EMU Gives Early ‘Wellness’ start to Thanksgiving; offers free COVID testing prior to break

    Eastern Michigan University is canceling classes on Monday, Nov. 23, and Tuesday, Nov. 24, in order to give students two additional days to rest and recharge given the challenging semester. Students will now have an extended Thanksgiving break beginning the end of day on Friday, Nov. 20 through Monday, Nov. 30. 

    Eastern Michigan University President James Smith called the semester “challenging, particularly for our students.”

    “Simply put, our students need a break to rest and recharge,” Smith said in making the announcement. “Instructors also may use the time to prepare for the rest of the semester. We encourage students to take full advantage of this extended recess by focusing on their physical and mental wellness.”

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    The university also announced all residential students will be provided the opportunity for free COVID testing prior to departing for the Thanksgiving break, with the university covering testing costs as it has all semester. 

    The details were outlined in a message to campus Sunday (Nov. 15) from Smith following the state of Michigan’s new actions to slow the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases.  

    In the message, Smith affirmed the State’s new restrictions that include the suspension of  in-person instruction at colleges and universities from Wednesday, Nov. 18, until Tuesday, Dec. 8. 

    Although nearly all course sections have been delivered in an online/hybrid format for the current fall semester, approximately 10 percent of courses that had been delivered in-person will move to a fully remote format beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18, through Tuesday, Dec. 8. 

    Classes originally scheduled (including online courses) on Monday, Nov. 23, and Tuesday, Nov. 24 are now canceled in advance of the Thanksgiving recess. During this two-day period, the University will remain open and all employees will work as scheduled – most will continue to work remotely. 

    President Smith said, “Regardless of your plans for the Thanksgiving recess, we urge all members of the campus community to engage in safe practices during the holiday break. These safe practices include wearing face coverings, avoiding social gatherings, maintaining physical distancing, and practicing good hygiene. Please comply with the updated safety provisions contained in the state order above as they relate to gatherings and other activities.

    “I thank our students, faculty and staff for your compliance with these safe practices,” Smith said. “We must all continue to work together to keep one another as safe as possible.”