July 30, 2021: Updated COVID-19 requirements for the fall semester

MSU Faculty, Staff and Students,

Since I arrived at MSU and throughout the pandemic, I have continued to place the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff at the forefront of all decisions. My priority has been to protect our campus and surrounding communities as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, using data and science-based information to inform every decision.

I have been a constant advocate for the COVID-19 vaccine as the best defense against the spread of the disease and the clearest path to the resumption of our on-campus living and learning. I am encouraged that the response to the vaccine has been largely positive, and members of our community are making the choice to protect themselves and others. 

However, yesterday’s CDC data is concerning and significantly shifts the landscape. Across the country and here in Michigan, we are seeing a rise in cases and are finding the delta variant is more contagious. The new CDC data suggests that even vaccinated individuals can in some cases spread the virus.

These recent developments and my commitment to keeping students, staff and faculty safe have led me to update our requirements, including those for the fall semester. Today, I am announcing two key actions:

  1. 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.
  2. All students, faculty and staff are required to be 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.

More details about these new requirements will be shared in the coming days.

For those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccination yet, it’s time to do so. 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.

We are all in this battle against COVID-19 and its variants together and I firmly believe the actions we are taking today are necessary measures. As we have throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the situation and will adjust as needed.  I appreciate the commitment of our students, faculty, staff and others to protect our Spartan Community. 


Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. (he/him)