Jan. 25, 2021: COVID-19 variant in Michigan

Members of our Campus Community,

More than a dozen cases of a COVID-19 variant — B.1.1.7 — have been identified in Washtenaw and Wayne counties, among other variants being discovered in parts of the country and world. This particular variant is more contagious and could lead to increased cases, hospitalizations and deaths. I believe if we work together, we can help protect one another.

As an infectious disease researcher, I can say with confidence that the same preventative measures we have been using also work against these variants. And so, I urge each of you — for your safety and that of our community — to be vigilant, wear a mask, avoid gatherings and wash your hands regularly. I also want to reinforce the value of participating in our Early Detection Program for weekly COVID-19 testing and, finally, I encourage everyone to get vaccinated when you can.

MSU continues to monitor these new strains and work closely with our partners at the Ingham County Health Department and the city of East Lansing to best protect the well-being of our students, employees and neighbors. However, public health experts expect the B.1.1.7 variant will be detected across the state in the coming weeks, including in our area.

I cannot underscore enough the importance of each of us doing our part — mask up, get tested, wash your hands frequently and avoiding gatherings. These critical measures can and will save lives and most are required by our MSU Community Compact.

I have great confidence Spartans will do the right thing. Please visit msu.edu/together-we-will for the latest information on our response to COVID-19.


Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.