and recommendations from federal, state and local public health and government officials.

For questions related to this training or the requirement, please contact Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety, at 989-774-7398.

Office Environments

If your office has an open floor plan, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and others. You may need to change your seating arrangements to achieve safe social distance, and position your chair so you are not directly facing another person.

  • Wear a mask or face covering at all times in shared workspaces.
  • Use your own computer, phone and other equipment. Do not use a colleague's equipment.

Each division and department should assess open work environments, shared spaces and meeting rooms, and adopt measures to physically separate and increase distance between employees, guests, visitors and customers, such as:

  • Place visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape or signs to indicate where people should stand while waiting.
  • Place “keep right” signage for large open workspaces with multiple throughways to increase distance between employees moving through the space.
  • Remove all shared resources, such as community pen holders, shared staplers and other office supplies.

In private offices, no more than one person should be in the office unless at least 6 feet of social distance can be maintained at all times. Face masks or coverings should be worn at all times if more than one person is in the room. In reception and receiving areas, face masks or coverings must be worn by every person at all times. Face masks or coverings must be worn at all times on campus in public areas, such as common workspaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, conference rooms and break rooms.

Workspace Considerations

  • Consider making the physical workspace less dense through use of flexible scheduling and modified seating arrangements.
  • Consider relocating computers on desks or rotating chairs and desks to face away from nearby co-workers.
  • Restrict use of any shared items or spaces.
    • Require individuals to disinfect after using shared items such as handles on refrigerators, microwaves and coffee pots.
    • Drinking fountains are no longer available for use; however, water bottle filling stations remain operational.
    • Avoid using other employees' phones, desk, work tools and office supplies.
  • Place markings on the floor using approved tape from University Stores, stickers via Printing Services, sign holders or other devices that will not permanently deface surfaces to promote social distancing at reception desks and service counters, time clock stations and anywhere lines may form.
  • Consider sneeze guards at reception desks and customer counters. With vice presidential approval, sneeze guards are available from
  • Place signs or markers to direct flow of traffic to enforce social distancing and to encourage everyone to keep right in hallways and stairwells.
  • Self-limit the number of passengers in elevators to ensure social distancing; use the stairs whenever possible.
  • Post the “Help prevent the spread of COVID-19” printable poster.