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Finlandia University Coronavirus Response Update March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020 COVID-19 Update

Finlandia continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and respond to announcements and information from local, state and federal agencies. The most recent update from the Governor’s Office can be found at https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/.

Personal Care and Notification

All higher risk faculty and staff are encouraged to seek potential arrangements to work remotely. This request can be made to your individual supervisor and the Office of Human Resources at (906) 487-7339 or alyson.delandsheer@finlandia.edu. Human Resources has created a guide for working remotely that can be accessed here.

Any student who has been exposed to a known case of COVID-19 or may be exhibiting symptoms of fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing is asked to report to Erin Barnett at Erin.Barnett@finlandia.edu and make arrangements for medical attention.

Any employee who has been exposed to a known case of COVID-19 or may be exhibiting symptoms of fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing is asked to report to their supervisor and make arrangements for medical attention.

It is not uncommon at this time to experience anxiety. As with any significant change or health concern, there may be an increase in existing mental health condition symptoms or a triggering of new ones. Finlandia students and employees are eligible for free counseling via Northstar and can use this link to request an appointment. Northstar has counselors across the Upper Peninsula.

For faculty/staff with MESSA health insurance, MESSA will fully cover testing and medically necessary treatment for COVID-19 for all MESSA members and their covered dependents. Members will not have to pay a deductible, copayment or coinsurance. If you have any questions, please contact MESSA’s Member Service Center at 800.336.0013.

Residence Hall

As previously announced, all students must vacate on-campus student residences by 4pm today, Tuesday, March 17. Any requests for extension must be made to Erin Barnett at Erin.Barnett@finlandia.edu.

Exterior doors of Finlandia Hall will be locked this evening and access will be as needed or by appointment through Campus Safety and Security, 906-487-7307.

Dining Services

All dining services are suspended after today, Tuesday, March 17 at 1:00pm.

Other Building Services

The Paavo Nurmi athletic building is now closed to all visitors through March 30, 2020. Any necessary meetings are by appointment only.

Maki Library will no longer be open to walk-in users effective tomorrow, March 18. Library offices remain open at this time. Staff will continue to provide services through Interlibrary loan and online document requests. Local students who do not have computer access at home can check out a Chromebook by appointment by calling 906-487-7252.

Effective tomorrow, March 18, the Finnish American Heritage Center will be closed to all visitors through March 30.

The Jutila Center remains open for tenants, but the exterior doors will be locked. Tenants can meet their visitors/clients at the main doors to escort them to their offices.

Northwind Books remains open at this time.

Instructional buildings remain open and necessary meetings are encouraged by appointment.

Chapel of St. Matthew, including The Table Student Needs Pantry, remains open at this time. Pastor Sarah is available via appointment at Sarah.Semmlersmith@finlandia.edu or 906-487-7239.

Other administrative buildings remain open at this time.

The use of University facilities by public groups is suspended as previously announced.

Class Instruction

As previously announced, spring semester resumes fully online tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18 and will remain online for the remainder of the spring term. Labs and clinicals are suspended at this time, virtual activities will continue. Internships will continue to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Offices remain open for faculty and staff to work following social distancing guidelines. For those who are able to work remotely and wish to do so should coordinate with their supervisor and HR. Human Resources has created a guide for working remotely that can be accessed here.


All meetings of more than 9 persons will be held virtually until further notice.

Prospective Student Visits

The University is suspending the scheduling of campus visits through March 30.  For more information regarding campus visits and virtual campus tours, please call 906-487-7274 or register online here.


All University-related air travel by any employee of the University is suspended through March 30, 2020.

Employees are asked to report personal air travel to supervisors prior to returning to campus.

Campus Security

24 hour security remains operational and can be contacted at 906-487-7307.


Finlandia housekeeping and maintenance continues to implement the CDC cleaning guidelines listed below and employees and students who remain on campus are encouraged to also follow these prevention recommendations.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following for every day prevention:

    • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Staying at home when you are sick.
    • Covering your cough or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash and washing your hands.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using CDC-recommended cleaning sprays and wipes.
    • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

For more information on the Coronavirus Disease, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Support and Resources

Comcast and Spectrum are offering free wifi for students who do not have internet access. Students may contact Spectrum at 1-844-488-8395 to enroll. Students may enroll for Comcast’s services at www.internetessentials.com.

Students may sign up for a Zoom Online Tutoring Session here.

Students may sign up for Tutoring and Learning Lab here.

For help with Canvas, check out Finlandia’s Canvas Tutorial Video or contact Dr. Michelle Rauch at michelle.rauch@finlandia.edu.

TRIO SSS staff would like it to be known that they are on campus and ready to serve students. They can support through email, Zoom meetings, and over the phone.

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