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Coronavirus Updates Hub

Current Campus Status: Phase Three

April 13, 2021 update

As we look forward to resuming in-person teaching and learning this fall, as well as increased in-person student engagement opportunities, we continue to remain focused on finishing the last three weeks of the spring semester strong. We are nearly there!

It is a tremendous success that we have been able to be open, and remain open for our students, throughout the pandemic. This has been made possible by everyone who has followed the mitigation strategies put in place to keep our campuses healthy and safe – wearing a mask, social distancing, washing/sanitizing our hands often, completing the symptom checker when working, staying home when you are ill and being careful to avoid large crowds. We must continue to remain vigilant in practicing these COVID-19 directives.

While we are taking one day at a time and closely watching the case numbers, we must also actively begin planning for summer and fall. As we plan for the next several months, we will continue to share information regarding COVID-19 health and safety protocols, in addition to monitoring and providing CDC, state, health department and MIOSHA guidance.

Important Updates on COVID-19 Vaccines

Read the Latest Message to StudentS


Ferris Forward Together

Read the Ferris Forward Together Bond to learn more about your role in protecting yourself and our community.

University COVID-19 Directives

The University has issued COVID-19 directives for all faculty, staff, students and visitors to reinforce necessary health and safety practices both on and off campus.

Information & Resources

Do Your Part

Check Your Symptoms

Use the Symptom Checker every day to stay on top of how you're feeling. Everyone is required to complete it every day before coming to campus. If you're not feeling well, stay home.

Report a Positive Test Result

It is critical to report a positive test result to us so we can immediately begin taking measures to protect our community, even if you are not exhibiting symptoms and feel fine. We will never release your information to the general public.

Mask Up, Bulldogs!

Keeping our communities safe and open is the responsibility of each of us. We're in this together!

COVID-19 Testing FAQ

Please note as we are testing students living in residence halls upon move-in, it is important to recognize testing is not a substitute for prevention measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing, washing/sanitizing hands often, and avoiding large crowds and gatherings.

  •  Why did Ferris make the decision to test students upon arrival and not before students come to campus?

    A test provides information of infection for an individual at a specific point in time, and any earlier test would occur days before arrival on campus.  Negative, but not current, results may lead to a false sense of security and reduce compliance with our risk mitigation measures: daily self-assessment, social distancing, required face coverings, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, limits on the size of gatherings, and on-going education of community expectations.

  •  What kind of COVID-19 test is being performed?

    The test being conducted is called a molecular or PCR test and is the most accurate type of test currently available. Each student will be given a test collection kit and asked to put the swab into their nose to collect a sample. This is called a nasal swab.

  •  Can I opt out of testing upon check-in?

    No. The University is requiring all students residing on campus to take a COVID-19 test upon check-in.

  •  How are results communicated to students, whether positive or negative?

    The Birkam Health Center will receive all positive COVID-19 test results, notify those students with positive results directly via phone and will notify District Health Department #10 so they can begin a health investigation and contact tracing.

    For those students who test negative, they will be notified via email by the University.

  •  What happens if I test positive?

    When you are notified you tested positive for COVID-19, please go to your local place of residence and self-isolate, limiting your contact with others immediately. When the local health department contacts you, they will coordinate with you and University staff to help you isolate and provide you with needed food and support. If you would like to go to your permanent residence to isolate, you will work with the health department to determine whether it is safe for you to do so.

    Adhering to all recommendations directed by the health department and the University is mandatory for students. If you choose not to follow this guidance, you could be subject to student discipline.

    You should not leave your residence hall room after receiving a positive test result until you are notified you can do so by the health department.

    These are the steps that will be taken: 

    1. The Director of Health Services at Birkam will notify District Health Department #10 in Mecosta County of a positive case.
    2. District Health Department #10 will contact those who test positive and begin a health investigation.
    3. The student will be advised to self-isolate by District Health Department #10 and will be given instructions on how to safely do this.
    4. District Health Department #10 and the Birkam Health Center will work together to reach out to contacts of the case to advise of quarantine and next steps.
    5. District Health Department #10 will have daily communication with the student who tests positive and will notify the student when they are released from self-isolation.
    6. The University will communicate with any colleges, departments or student organizations that may need to be aware of the positive case in a general message ensuring the message meets HIPAA requirements and protects the individual’s identity.
    7. The University will be maintaining a positive case dashboard at, and any positive test associated with Ferris State University will be reported in the dashboard.


  •  How will I be able to continue classes if I test positive for COVID-19?

    If you are in a face-to-face course, instructors will work with you and make appropriate accommodations.

    Please reach out to your instructor(s) and/or faculty advisor if you need accommodations due to testing positive for COVID-19.

  •  Who is paying for the testing?

    Ferris State University

  •  Who will coordinate contact tracing efforts and why is it important?

    The local health department, with assistance from the University, will conduct contact tracing efforts. Contact tracing is part of the process of supporting patients and warning contacts of exposure in order to stop chains of transmission.

  •  I see other universities are testing wastewater to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus. Is Ferris and the City of Big Rapids testing its wastewater to learn more about the prevalence of COVID-19?


  •  Will commuter students be required to be tested for COVID-19?

    Not at this time. The University continues to evaluate its testing program and may conduct additional testing and/or monitoring as the semester continues.

  •  Will I still need to be tested if I have recently received a negative test result within the last 48 hours?

    No. However, students must provide verification of the negative test and that test must be an antigen or PCR test. 

Important Dates