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The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

NMU to start semester online due to delayed COVID-19 testing results

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Sam Rush/NW

NMU students will return to class this fall online, a day late of the anticipated start, Aug. 17. Due to delays in COVID testing results, NMU is holding its first week remotely. This means any classes that were set to be in-person are now online. Students will receive instructions to access their course materials by Monday according to Erickson’s most recent email.

According to an email from NMU President Fritz Erickson sent to all of NMU today, Aug. 15, the Marquette County Health Department(MCHD) advised this was the best move. Northern currently reports 7,300 of 7,700 COVID tests on students and staff are completed. Out of the 7,300 completed from NMU’s Passport to Campus event, Northern only received 3,800 results so far. Passport to Campus was a checklist back-to-school event including COVID tests, book pickup, etc. Delayed COVID results from this event are the main reason in-person classes are modified for the time being. Tests are being done at Tempus, a Chicago based Lab that had previously given a more quick estimate of results. According to the email, results are coming in much slower than expected.

“We understand the anxiousness of these times and we recognize that having more of the results back will help to make the start of the semester less stressful for all of us,” Erickson said in his email addressed to students, faculty, and staff. “Northern will continue to follow the MCHD and CDC recommendations as we have been since the start of the pandemic,” he added.

This comes a day after students without results were told simply to go to class, according to an earlier email from Erickson on Aug. 14.

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“I know I wrote in an update in July that I didn’t want anyone to enter an NMU class without having received their results – that was my ideal – but logistically that isn’t possible now,” said Erickson. 

NMU’s Safe-On-Campus page has a dashboard for tracking current case numbers of the coronavirus in Marquette County. According to the website at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 19 of 4,418 results came back positive. If this trend continued and students went to class normally, nearly 12 students with unreceived positive results would have been in classrooms with others through the first week.

Marquette County currently has 67 active infections, 11 deaths, and 170 known cases according to MCHD as of Friday.

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