Author: Heather Powers

Move to Health and Safety Level Four on November 23

by Rick Koubek, President

Dear Members of the Michigan Tech Community: 

I want to begin this email by restating how proud I am of the MTU campus community’s behavior throughout this pandemic. We have kept our case counts under control with positivity rates well below statewide averages. Classes are progressing, and we continue to move forward as a University. However, we are cognizant of the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases around us—in the UP, Michigan, and neighboring states. Projections show this outbreak growing through the end of the year, and these are all areas students will be visiting during Thanksgiving break. In response, Michigan Tech will transition to Health and Safety Level Four effective Monday, November 23. This transition is a targeted effort to mitigate further spread among our community at large by significantly reducing the number of people on campus after Thanksgiving.

Lecture-based classes will move to a remote format after the Thanksgiving break. However, a small number of labs, Enterprise, Senior Design, and other hands-on courses (including graduate research) will remain face-to-face. Instructors will notify their students early next week whether their classes will continue with face-to-face instruction. Students who continue with face-to-face instruction after Thanksgiving will be tested for COVID-19 upon their return to campus, and then again during the following week. 

We ask students living in the residence halls who do not have face-to-face classes after Thanksgiving to leave their residence hall at the Thanksgiving break and not return for the remainder of the semester. Students leaving the residence halls will receive prorated housing and dining credit/refunds. All students will receive additional information early next week regarding University housing.

Effective November 23, on-campus indoor gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings may not exceed 25 people, which may affect planned student activities. The library, SDC, dining halls, transportation services, and other student support offices will remain operational. However, retail dining facilities will be closed beginning Monday, November 23, until further notice. 

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

With this shift, we ask supervisors to accommodate employees who are able to work from home. 

And, finally, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we are grateful to all of you for helping to keep Michigan Tech safe and healthy. Thank you for doing your part, and for being part of our outstanding community.

Rick Koubek

MTU Flex Team Summary: Week Ending October 2

by MTU Flex Task Force

Our moving 14-day total of detected COVID-19 cases continues to decline, from 63 last week to 48 this week, and our weekly surveillance detection rate remains low at 1.5%. On-campus isolation capacity remains very strong, with less than 6 percent of spaces occupied at this time. Our testing statistics web page now includes a downloadable document containing historical data from the Michigan Tech testing program from September 10 to present day. This document will continue to be updated moving forward. 

In order to continue to support the greater community, Michigan Tech has offered space for a COVID-19 testing event for Copper Country residents. This testing, organized by the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and conducted by the Michigan National Guard, will occur this Saturday, October 3, in the parking lot between Gates Tennis Center and the football stadium. This is on-demand (no appointment needed), drive-up, nasopharyngeal testing. This testing is not part of Michigan Tech’s testing program. If Michigan Tech community members choose to participate, they will need to report their test results using the Report a COVID-19 Test form. Results will not come directly to Michigan Tech.

Thank you for everything you are doing to keep our community protected and safe. If you have any questions regarding Michigan Tech’s surveillance testing program, please visit

MTU Flex Team Summary: Week Ending September 18

by MTU Flex Team

Our second full week of surveillance testing is nearly complete. The last seven days resulted in 544 surveillance tests conducted, with a detection rate of 1.5 percent, or eight cases where COVID-19 was detected. Student participation in testing remains strong, as weekly total test goals were surpassed both this week and last. We thank all students who participated.   

Our testing suggests that transmission, while occurring at a lower rate than in past weeks, could be happening in shared housing situations and within a case’s immediate social circle. We are unaware of any spread related to on-campus educational activity.