KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WLNS) — Western Michigan University’s President Edward Montgomery announced a major change to WMU’s COVID-19 protocol for the upcoming academic year.
Those who are unvaccinated must get COVID tested at the Sindecuse Health Center (SHC) at the beginning of the semester, and every week until the end of September. People must continue to get tested until they are fully vaccinated. All testing must be completed at SHC.
The frequency of testing after Oct. 1 is not determined, but Montgomery states that it could be as frequent as “once a week”.
In the letter Montgomery states,
“From the beginning, we have consistently monitored public health recommendations and the course of the pandemic to inform our adaptive, multifaceted response. Thanks to these measures and the contribution of each member of our community, we have been fortunate to avoid major outbreaks, enabling us to carry out our educational mission uninterrupted. Wearing masks and voluntary surveillance testing, including at mass testing events, are two of the many safeguards that have proven effective.
In addition, we know vaccines work: 167 million Americans have now been inoculated against COVID-19. The science is clear that the vaccines are effective at preventing the transmission of COVID-19, that breakthrough infections are rare and, when they occur, hospitalizations and deaths are extremely rare among vaccinated individuals.”
Testing for those who live on campus will begin the week of Aug. 29, and testing for those who live off-campus will begin the week of Sept. 5.
Those who have up-to-date vaccination records in their online patient portal by Aug. 18 will be able to forgo mandatory testing. Testing for those who have recently been vaccinated will not be required two weeks after their final shot.
In the event of non-compliance, Montgomery remarked,
“Students who do not comply with the testing protocol will face sanctions administered through the Office of Student Conduct. Noncompliance among faculty and staff will be addressed in accordance with collective bargaining agreements and employee policies.”
Western Michigan is offering vaccine clinics on Monday, Aug. 30, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and Tuesday, Aug. 31, from 1-4 p.m. with no appointment necessary. Participants must present a valid WMU ID.