MARQUETTE- A rise in COVID-19 infections in Marquette and surrounding counties will impact classes at Northern Michigan University this week. In an email on Sunday, Interim NMU President Kerri Schuiling cancelled Monday and Tuesday on-campus classes. Schuiling said web classes on those days will still be held. All classes, with the exception of labs and clinics will be held remotely for the rest of the week. The university has enough KN95 masks so students and instructors can attend labs and clinics as scheduled.
The university’s COVID team met Sunday and decided to change masking protocols. Schuiling said cloth masks provide little to no prevention from the Omicron variant of the virus, meaning university staff and students will need to wear N95 masks or double mask.
Schuiling said the university has ordered 12,000 KN95 masks for students. The masks should arrive on Wednesday. All students in residence halls need to double mask until they get an N95 mask distributed to them.
Faculty are asked to use Monday and Tuesday as days to adapt courses to be held remotely for the remainder of the week.
Northern’s business operations will be open Monday and Tuesday but all University employees are required to wear an N95, KN95 or KF94 mask. The masks are already available to university employees at NMU Public Safety and should be picked up by end of business on Monday.
Since the start of the pandemic, the protocol for KN95/N95 mask use is that these types of masks – while not washable – are reusable until they become soiled, at which time they should be replaced.
Northern will provide details about additional mask availability when they are finalized.
“While it is our hope that we will only have to hold classes remotely through this week, as always, we ask that everyone remain flexible due to the ever-changing landscape COVID brings.” Schuiling said.