EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– On Friday, just hours after the University of Michigan announced they would require all staff, students, and faculty to get a COVID-19 vaccine before the fall semester, Michigan State University announced a similar action.
In a letter to the MSU community, President Samuel Stanley Jr. said CDC data released on Thursday was concerning and significantly shifted the landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. That data suggested that even vaccinated individuals can in some cases spread the virus leading Stanley to make the following changes:
- All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an FDA-authorized or WHO-approved vaccine by Aug. 31. Limited exemptions for medical or religious reasons will be provided.
- All individuals are required to wear masks indoors beginning Aug. 1 in all campus buildings and other MSU facilities in East Lansing and throughout the state. This requirement will be in place for at least the first weeks of the fall semester.
MSU’s latest announcement changes course from the announcement made just over a month ago, where the university was not going to require the vaccine.
Stanley said the original decision not to require vaccines was one the school would revisit if case trends warranted a change. On Friday the state reported a total of 2,250 new cases of COVID-19 over the last three days. That’s an average of 750 cases per day. The state also reported a total of 19 deaths, nine of which were found during a vital record search.
When asked whether these new changes would affect Michigan State events such as football games, Stanley said while it would be hard to mandate vaccines for those attending events on campus, it’s likely masks will be required at least inside. Stanley did not there is a difference in bio-transmission when people are gathering outside as opposed to inside.
You can view the full question and answer session with President Stanley in the video below.
The school now joins other Big Ten schools Northwestern University, Rutgers University, University of Maryland, Indiana University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Michigan who will require vaccines for students.
For those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccination, you can receive one through the MSU Health Care Pharmacy or find a vaccination provider near you by visiting vaccines.gov. Students, faculty or staff who have not completed their vaccine regimen and those exempt from the vaccine for health or religious reasons will be required to take part in MSU’s Early Detection Program or other measures that help keep them safe.
The university said they would have more information to share with the community next week.