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NMU closes rec center as coronavirus cases rise

There are 74 active coronavirus cases in the university community, the university’s coronavirus dashboard shows.
 Northern Michigan University academic logo. (NMU Graphic)
Northern Michigan University academic logo. (NMU Graphic) (WLUC)
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 9:43 AM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - After a new round of surveillance coronavirus testing revealed 30 new cases, Northern Michigan University is pausing recreational sports activities on campus.

The NMU coronavirus dashboard shows a 5.64% positive rate from last week’s surveillance testing. As of Thursday morning, there are 74 active coronavirus cases in the university community. Of those, 43 are students living off campus, 24 are students living on campus and seven are employees. NMU’s fall semester ends in less than three weeks. The university continues to hold most classes in person.

Below is part of the message NMU President Fritz Erickson sent out Thursday morning:

<i>We received another batch of COVID-19 test results back this week. The good news is that the on-campus student numbers remain relatively low and consistent. The bad news is that we are definitely seeing the community spread reflected in the off-campus student cases, where we have had another measurable increase in positive results. Our numbers aren’t skyrocketing, but they definitely are going up and not down. Please use this information to increase your caution as you interact within the community, in particular wear your masks and social distance when around those who live or spend considerable time off campus. Hopefully, the community cases start to decrease soon.

CLOSING PEIF, FIT ZONE: We are pausing recreational sports activities at the PEIF Rec Center and Wildcat Fit Zone for two weeks, effective as of 11:59 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, Nov. 4), to further mitigate congregating of students, faculty and staff. This pause is for non-academic purposes only and does not pertain to any academic courses held at the PEIF; classes will continue to be held as they have been throughout the semester. The two facilities will tentatively reopen Monday, Nov. 16. We will reevaluate the pause on PEIF Rec Center and Wildcat Fit Zone activities at that time.

TEMAKI/SMOOTHIE KING, FIERAS CLOSED: Due to staffing limitations following a number of close contact quarantines related to positive COVID-19 cases among employees, Northern has closed Fieras and Temaki & Smoothie King until at least Nov. 8.  Both facilities have already undergone deep cleaning and anticipate reopening the week of Nov. 9.

We again remind all NMU student groups, as well as faculty and staff, to eliminate in-person gatherings at this time to the extent that is possible. Events, activities and meetings should be moved to a virtual format. This contributes to lowering the COVID-19 spread to those in the community. It also lowers the risk to our campus population while increasing our chances of being able to complete the fall semester on Nov. 24 without having to switch fully to remote learning, teaching and working.</i>

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