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Message to Faculty and Staff

May 27, 2021

Good afternoon,

This week employers received updated guidance from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration relative to COVID-19 and workplace safety. The revisions made to MIOSHA’s COVID-19 emergency rules will aid in moving the University forward as we welcome faculty and staff back to their physical work locations.

Here are some of the highlights of MIOSHA’s revised emergency rules –

Employers no longer need to…

  • Require that employers create a policy prohibiting in-person work
  • Ensure social distancing among fully vaccinated persons
  • Use ground markings, signs, physical barriers to reduce congestion
  • Conduct employee temperature screenings
  • Require masks for any employee who can consistently maintain 6ft of separation from other individuals in the workplace.
  • Require masks while working outdoors
  • Prohibit the sharing of workspaces and equipment (for coffee drinkers, this means office coffee pots are back in action for those who wish to use one!)

Employers need to…

  • Have a COVID-19 preparedness response plan
  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, and provide hand sanitizer if hand washing stations are unavailable
  • Prohibit entry into the workplace for symptomatic employees, employees who have tested positive and non-vaccinated close contacts
  • Perform facility cleaning in accordance with the latest CDC guidelines and use EPA-approved disinfectants (CDC recommends focusing on high-touch surfaces and disinfecting following a positive COVID-19 person in the workplace, which we currently do)
  • Provide daily symptom checker for all employees and visitors
  • Require employees to report COVID-19 signs/symptoms
  • Isolate, send home, require remote work where possible for persons known or suspected to have COVID-19
  • Inform employees of COVID-19 positives in the workplace
  • Ensure unvaccinated employees remain 6 ft apart from others, to the maximum extent feasible
  • Provide non-medical grade face coverings to unvaccinated employees at no cost to the employee
  • Require face coverings for unvaccinated employees who cannot consistently maintain 6 feet of separation from others
  • Post signs reminding employees who are not fully vaccinated to wear face coverings and/or maintain appropriate distancing.
  • Require masks for all employees in healthcare settings where patients may be present

Currently, this revised MIOSHA emergency rule for the workplace remains in effect until Oct. 14, 2021.

MIOSHA Emergency Rule FAQs

What does fully vaccinated mean?
Fully vaccinated means you are two weeks past receipt of your final dose of an FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

What is the University’s mask policy for faculty and staff moving forward?
The University will follow MIOSHA’s emergency rule. You will not be required to wear masks as of this point forward unless you are not fully vaccinated and cannot maintain 6ft of social distancing in the work area. This means if you are not fully vaccinated, and can’t maintain 6ft of distance from others in your work area, you must wear a mask. If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask.

Even if I am fully vaccinated, can I still wear a mask at work to help protect my family members?
Absolutely! If you would like to continue to wear a mask while at work, please do so.

Who needs to maintain social distancing?
Those who are not fully vaccinated need to maintain 6ft of separation from others to the maximum extent possible.

Will the University create new signage about masks?
Yes. We are asking all students, faculty and staff to follow the same rule – to please mask up if you are not fully vaccinated and cannot maintain 6ft of distance from others.

What do I do if I know someone is not fully vaccinated and they are not wearing a mask or socially distancing themselves from others?
You can still report non-compliance via forms located on the Coronavirus Updates Hub webpage. They will be updated to reflect the new mask directives.

Are employees still required to complete the symptom checker daily if fully vaccinated?


Creation of COVID-19 Preparedness Response Plan

The Re-entry Committee is creating a COVID-19 preparedness plan for the University that meets MIOSHA’s expectations and outlines the measures the University will implement to reduce employee exposure, including any engineering and administrative controls, hygiene and environmental surface disinfection, personal protective equipment, health surveillance and training. For area/departmental supervisors, you will not need to update your COVID-19 Re-engagement Plans.

There may be a few exceptions, such as healthcare clinics on campus. These areas will develop and implement clinic-specific rules based on the latest CDC and MDHHS guidance.

Once the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response plan is completed, it will be available for review on the Coronavirus Updates Hub webpage.

Short-term Remote Work

Faculty and staff who have been working remotely will be returning to their physical work areas by June 14. Between June 14 and August 13, there may be rare occurrences where employees need to work remotely due to caring for others, health concerns, etc. To be considered for remote work during this timeframe, employees must discuss their specific situation with their supervisor. If you have questions, please contact your supervisor or email Human Resources.

New Fully Vaccinated Status Form

In the updated emergency rule, MIOSHA requires employers to ensure unvaccinated employees practice social distancing to the maximum extent feasible. Knowing the vaccination status of faculty and staff will aid in this process.

You will see a new form in the Healthy Dog Portal under the COVID-19 tab for you to share that you have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. We ask that all employees complete this form once, including student employees. If you do not complete the form, the University will assume you are unvaccinated, and you will be required to wear a mask if you cannot maintain 6ft of distance from others.

Ordering of PPE and Other Supplies

Cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and masks can continue to be requested through the Physical Plant – Plant Stores operation by key building custodians using the AiM system.

COVID-19 Vaccinations Available

We strongly encourage all faculty and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have not been vaccinated and would like to be, please contact Birkam Health Center at x2614, Option 2, to set up an appointment. Or, you can visit for area vaccination sites across the state.

COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing

COVID-19 asymptomatic testing clinics will continue to be offered over the summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Pharmacy Care Clinic, located on the first floor of the Pharmacy Building. Please visit the COVID-19 Testing Schedul to make an appointment. This testing clinic is open to any Ferris faculty, staff or student who is not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. You will need to complete the symptom checker online and receive a green negative status prior to being tested.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. You can also call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136, press 2, or find a test site near you.

Thank you

The FSU Re-entry Committee greatly appreciates the considerable efforts made by our University community to ensure a safe and successful return to work. If you have questions, please contact the committee at [email protected] for assistance. Together, we can keep our University and each other safe, well and moving forward toward the fall semester.

-The FSU Re-entry Committee