Email to Faculty, Staff, and Students: MTU COVID-19 Updates

By MTU Communications,

This email shares new updates and summarizes recent communications posted to the MTU COVID-19 website

New Updates

Today’s update regarding COVID-19 prevention measures on campus: The University continues to be in communication with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, which will be our primary source of information regarding test-positive cases in our community. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is releasing daily updates regarding cases in Michigan. MLive is updating a state-wide map of counties which have positive test cases.

At this time, we have no confirmed cases on our campus or in the community. However, since this is a rapidly changing situation, we are preparing for a range of possibilities. We are aware that some community members are voluntarily choosing to self-isolate for a variety of reasons — for instance, they live with a person whom the CDC considers high-risk and want to minimize the possibility of exposure. We commend them for following CDC guidance and offer our continued support.

The University remains in a position to provide our students with maximum flexibility to finish their classes. The University continues to urge students and employees to practice preventative measures, such as social distancing and regular handwashing. Gatherings of 25 people or more are strongly discouraged and gatherings of 100 people or more are prohibited.

In the face of a multitude of scenarios, we want to assure you that we remain prepared and vigilant. As we navigate this unprecedented time, the well-being of our University community is a top priority. 

Little Huskies: Little Huskies will be closed effective Monday, March 16 until at least Monday, March 30. This date is subject to change due to the ever-shifting nature of the current viral outbreak.

Little Huskies Email

Dear Gretchen’s House Families and Staff,

After careful consideration, we have decided to close all Gretchen’s House centers, effective Monday, March 16th. Gretchen’s House will remain closed for two weeks with an anticipated reopening date of Monday, March 30th. Please note that the reopening date is merely a projection and could change due to the ever-shifting nature of the current viral outbreak.

This decision was not made lightly. We have received guidance from our health consultants and families who work in the public health arena. Health, wellness, and safety of the community are a top priority for Gretchen’s House. We feel a social responsibility to help slow the spread of the virus, knowing that students and staff have family members of all ages and differing health vulnerabilities.

In addition to complying with the recommendation for social distancing, we are already finding it difficult to maintain required supplies of food and sanitation items. We project staffing shortages over the next couple of weeks as well. These concerns have weighed heavily in our decision to close temporarily.

We appreciate the support and concern many of you have expressed for our staff. Please know that all full and part-time staff with regular schedules will be paid, just as they are during snow days. For this reason, there will be no tuition reimbursement for this closing.

We know that there are families whose work is deemed essential to the health and safety of our community. We do have staff from each center who are willing to babysit for individual families in their homes. This is not meant to be a full time arrangement during the closure. Directors will provide a list of emails for those staff who are willing to be contacted for brief, temporary coverage. We are so grateful to our staff for their generosity and care for children. Please do not contact staff who have not agreed to be on this list, even if they have provided babysitting for you in the past. We want to respect all staff members’ individual decisions regarding health choices.

While we are choosing to temporarily close, we understand that this decision will cause childcare or financial hardships for some families, and for that we sincerely apologize. Our administrative team plans to meet again early next week to discuss additional measures, safety protocols, and financial policies. We will update you and communicate any changes immediately.


Heidi McFadden
Executive Director
Gretchen’s House Child Care Centers


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Questions and suggestions from the MTU community about the University’s response to COVID-19 can be sent to

This email communication is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered to be providing medical or legal advice. In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.

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