Return to Campus: The Status of Campus
Editor's Note: We continue our series regarding operations as the University enters Step Three in our Return to Campus Plan this fall. This semi-weekly series runs Tuesdays and Thursdays through July 14.
Last month, Michigan Tech began Step Two of our Return to Campus Plan. As the University prepares for Step Three, students and employees, understandably, have questions. To address the student experience, we spoke with Sarah Schulte, general counsel and secretary to the Board of Trustees. Schulte said that once we enter Step Three and return to campus with the start of the fall semester, the University will immediately transfer to the five-tier Michigan Tech Campus Health and Safety Level system.
Q: How will we be making decisions regarding moving from level to level? When are those decisions made?
SS: These decisions will be made in real time by campus leadership, using data from MTU's testing program (symptomatic and asymptomatic), data from Houghton county, including health care capacity (which has remained strong so far), and giving consideration to the academic calendar and the likelihood of travel. Our goal is to open safely in the fall and to keep our campus community safe — both to protect individuals' health and to keep our campus open and educating students.
Q: Is information on the Health and Safety Levels available?
SS: Yes, it is available on the MTU Flex Portal.
Q: How will outbreaks on other campuses affect the status of Michigan Tech?
SS: Outbreaks on other campuses alone are not likely to significantly affect Michigan Tech's Health and Safety Level. If we have individuals traveling to or from a campus with an outbreak, targeted additional protective measures are likely, and could range from heightened screening to testing to quarantine.
Q: How will outbreaks in the region affect the status of Michigan Tech?
SS: Outbreaks in Houghton County are important to Michigan Tech's Campus Health and Safety Level to the extent they restrict the health care capacity in the community and increase the risk to students and employees engaging with the community. Michigan Tech is in regular contact with the area health care providers and the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, and is monitoring the community health and health care capacity on an ongoing basis.
Up next: In our next installment on Tuesday, July 7, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Jacqueline Huntoon will address "Student and Faculty Flexing," as we return to campus.