In an effort to protect the health and safety of our community from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), effective March 16, 2020, Michigan Technological University will suspend all face-to-face instruction and move classes to a virtual instruction environment. This arrangement will remain in place until Friday, April 17, 2020. The University will decide by April 10, 2020, whether to extend the time period.
"We must all stay vigilant to help protect each other and our community from the potential effects of this virus," said Michigan Tech President Rick Koubek. "Michigan Tech's COVID-19 response team, consisting of University leadership and public health officials, has reviewed and is modifying as needed our plans for preventing the contraction and/or spread of COVID-19. Six University task forces have prepared for and are responding to implications and impacts on the campus community."
The University is taking this preemptive measure to mitigate potential impacts associated with the spread of the virus. Michigan Tech students are currently on Spring Break and the vast majority of them have traveled outside the Houghton-Hancock area. As there is no way to definitively know who, if anyone, has been exposed to COVID-19, the University is limiting the amount of time students will spend in close proximity to each other for at least 14 days after Spring Break ends.
"We are working closely with Michigan Tech to monitor developments related to COVID-19," said Pete Baril, director of community planning for the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department. "We thank them for their proactive approach in helping mitigate the impacts associated with the spread of the disease."
Michigan Tech students are permitted to return to campus, and each student is expected to make the choice that is best for their personal situation. On campus, the University strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to practice appropriate social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures. Because the University's priority is the community's health and safety, high-risk populations, as identified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are encouraged not to return to campus. All dining services and residential housing will remain open and operational.
At this time, Michigan Tech Athletics will not cancel or postpone any on- or off-campus athletics events and will remain in normal operation, consistent with guidance from the NCAA, GLIAC, and WCHA. The Athletics department may revisit this decision based on NCAA, CDC, or Western Upper Peninsula Health Department guidance, or as the situation warrants.
The health, safety and security of Michigan Tech students, faculty, staff, and fans will continue to guide the University's decision-making process moving forward. The University is working closely with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and following the guidance of the CDC in monitoring COVID-19 developments.
Please keep in mind this is a fluid situation and circumstances can change rapidly. The most up-to-date information is available at mtu.edu/covid-19.