Category: COVID-19 Testing

MTU Flex Team Summary for the Week Ending April 2, 2021

by MTU Flex Task Force

The moving 14-day total of detected COVID-19 cases is 10, compared to 13 last week. We conducted 210 surveillance tests this week, with one detected case, for a detection rate of .50 percent. Currently, less than 5 percent of on-campus isolation space is in use.

To ensure we continue to see adequate turnout for surveillance testing, we announced yesterday that, starting this week and continuing through the end of the spring semester, all students participating in surveillance testing will be entered into a drawing for one of three potential prizes:

  1. Two center-ice tickets to all home hockey games next season, plus one hockey jersey
  2. A $250 gift card to the bookstore
  3. A preferred parking pass for Lot 11 or a predetermined metered space on campus for the entire 2021-22 academic year

The drawing will occur and winners will be notified during finals week.  

As a reminder, under our current Health and Safety Level Protocolthe University’s face covering policy applies to everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status. Please continue to wear your face covering, even if you are vaccinated.


MTU Flex Team Summary for the Week Ending March 26, 2021

by MTU Flex Task Force

The moving 14-day total of detected COVID-19 cases is 13, compared to 14 last week. We conducted 716 surveillance tests this week, with one detected case, for a detection rate of .10 percent. Currently, 8 percent of on-campus isolation space is in use.

Under our current Health and Safety Level Protocolthe University’s face covering policy applies to everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status. Please continue to wear your face covering, even if you are vaccinated.

Huskies, we are grateful to those of you who participated in the Post-Spring Break Testing Clinics and who continue to do your part to keep our campus safe. We know many of you are feeling the stress that comes at the end of the semester, and some of you have let us know you’re tired of participating in surveillance testing. We understand—this has been a long haul. We have almost reached the finish line, though, and we need you to lean into your grit and tenacity. Please keep showing up when asked to get tested. Help us keep our campus open and our community safe for the rest of the spring semester. 

As noted in last week’s digest, we know many of you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and when it will become available. One of the best resources for Western UP vaccine information is the Copper Country Strong website. Additionally, we have created a vaccine information web page and FAQs intended to be specific to the Michigan Tech community. We will continue to update the web page and FAQs as more information becomes available. You may also want to review our vaccine updates from January 26 and March 4


MTU Flex Team Summary for the Week Ending March 19, 2021

by MTU Flex Task Force

The moving 14-day total of detected COVID-19 cases is 14, compared to 25 the week ending March 5, which was the week before spring break. We did not conduct surveillance testing this week in anticipation of our Post-Spring Break Testing Clinics (more on this below). Currently, 6 percent of on-campus isolation space is in use. 

We know many of you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and when it will become available. While answers to these questions are still a bit unclear, our goal is always to share updates and information with you as soon as possible. Please review our vaccine updates from January 26 and March 4. One of the best resources for Western UP vaccine information is the Copper Country Strong website. Additionally, we have created a vaccine information web page and FAQs intended to be specific to the Michigan Tech community. We will continue to update the web page and FAQs as more information becomes available. 

Our Post-Spring Break Testing Clinics begin this afternoon. If you are a student who traveled outside Houghton County during spring break, we strongly encourage you to participate. The Clinics run until March 23 in the SDC varsity gym. There’s no need to schedule an appointment—feel free to show up anytime during your testing window: 

  • Daniell Heights Apartments: Friday, March 19, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Off-campus graduate students: Friday, March 19, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Wadsworth Hall: Saturday, March 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Douglass Houghton Hall: Sunday, March 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Hillside Place: Sunday, March 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • West and East McNair: Sunday, March 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Off-campus undergraduates with last names A-K: Monday, March 22, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Off-campus undergraduates with last names L-Z: Tuesday, March 23, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.


MTU Flex Team Summary for the Week Ending March 5, 2021

by MTU Flex Task Force

The moving 14-day total of detected COVID-19 cases is 25 as of today, compared to 45 last week. Our weekly surveillance detection rate remains low, at 1 percent. We increased on-demand testing for students this week in anticipation of spring break, and between March 1 and 5, we conducted 253 non-surveillance tests, with only two detected cases in that time period. Currently, 2 percent of on-campus isolation space is in use.

On-demand testing will be available for students the week following spring break (March 15-18). However, if you are a student who travels outside Houghton County during spring break, we strongly encourage you to participate in our Post-Spring Break Testing Clinics instead of scheduling an on-demand test. The Clinics will run from March 19-23 in the SDC varsity gym. There’s no need to schedule an appointment—feel free to show up anytime during your testing window:

  • Daniell Heights Apartments: Friday, March 19, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Off-campus graduate students: Friday, March 19, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Wadsworth Hall: Saturday, March 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Douglass Houghton Hall: Sunday, March 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Hillside Place: Sunday, March 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • West and East McNair: Sunday, March 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Off-campus undergraduates with last names A-K: Monday, March 22, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Off-campus undergraduates with last names L-Z: Tuesday, March 23, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Please check out the MTU Flex blog for tips on traveling safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also check out last week’s digest for information on what to do when you return to campus after traveling domestically or internationally during the break.

Thank you, and enjoy spring break!


Spring Break Prep: Notes from the MTU Flex Team

by MTU Flex Task Force

Our spring semester surveillance testing program is well underway. Between February 20 and 26, we conducted 338 tests and detected two cases, for a positivity rate of 0.60 percent. Our 14-day moving total, which includes non-surveillance test results, is 45 detected cases. Currently, less than 7 percent of on-campus isolation space is being used.

With spring break coming up fast, the University is offering on-demand, asymptomatic testing for students next week, March 1-5. Space is limited, so students should schedule a test as soon as possible by texting Hello to 906-257-9677 and following the prompts. Those who do not have access to texting can schedule an appointment by calling Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center at 906-483-1860.

On-demand testing will also be available for students the week following spring break (March 15-18). And, we’re organizing Post-Spring Break Testing Clinics starting March 19. We ask that students who travel during break take part in these clinics instead of scheduling an on-demand test. More information on post-spring break testing will be provided soon. Information on asymptomatic testing for employees is available on the COVID-19 Testing Information for Employees web page.

Please check out the MTU Flex blog for tips on traveling safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you travel domestically during spring break (outside Houghton County but within the United States), Michigan Tech needs you to limit your social activity for seven days after travel and monitor yourself for symptoms. The CDC has extensive post-travel recommendations—check them out. (Please keep in mind that limiting your social activity refers to activities outside the classroom. You are permitted to go to class.) 

If you travel internationally, you are required to remain away from campus for 14 days after you return, as outlined in our Health and Safety Levels Protocol. Michigan Tech strongly encourages students and employees to quarantine during this period and get tested five to seven days after international travel.

Finally, no matter your destination, please consider taking the following precautions after you return from travel to protect others from COVID-19:

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least six feet from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere—indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in public.
  • If any people in your household did not travel with you, wear a face covering—and ask everyone in the household to wear one too—in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19.


MTU Flex Team Summary for the Week Ending January 15

by MTU Flex Task Force

Welcome to the spring semester and thanks to all students who have scheduled or taken their baseline COVID-19 test. So far this week, we’ve conducted 972 tests with a total of 10 detections for a positivity rate of 1 percent. Currently, less than 6 percent of on-campus isolation space is being used.

Working with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD), the University hosted its first COVID-19 vaccine clinic this week for Phase 1A personnel. This cohort includes COVID-19 testing lab employees and EMS first responders, as well as other health care personnel and police officers. Next week, the University will announce its employee vaccination program in Tech Today. 

Please show support for our health care workers by helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19. For students who have not scheduled a baseline test, please text Hello to 906-257-9677 and follow the prompts. This scheduling number is new for spring—if you have the old number saved, please update it. Alternatively, you can schedule an appointment by calling the Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center (UGL) at 906-483-1860.

As campus returns to Health and Safety Level Three today, our primary focus remains on providing an environment allowing our students to continue with face-to-face instruction. We’ve ramped up our baseline and surveillance testing programs and will continue our face covering and social distancing requirements for the foreseeable future.

For those of you traveling back to Houghton this week, safe travels.


Spring 2021: Important Information About Your Return-to-Campus COVID-19 Test

by MTU Flex Task Force

Hi Huskies,

Wherever you are, we hope you’re enjoying the holiday season and getting plenty of time to rest and rejuvenate before the spring semester starts.

Whether you left the Houghton area over winter break or stayed put, all students are expected to participate in return-to-campus testing, aka baseline testing, for COVID-19 this January. You do not need to participate if you tested positive for the virus within 90 days prior to your return to campus. Please notify the MTU Flex Task Force of your positive test using the Report a COVID-19 Test form, if you haven’t already.

Below you will find the information you need to know now about getting tested in January. This and other information about Michigan Tech’s testing program can also be found on the COVID-19 Testing Information for Students web page.

Scheduling a Test

All baseline testing will be scheduled via text message. To schedule yours, text Hello to 906-257-9677 and follow the prompts. This scheduling number is new for spring—if you have the old number saved, please update it. Those who do not have access to texting can schedule an appointment by calling Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center (UGL) at 906-483-1860.

Testing Location

As most of you know from the fall semester, on-campus testing usually takes place in the MUB Alumni Lounge. At the start of the spring semester, we’re going to switch things up to make sure we can efficiently and safely test every student who returns to campus.

From January 4-8, on-campus asymptomatic testing will take place in the MUB Alumni Lounge. If you plan to return to campus early, or if you never left the Houghton area, we encourage you to schedule your test as soon as possible so that you can get tested prior to the rush of move-in weekend.

From January 11-18, on-campus asymptomatic testing will take place in the Multipurpose Room of the Student Development Complex. During that time period, the MUB Alumni Lounge will be the testing location for symptomatic individuals only. Regularly scheduled shuttle service to the SDC will be available for students participating in baseline testing.

From January 19 through the rest of the semester, on-campus surveillance testing will take place in the MUB Alumni Lounge.

Take a Test, Win Cool Stuff

Every student who participates in baseline testing will be eligible to enter a drawing for prizes that include free parking for two semesters in a coveted location. Look for more information about the drawing and prizes as we get closer to the start of the spring semester.

Please reach out to mtuflex@mtu.edu with questions. We look forward to seeing you in January.

Happy New Year,
MTU Flex Task Force


COVID-19 Testing for Employees Working on Campus after Thanksgiving Break

by University Marketing and Communications

As a result of increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Western Upper Peninsula and statewide, the MTU Flex Task Force asks that certain Michigan Tech employees get tested for COVID-19 following Thanksgiving break.

“Employees who need to be on campus after Thanksgiving break and who either traveled or gathered with others beyond their normal circle are being asked to get tested for COVID-19 the week of their return to campus and again the following week,” said Joel Isaacson, project manager of the MTU Flex Task Force and the University’s senior associate athletic director. “We encourage those employees to limit their interactions with others between these two tests.”

Supervisors of student workers are responsible for telling students how to get tested if they return to campus after Thanksgiving break. The process for scheduling an asymptomatic test is identical for both employees and students. Simply text Hello to 906-256-6466 and follow the prompts. Employees and students who do not have access to texting can schedule an appointment by calling Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center (UGL) at 906-483-1860.

Isaacson said employees and students who are symptomatic or believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should call UGL at 906-483-1860 to schedule a test and should not schedule an on-demand test via text message. Isaacson noted that anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days does not need to get tested.

Everyone should continue to exercise personal hygiene and safety practices during and after Thanksgiving break. Many cases of COVID-19 are asymptomatic, and people who do have symptoms frequently exhibit only a sore throat and congestion, similar to a mild cold.

“Remember to wash your hands frequently with soap, wear a face covering, and limit social interactions to a small group of family and friends. We want everyone to have a healthy holiday season,” Isaacson said.

Please direct questions to mtuflex@mtu.edu.


MTU Flex Team Summary for the Week Ending November 6

by MTU Flex Task Force

The moving 14-day total of detected COVID-19 cases this week is 31, compared to 18 the week before. Our weekly surveillance detection rate remains low, at 1 percent. Currently, less than 10 percent of on-campus isolation space is in use. Please continue to report all COVID-19 close contact and symptoms through the Daily Symptom Monitoring Form.

After last week’s announcement that we would provide increased on-demand, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for students the week before Thanksgiving break, we received an impressive and enthusiastic response from the student community. As a result, we decided to increase on-demand testing a week ahead of schedule. Beginning Monday, November 9, and continuing through the rest of the semester, on-demand tests for students will be available on campus Monday through Thursday in the MUB Alumni Lounge. On-demand testing for students will not be available during the Thanksgiving break, from November 23 to 27. More information is available on the COVID-19 Testing Information for Students web page.

This increase in on-demand student testing does not impact our testing arrangements for temporary and regular employees who work 20 or more hours per week. Employees who meet this criteria may receive up to two free asymptomatic COVID-19 tests on campus during the fall semester.

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving break, anyone planning to travel should limit social interaction for two weeks prior in order to lower your chances of contracting COVID-19. If you plan to head home on Friday, November 20, you should reduce your social interaction starting today. You can do this by keeping your social gatherings small and, if possible, limited to the same group of people. Kelly Kamm, Michigan Tech’s epidemiologist and an assistant professor of kinesiology and integrative physiology, offered other travel tips in a recent Tech Today article.

We announced earlier this week that, thanks to a gift from the Portage Health Foundation, our COVID-19 Testing Lab will soon be able to process nearly twice as many tests in half the time and with fewer personnel. Other contributions to the COVID-19 lab and community testing efforts include:

  • 10,000 face shields and 50,000 face coverings from Ford
  • $73,000 in powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) equipment for lab and hospital use, along with PAPR equipment training, from Dow
  • $4,300 in hand sanitizer (equal to 600 bottles) from Kimberly-Clark

Again, thank you for all 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.edu/flex/testing.


Increased COVID-19 Testing for Students Nov. 16-20

by MTU Flex Task Force

With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching and many students planning to travel home, the University has made arrangements to increase on-demand, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for students during the week of Nov. 16-20. Students have been made aware that testing will be available and that final details about how to schedule a test will be provided in the near future.

This increase in on-demand student testing does not impact our testing arrangements for temporary and regular employees who work 20 or more hours per week. Employees who meet this criteria may receive up to two free asymptomatic COVID-19 tests on campus during the fall semester.

If you work closely with students, please be aware that all on-demand, asymptomatic COVID-19 tests for students during the week of Nov. 16-20 will be scheduled via text message. Students should not attempt to schedule an on-demand test for that week until final scheduling details are provided through email and updates to the COVID-19 Testing Information for Students web page.

We have also asked students to limit their social interaction for two weeks prior to travel. For example, if they plan to drive home Friday, Nov. 20, they should start limiting their social interaction next Friday, Nov. 6, by keeping their social gatherings small and, if possible, limited to the same group of people. 

For more information, please visit mtu.edu/flex. Please send questions to mtuflex@mtu.edu.