Michigan Tech to Shift to Health and Safety Level Four

by Rick Koubek, President

Thanks to the collective work of our employees and students, detected cases of COVID-19 in our student population continue to decline. But, as we work to satisfy our mission as an educational institution, we remain mindful of our commitment to the community. 

The Copper Country has seen a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Given the seriousness of the situation, Michigan Tech will transition to Health and Safety Level Four for a period of two weeks (through October 11) effective Monday, September 28. This transition is a targeted effort to mitigate further spread among our community at large by temporarily reducing the density of people on campus.

During this time, lecture-based classes will move to an entirely remote format, starting no later than Wednesday, September 30 (faculty who are able to make the shift earlier should communicate with their students). Instructors are asked to inform students regarding the modality of their lab, Senior Design, Enterprise, and other experiential-based courses no later than Tuesday afternoon. 

We ask students to remain vigilant in practicing personal safety measures, completing the Daily Symptom Monitoring Form, and avoiding group gatherings in the larger community— particularly indoors—over the next two weeks. On campus, indoor gatherings remain limited to no more than 10 people; however, outdoor gatherings are now limited to no more than 25 people, which may affect planned student activities. The library, SDC, dining halls, transportation services, and other student support offices will remain operational. 

Research activities on campus will continue with slight modifications. Information will be posted on the COVID-19 Research Information web page Monday.

With this shift, we ask supervisors to accommodate employees who are able to work from home or those impacted by local K-12 schools’ pause in in-person instruction. Supervisors will receive further instructions later today. 

Additionally, the COVID-19 Testing Lab will temporarily allocate 30 percent more of its surveillance testing capacity for public testing. During September, the lab has processed nearly 2,000 tests for the community. 

For 135 years, Michigan Tech has been proud to call Houghton home. Now, more than ever, we must stand united in support of our neighbors and friends. The community is counting on us to be as vigilant as ever. I know we will do our part to help mitigate the spread of the virus. By working together, we will get through this.