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Health and Safety - Communicable Diseases


Your Health and Safety is Important

We want all of our students, faculty and staff to be healthy. This page will keep our Ferris community up to date on the communicable diseases that may affect our workplace. 

As always, please remain home if you are ill. If you have a long term illness (five days or longer), please contact [email protected] or call (231) 591-2150 for next steps.


Influenza (or the "flu") is caused by influenza viruses, most commonly by Type A and Type B influenza virus. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. The CDC recommends yearly vaccination each fall. For more information visit the CDC's Influenza webpage.

There are many reasons to get an annual flu vaccine:

  • It can prevent you from getting seriously ill and can be lifesaving.
  • It’s an important part of a disease prevention plan for people with chronic health conditions.
  • Not everyone can get vaccinated (due to age, chronic health issues, etc.), so those who can should get a flu vaccine to protect those around them.

Ferris is planning to hold its annual flu vaccination clinic this fall. Please watch for the announcement via University Wide Notices. If you are not on campus or do not want to wait for the clinic, you can also get a flu shot as part of your healthcare plan's preventive care at many locations. Please check with your healthcare provider for more information and locations.

Priority Health Preventive Care

MESSA Preventive Care


COVID-19 spreads through droplets from the nose or mouth through coughing and sneezing. Vaccination, hand-sanitization, and mask-wearing are some of the ways to protect yourself from COVID-19.

If you have symptoms of COVID, please stay home and test.

The University is following CDC guidelines regarding isolation. See the link below for the most up-to-date information.

CDC Isolation Guidelines

If you have been exposed to someone who is positive for COVID-19, you no longer need to quarantine per CDC guidelines. You will need to wear a mask and get tested as outlined by the CDC.

Masks can be requested through the Facilities - Plant Stores operation by key building custodians using the AiM system. Or, you can obtain masks from Human Resources or the David L. Eisler Center Information Desk. Masks for the KCAD campus are available at both building security desks. The University will continue to support all campus community members and visitors who choose to wear a mask while indoors on campus.

The University has procured at-home COVID-19 rapid tests for distribution on the Big Rapids campus and at KCAD. It is a good idea to have at least one on hand at your place of residence in case you are exposed or have symptoms.

Free at-home tests will be available in the residence halls and at Birkam Health Center for students, and through Human Resources and the Birkam Health Center for faculty and staff. At-home tests can also be picked up at the David L. Eisler Information Desk.

At KCAD, at-home tests are available via shopUICA or you can email Mary Bradshaw.

You may also obtain free at-home rapid tests via:

Or, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136, press 2 for help finding a test site.

In addition, at-home test kits are now available at many public libraries and pharmacies such as Walgreens, Rite Aid and Meijer. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also has a Test Finder on their website to help you locate places throughout Michigan where you can get a free COVID-19 test. Free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests are also available for order and shipment through the United States Postal Service.

The most effective way to prevent COVID-19 infection is vaccination. The CDC recommends that all individuals stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. For more information visit:

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

If you lost your COVID-19 vaccination record, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has launched the Michigan Immunization Portal. Michiganders ages 18 and older with immunization records posted in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) will be able to locate their own record online and download, save or print this information. Users must create a MILogin account at and upload a valid government issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, state ID or passport. There is no cost to access the portal.

Monkeypox Virus (MPV)

Monkeypox is caused by the poxvirus. This is a rare infection, but it is currently circulating in the United States and Michigan. For more information on Monkeypox Virus visit the CDC's Monkeypox Webpage.

Monkeypox spreads by:

  • Direct contact (touching the rash, bodily fluids, or items such as clothing that has previously touched the rash or fluids).
  • Respiratory secretions (such as snot or phlegm).
  • Across the placenta during pregnancy.

Monkeypox is not considered a STI as it can be spread through a variety of modes. There are treatments for those who become infected with Monkeypox. For more information on transmission visit the CDC's Monkeypox Transmission Webpage

There are two vaccines that can prevent Monkeypox. If you have been exposed to Monkeypox call you primary care doctor or your local health department. For more information on Monkeypox vaccinations talk to your primary care doctor or visit the CDC's Monkeypox Vaccination Webpage


Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent diseases caused by a variety of viruses - it works for the flu, a cold, e-coli, norovirus, rotavirus and COVID.

Want other ways to help prevent communicable disease?

  • Stay away from other people and keep a safe distance, and avoid going to public places when you are sick.
  • Cleaning frequently touched objects (keyboards, desks, doorknobs) when sick.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. 
  • Avoid sharing personal items that can’t be disinfected, like toothbrushes and razors, or sharing towels between washes.
  • Handle and prepare food safely. Wash hands, utensils and surfaces often when preparing any food, especially raw meat. Always wash fruits and vegetables.
  • Get vaccinated. Vaccination can prevent you from getting certain communicable diseases.
  • Avoid touching wild animals as they can spread infectious diseases to you and your pets. Coming into contact with the saliva, blood, urine or feces of an infected animal could put you at risk. 

In 2020, Facilities staff evaluated the HVAC system capabilities for buildings across campus and implemented strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Through these efforts, the air quality of all of our buildings meets or exceeds industry standards.

In 2020, Facilities staff also applied MicrobeCare to all touchpoints within buildings to combat possible exposure to COVID-19. You can find more information on MicrobeCare here.

Hand sanitizer stations will remain available across campus.


Washing your hands with soap and water are the #1 way to prevent the spread of germs.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.


If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,

  • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
  • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
  • Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.

How to use hand sanitizer

  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.


Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:

  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
  • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.


  • After using the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage