MTU Flex

COVID-19 Return to Campus—Step One Protocol

The Return to Campus - Step One Protocol replaces the COVID-19 Stay at Home Protocol.

Effective Date

May 28, 2020

Expiration Date

Until Rescinded

I. Purpose

Effective on May 22, 2020, Region 8 of the State of Michigan, which consists of the Upper Peninsula, moved to Phase 4 of the State’s Safe Start plan. This movement allows Michigan Tech to launch Step One of its Return to Campus plan. This protocol is put in place in order to comply with applicable state and federal guidance and continue the state and nationwide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, while allowing a phased and scientifically-informed return to campus. Carefully returning employees and students to campus aligns with Michigan Tech’s mission and is essential for the economic health of the University, our employees, and the region.

II. Overview

Step One will begin the reopening process. Most faculty and staff will continue to work remotely, if possible. For those who are returning to work on campus, enhanced health and safety protocols will be enacted for their safety and the safety of the Michigan Tech community.

The goals for operation under Step One are as follows:

  • Campus services will begin operating at 15-25 percent capacity.
  • Employees present on campus will be required to self-monitor for symptoms daily.
  • The Michigan Tech COVID-19 testing program will be launched for symptomatic individuals.
  • Contact tracing and notification protocols for presumptive positive cases will be implemented.
  • Employees will be required to follow sanitation and hygiene requirements as determined by Michigan Tech.
  • The University will implement enhanced cleaning protocols.

Common areas will remain closed, including lounges and break rooms. Employees must remain six feet apart while working. If employees are unable to maintain a six-foot distance, they must wear protective face coverings, whether they are working indoors or outdoors. No more than 10 people will be allowed in a shared space on campus at any given time. Additionally, some critical travel may resume at a vice presidential level, evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The J. R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library, the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, dining facilities, and computer labs will remain closed to the public. Food and transportation services will also remain closed. Research labs will begin to reopen. The University will host no in-person public events during this period, but the golf course and Tech Trails will remain open for use by those employing social distancing measures.

III. Step One Compliance Requirements

  1. Consistent with the State’s Phase 4 orders, during Michigan Tech’s Step One, University employees who are able to perform their work remotely either in full or in part should continue to do so to the extent possible. Office workers who are not able to complete all or a portion of their work remotely, may return to work to complete work that requires their presence on campus if all of the criteria in this section are met.
  2. Supervisors who wish to return one or more employees to campus (full or part time) must complete a Return to Work Department Form and have it approved before any additional personnel can be brought to campus under Step One.
  3. Individuals listed on the approved Return to Work Department Form must complete MTU’s COVID-19 training by June 4, 2020, or before returning to work if not returning on or before June 4, 2020. A link to the training will be sent to individual employees after approval of the Return to Work Department Form on which they are identified. Additional training may be required by some disciplines or departments (e.g. research laboratories).

IV. Persons Permitted on Campus

Only persons described in this section may be on campus.

  1. Students residing in Daniell Heights may be in their residence.  They may not access other buildings on campus unless included in one of the categories below.   
  2. Employees of the Department of Public Safety and Police Services.
  3. Employees working in the COVID-19 Testing Lab or in support of the COVID-19 Testing Lab.
  4. Employees with approved access as of May 21, 2020. Employees in this category must also complete MTU’s COVID-19 training by June 4, 2020, or before returning to work if not returning on or before June 4, 2020.  A link to the training will be sent to individual employees.  
  5. Employees listed on a Step One Return to Work Department Form.
  6. Contractors approved for work by the Senior Vice President for Administration, for the limited dates and times approved.
  7. Employees who request and receive supervisor permission for short-term access, such as to pick up items that facilitate continued remote work.

V. Health and Safety Guidelines

  1. Persons permitted on campus under the terms of this protocol are required to monitor their symptoms daily prior to coming to campus in order to protect the health and safety of the campus community. To do so, they should utilize the Daily Symptom Tracking Form. Individuals who do not have access to a computer or smart phone prior to coming to campus should call Public Safety and Police Services at (906) 487-2216 and dispatch will assist in submitting the form on their behalf. Individual Husky Card tap access will deactivate each night at midnight and will reactivate within 5 minutes of completion of the Daily Symptom Tracking Form for those permitted on campus.
  2. Persons are not permitted on campus if they:
    1. Have a temperature of 100.4 °F or higher;
    2. Have unusual coughing; or
    3. Have unusual trouble breathing; or
    4. Have two or more of the following symptoms:  fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
    Employees and students who do not come to campus for any of these reasons will be asked to obtain a COVID-19 test or contact their medical provider for advice. MTU follows CDC guidance regarding when it is safe to return to campus.
  3. Permission to contact trace and notify close contacts.

    Any person who comes to campus agrees to comply with all terms of this protocol and, in the event that they test positive for COVID-19, agrees to share their test result with the University and grants permission for the University to trace their close contacts within the University community and notify them of the test result. The notification will not include the name of the person who tested positive, but in some situations the person notified may be able to determine the identity of the person based on their limited interactions on campus (e.g. there are only two individuals working within a space on campus).
  4. All students and employees are required to wear face coverings while in campus buildings unless working alone in their own office with the door closed. Employees working outdoors who are not able to maintain six foot distancing from others due to the nature of their work are also required to wear face coverings. Employees who need a face covering for this purpose should contact the Department of Public Safety and Police Services at 906-487-2216.
  5. Persons permitted on campus under the terms of this protocol may not gather in groups of more than 10 people within one shared space. In addition, individuals on campus must maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and others.
  6. Persons who are permitted on campus under this protocol and who test positive for COVID-19 must immediately report the positive test result. Reporting may be completed using the Daily Symptom Tracking Form or by contacting the Office of the General Counsel at 906-487-2229.
  7. Persons who are permitted on campus under this protocol who interacted with a person known or suspected to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days are required to self-report their contact. Reporting may be completed using the Daily Symptom Tracking Form or by contacting the Office of the General Counsel at 906-487-2229.

VI. Travel Restrictions

  1. University Travel Restrictions
    1. Only critical travel is permitted and all travel requires Vice President approval.
    2. It is strongly recommended that University Travel not involve transportation via shared carrier, including but not limited to airline flight, train, or commercial bus.
  2. Personal Travel Restrictions on Access to Campus

    Persons who travel outside of Regions 6 and 8 of the State of Michigan are required to remain away from campus for 14 days after their return to Regions 6 or 8.

VII. No Visitors Permitted on Campus

  1. At this time, no visitors are permitted on campus except as described in paragraphs B and C of this section. 
  2. Tech Trails members may utilize the Tech Trails so long as social distancing of at least six feet is maintained.
  3. Contractors identified by the Senior Vice President of Administration as requiring access to campus are permitted limited campus access required to perform the services they are contracted to perform.

VIII. Obtaining Medical Assistance

If you believe it is possible you have contracted COVID-19, please immediately contact Upper Great Lakes (906-483-1860), UP Health System Portage (906-483-1000), or Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital (906-337-6500) for medical advice. Please call ahead and tell them about your symptoms.


Sarah Schulte, General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees


  • Effective: May 28, 2020