Dear WMU community,
This evening, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a new emergency order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services—MDHHS. It enacts a three-week pause targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities in an effort to curb the rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rate. The order is effective Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 12:01 a.m. and runs through Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 11:59 p.m. and could be extended.
The emergency order has the following impacts on WMU's course delivery and operations for the duration of the order, unless otherwise specified.
- All classes will be delivered via distance instruction. This accelerates by three days WMU's plan to move nearly all in-person instruction to distance education. Starting Wednesday, only classes involving health care programs may continue to be offered in person if they cannot be conducted via distance education.
- WMUx will assist faculty members in developing strategies for continuing instruction remotely in those courses that had planned to continue in person for the full semester and that do not involve health care.
- Students who are working at internships or externships should follow the direction and policies at their location to continue their work.
- All WMU employees who can perform their duties remotely will do so to the maximum extent possible. This will be the case for the vast majority of WMU staff. In some cases, work duties cannot be done remotely. In those instances, safety precautions will continue to be enforced. Your manager/supervisor is your point of contact for questions about work arrangements.
- Indoor gatherings may only occur in the residence halls. These gatherings must adhere to posted distancing requirements and are limited to students from no more than two different rooms or suites.
- Other than the provision directly above, residence hall operations are not affected by this order.
- Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25.
- All RSOs will meet virtually and club sports are postponed for the duration of the order.
- Indoor eating is permitted in WMU Dining Services if diners are seated at tables and are 6 feet apart. Members of a household (roommates or suitemates) may share a table. Tables must be spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart. Grab-n-go services will continue as indicated at dining locations.
- Sindecuse Health Center’s drive-thru testing event has been extended to begin tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 16, and run through Thursday, Nov. 19. The state’s chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, stressed the importance of continuing to conduct COVID-19 testing. Schedule your test by calling (269) 387-3287. Students who get tested during the testing event will receive a $5 certificate to spend at participating downtown businesses.
- All campus research and creative scholarship that has a vice president for research and innovation-approved safety plan remains unaffected by this emergency order; this includes graduate and undergraduate work, including students working in research labs. To be clear, laboratory courses will not meet in person.
- Waldo Library will remain open but at a reduced capacity.
- In accordance with the order, the Student Recreation Center will remain open for individual exercise, however, group fitness classes are prohibited.
- Public transit is permitted under the order.
The rapid rise of cases combined with cold weather and the anticipated holidays are a concerning mix of factors that can make our current situation worse. We've proven this semester we know what to do; let's continue to do it.
Be smart. Be safe. Be Broncos.