Eastern Michigan University announced Monday it has delayed move-in for students living on campus until mid-September and transitioning all classes online through at least Sept. 20.
Originally, the fall semester move-in was scheduled for Aug. 27, but now it's scheduled for Sept. 17. Classes begin Aug. 31.
The move comes from a decision from the university's leadership team and after a wave of increased COVID-19 outbreaks on college campuses across the country.
“From the outset of our planning process, we have stated that the health, safety and well-being of our campus community were paramount in our actions,” said James Smith, president of Eastern Michigan University. “We also made clear that we would evolve our planning in order to be responsive to the changing science, data, government directives and other critical information regarding COVID-19.
“The events of the last week at campuses across the region and nation demonstrate that despite the best efforts to keep students, employees and communities safe from transmission, the dangers of increasing the spread of the virus and the challenges of maintaining physical distance and safe behavior heading into Labor Day weekend remain quite serious.”
Some students, mostly international students and some student-athletes, have already moved in and will be allowed to stay in the halls.
EMU said on-campus courses were scheduled to make up about 20-25% of classes this fall.
A small number of exceptions for in-person classes, mostly with the nursing school and other health and human services programs, will be allowed. Students will be notified.
“Health officials predict another spike in cases following the long Labor Day holiday weekend, not unlike what was experienced following Memorial Day weekend when the number of positive cases increased dramatically in early to mid June,” said President Smith. “The three-week delay in on-campus activity accommodates the 14-day incubation period for cases materializing during Labor Day weekend and allows us to have a safer move-in environment.
“The delay also provides us with additional time to identify and establish expanded COVID-19 testing protocols beyond the testing of all students moving in to residence halls that is currently underway. New testing providers and processes are increasing rapidly and we are working toward further testing of students and other members of our community as part of our planning for the return to on-campus activities on September 21.”