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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

North Central Michigan College continues to follow the most current recommendations from Local, State and Federal agencies regarding proper safety measures. Currently, per recent Executive Order, Michiganders are required to wear a face covering whenever they are in an indoor public space. [The only exception is for college personnel while sitting in individual workspaces.] It also requires the use of face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces or when a six foot distance cannot be maintained between other people. Businesses open to the public will refuse entry or service to those who decline to wear a face covering.

A Health Email ( is available to provide a method for individuals to submit issues of noncompliance or ask health-related questions.


As the global situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) constantly evolves, we will provide periodic updates to the campus community regarding NCMC's planning and preparedness actions. The college is vigilant at taking steps to ensure the safety of the campus community.

Stay up-to-date on the latest information and statistics from the Health Department of Northwest Michigan by visiting the COVID-19 Data Dashboard.  


OCTOBER 30, 2020 update

To: NCMC Campus Community

From:  Dr. David Roland Finley, President

Please see the link below re. yesterday’s Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) revised and extended epidemic order to contain the spread of COVID-19, as Michigan continues to see a surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.,5885,7-339--543721--,00.html

Most significantly….  Traverse City Region (Region 6) Moves to Phase 4

Because cases are now at a high level statewide, the order treats all regions of the state the same. The Traverse City region previously had fewer restrictions due to lower COVID-19 rates and has now been moved into Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start system, joining the rest of the state.

The phases in North Central’s Re-Opening Grid, correspond to the MI Safe Start Phases. Therefore, the college is now following its Phase 4 protocols, which require the closing of the Student and Community Resource Center to the public (employees with appropriate social distancing and sanitization may still use; dormitory residents may also do the same).  Those members of the public who have paid a fee to use the SCRC facilities will not lose their investment. The payment will be carried over to be used when the facility can safely reopen. For additional SCRC questions, please contact Dallas Culvahouse, SCRC director at 231-439-6321 or Further, the Iron Horse Café will be take-out service only.

In response to this latest development, questions may be raised about the college’s interpretation of the statement that “In-person work is prohibited if work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.” It comes down to the interpretation of the term ‘feasibly.’  This matter has been posed to the Governor’s Policy Advisor—Postsecondary Education & Workforce Development, Brandy Johnson, twice this summer.  On both occasions, she confirmed that it is the employer’s judgement as to whether or not work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.  With the exception of classes scheduled and approved to be taught online, it is the College’s position that it is not possible for work activities to feasibly be completed remotely based on our experience from last spring, and certainly not at Phase 4. 

Should the conditions of the pandemic deteriorate (i.e. Phase 3 or lower), we would reconsider the question of ‘feasibly.’

Another question investigated was ‘What mode(s) of instruction are permissible in Phase 4?’  Per the MI Safe Schools Roadmap, ‘in-person instruction is permitted with required safety protocols.’

Let’s do be certain that we are doing all that we reasonably can to minimize the risk of infection within the College community.  Per Dr. Meyerson, Medical Director of the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, “…we strongly encourage our community members to keep social gatherings to a minimum, maintain a 6-foot distance from anyone outside your household, wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, and please stay home if you are feeling sick.”

Best smart, be safe, and stay healthy!  Thank you.

NCMC Covid-19 case reporting

North Central provides summary COVID-19 case reporting information as of noon each Friday. The report contains tallies for individual weeks, as well as weekly since the Fall semester began.  The information is gleaned from the new Health Ticket System. Please know that North Central’s service area extends beyond that of the Health Department of Northwest Michigan.  As such, the numbers reported in various categories may not perfectly align.

During the week ending Oct. 30, there has been a sharp increase in the number of overall health tickets submitted, as well as the identification of five positive COVID-19 cases in students or staff at North Central.  We have worked closely with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan and their contact tracers regarding each of the positive cases identified and have determined that at this time there is no need for quarantine of individuals in classes beyond those contacted by the Health Department directly identified as “close contacts.”  Contact tracing is continuing, however, so there may be updates as more close contacts are identified.

Per North Central’s Chief Health Officer Pete Olson, “we’re handling reports of symptoms very conservatively, encouraging faculty to work with students to ensure they don’t fall behind, but also holding fast to the rule that we’ll need a negative COVID-19 test or a statement from their primary physician that the symptoms that caused them to miss aren’t COVID-related, or the passage of 10 days symptom-free before they return.  As always, we’re in regular contact with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan for advice on how to handle individual cases where the exposures may be more significant.”

Here is our COVID-19 Summary Report as of Noon on Friday, for the week ending October 30, 2020.  
  TOTALS 9/11/20 9/18/20 9/25/20 10/2/20 10/9/20 10/16/20 10/23/20 10/30/2020
POSITIVE 3 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 5
POSSIBLE POSITIVE 111 6 20 30 24 9 9 13 23
NEGATIVE 42 4 6 13 9 3 1 6 8


Category Explanations

Positive” refers to individuals who have reported to us that they have tested positive for COVID in the past week (they are quarantining and/or awaiting a negative COVID test result while they’re out);

Possible Positive” refers to individuals who have reported to us that they may be positive for COVID and are either awaiting results of their own COVID test or are self-quarantining for at least 10 days (they may or may not be symptomatic);

Negative” refers to symptomatic individuals who had indicated to us that they were awaiting COVID test results or documentation from their primary provider that their symptoms were not COVID-related.


Together as North Central Pledge

Your Community’s College maintains the same dedication to delivering the high-quality educational experience to our students we always have, but with a transformed and evolving commitment to ensuring a safe and fulfilling return to campus on September 8.

With input from our full- and part-time faculty, staff, administration, students/parents, and state and local public health authorities, including the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, a Return to Campus Plan has been developed to encapsulate the measures we are taking to proactively protect our campus community from the spread of Covid-19.

The “Together as North Central” Pledge demonstrates our commitment to begin the Fall 2020 semester united in our efforts to guard the health and safety of everyone on campus, and we will do this together, as North Central.


North Central employees should log into the MDHHS MI Symptoms Web App daily before reporting to work.  If the MI Symptoms app indicates that you are at risk, plan to stay home and contact your supervisor.

return to campus plan and reopening grid

On August 20 the College issued a comprehensive Reopening Plan, the “Together as North Central” Return to Campus Plan. This plan follows and incorporates NCMC's Reopening Grid  that allows for a safe return to face-to-face (F2F) learning for the Fall 2020 semester that began on September 8.

After thoughtful research and discussion — all of it informed by recommendations from the CDC, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Safe Schools Roadmap, and guidance from the Health Department of Northwest Michigan — the North Central Reopening Grid was reviewed by our Board of Trustees on July 28.

NCMC's Reopening Grid is a fluid guideline prepared with six phases that correspond to the six phases in the Governor's MI SafeSchools RoadMap. 

We are currently in Phase 4.

Indicators and conditions that will support moving to the next phase or support moving back to the previous phase are based on: Governor’s Executive Orders, Legislation guided, MI SafeStart guidelines, Health Department of NW Michigan Guidance & Recommendations, campus readiness, limited reported COVID cases in communities served.


NCMC Campus Safety Video

NORTH CENTRAL MICHIGAN COLLEGE Use of Funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF)

North Central Michigan College received funds for students from the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Please click here for information related to those funds as required by the U.S. Department of Education.

CARES - Quarterly Reporting thru 9-30-20

Remembering Larry Cummings


Professor Larry Cummings taught history and geography for 51 years 
and will leave a lasting impact

North Central Michigan College Professor Larry Cummings, a fixture in the Petoskey community and an icon on the college’s campus, passed away at McLaren Northern Michigan on March 31, 2020, due to complications of Covid-19.  He was 76. more information 

LarryA RENAISSANCE MAN: Larry Cummings was an NCMC, area legend

Steve Foley (231) 439-9397

Earlier in March and just before coronavirus had become what it is today, North Central Michigan College sociology/anthropology professor Kerri Finlayson was chatting with fellow longtime professor Larry Cummings about pedagogy.

“He (Cummings) was putting together a proposal for a sabbatical . . . more information


Coronavirus Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines - During this rapidly evolving situation, North Central Michigan College is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Interim Guidance for US Institutions of Higher Education.

FAQs - CLICK HERE to access an updated list of Coronavirus FAQs


Past Updates

August 20 UPDATE - Return to Campus Plan
August 10 UPDATE - Back to Campus Safety Blueprint video
August 7 UPDATE - Letter to Campus August 10 return to campus
August 5 UPDATEGovernor’s Executive Order 2020-162
July 31 UPDATE - Letter to campus Ex. Order Updates
July 22 UPDATE - Letter to campus - Reopening Grid
July 10 UPDATEGovernor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-147
July 2 UPDATE - Health Dept. of Northern MI COVID Update
July 1 UPDATE - Campus open by appointment
June 26 UPDATE - SCRC opening to the public
June 17 UPDATE - Return to campus
June 11 UPDATE - Northern Michigan test sites
June 5 UPDATE - Letter to Campus regarding reopening plans
May 22 UPDATE - Governor Whitmer's amended Executive Orders
May 21 UPDATE - Updated return to campus information for employees
May 15 UPDATE - New COVID-19 cases in Antrim and Charlevoix Counties 
May 12 UPDATE - Return of face-to-face instruction in fall 
May 7 UPDATE - Notice to campus announcing return to work on May 29
May 4 UPDATE - Expansion of mental health resources
April 30 UPDATE - Essential Business Toolkit for safe operations
April 28 UPDATE - Letter to campus announcing the campus closure extension to May 18
April 24 UPDATE - The extension of Stay Home, Stay Safe order
April 18 UPDATE - Governor Whitmer's Stay Home, Stay Safe order and COVID-19 testing expansion
April 14 UPDATE - Letter to campus announcing the extension of the campus closure to April 30
April 9 UPDATE - Letter to campus community describing continuing compensation
April 3 UPDATE - Student Technology FAQs
April 1 UPDATE - Letter to campus regarding the passing of Professor Larry Cummings
March 27 UPDATE - Letter to campus about two COVID-19 cases at the College
March 19 UPDATE - Letter to campus describing elements pertaining to the closure of campus on 3/16/2020
March 17 UPDATE - Letter to campus regarding employee relief during pandemic
March 13 UPDATE - Letter to campus announcing extended Spring Break
March 12 UPDATE - Letter to campus outlining the College's initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic