A collage of students wearing masks.

COVID-19

Western Michigan University is returning to near-normal operations for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic year. We're offering a robust on-campus environment with a wide array of learning, living and cocurricular opportunities. 

Throughout the semester, it is our goal to keep you informed of any and all changes that may affect your campus experience. While we will continue to update you via email and social media, you may also check back here for timely updates.

Announcements

Announcements

Classroom masking ends May 6, masks no longer required on buses

On April 20, 2022, President Montgomery announced masking in indoor instructional spaces will end on May 6. Additionally, a federal mandate requiring masking on public transportation is no longer in effect, so masks are now optional on Metro Transit buses serving WMU.

Ending required testing, badging, health survey and physical distancing

On March 25, 2022, President Montgomery announced mandated COVID-19 testing, the daily health survey, the badging system and physical distancing are no longer required beginning Monday, March 28.

Campus messages

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has shared timely updates and announcements related to COVID-19 and vaccination protocol and procedure.

  • COVID-19 dashboard

    Keep up to date with the University's COVID-19 vaccination rate.

    View the dashboard

Western COVID-19 protocols

  • Vaccination

    The University strongly urges COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty or staff. The University does not require students, faculty or staff to reveal whether they have been fully vaccinated.

    Learn how to get vaccinated

  • Masking

    As of May 6, 2022, masking is only required at Sindecuse Health Center and Unified Clinics until further notice, which is in accordance with CDC and MDHHS guidance. 

     

    Frequently asked questions

    Are masks required in University health care settings, such as Sindecuse Health Center and Unified Clinics?
    Some health care settings serve patients who have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 while others do not. In health care settings, the person responsible for the facility’s operation and oversight will determine mask policies and other precautions appropriate to the clinical circumstances. Sindecuse Health Center and Unified Clinics both require masks until further notice.

    Are masks required at events?
    Masks are optional but not required at events. 

    The Student Recreation Center and West Hills Athletic Club have required masks for those who are not fully vaccinated. Is that still in effect?
    Masks are optional but not required at the Student Recreation Center and West Hills Athletic Club.

  • Testing

    COVID-19 testing is available at Sindecuse Health Center for all students and employees. Everyone in the WMU community is strongly encouraged to get tested if they develop symptoms, have exposure to a positive individual or if they would like to know their COVID-19 status.

  • Positive test or exposure to COVID-19

    In the event you test positive for COVID-19, the testing facility, whether it be Sindecuse Health Center or any establishment that conducts COVID-19 testing, is required by law to report positive cases to the health department. 

    Follow the CDC's protocol for quarantine and isolation if you test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed.

Stop the spread

To prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated.
  • If you have symptoms, get tested. Follow the CDC's protocols for quarantine and isolation.
  • Stay home and avoid close contact with people when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Consider your individual health situation.

Vaccination

  • A student wearing a mask getting a vaccine.

    Get vaccinated

    Vaccines are widely available both on and off campus and are free of charge regardless of your health insurance or immigration status.

    Learn how to get vaccinated

Campus response

  • A student wearing a helmet holding a bike in front of a bus.

    Getting around campus and town

    Metro Transit routes will be adjusted as needed based on usage, safety considerations and budget.

    View bus safety guidelines

  • Building ventilation and air quality

    Facilities Management is continuing to follow best management practices for building HVAC—heating, ventilation and air conditioning—systems in accordance with CDC and ASHRAE (HVAC professional organization) recommendations. These include:

    • Adjusting applicable HVAC systems to increase the amount of air brought into a building to improve the indoor environment (two times the normal rate). 
    • Maintaining relative humidity between 40% and 60% where possible to reduce potential for transmission. 
    • All building HVAC systems begin occupancy mode—increased ventilation—two hours before spaces are occupied.

Public health guidance

The CDC updated public health guidance on Feb. 25, 2022. The University is currently in the process of what is hoped to be endemic planning in light of the agency’s update.

Review public health guidance and WMU protocols

Contingency planning

Faculty and instructors who teach in-person and hybrid courses are encouraged to develop a transition plan in the event that WMU, in consultation with local public health officials or by government directive, must transition to distance education delivery. An effective plan is student-centered, can be available within a 48-hour period after the announcement and contains, at minimum, these elements:

  1. An introductory module with the revised syllabus and schedule, as well as links to Help Hub, instructions for joining online office hours and, if applicable, synchronous Webex or Microsoft Teams sites.

  2. Dropbox folders for assignments.

  3. A gradebook.

WMUx offers a variety of ways that instructors can access assistance as they create their transition plans. Go to wmich.edu/x to learn more. 

  • A woman wearing a "I vaccinate for..." shirt.

    Still not vaccinated?

    Vaccines are widely available both on and off campus and are free of charge regardless of your health insurance or immigration status.

    Learn about getting vaccinated

  • A plane on the tarmac.

    Traveling internationally?

    If you're traveling to Western from outside the U.S., you’ll need to follow some additional guidelines before returning to campus.

    Learn about international travel guidelines

  • A student wearing a mask sitting in Waldo Library.

    Looking for assistance?

    As we navigate this year, Western is prepared to guide you to success. We encourage you to reach out for help and support one another.

    Learn about available resources