Faculty, Staff and Students,
As I shared on Friday, masks are now required indoors on campus for all individuals. We also are requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty and staff by Aug. 31. That means being either fully vaccinated or having at least one dose and on your way to full vaccination. As we work to protect our campus community and our neighbors, we believe this is the best approach to furthering our commitment to your health and safety.
These decisions were made after careful consideration of the scientific data on the delta variant, which is driving the rising number of COVID-19 cases (and, in some areas, hospitalizations) across the state and country. The latest CDC data show the variant is more infectious and, in some cases, can be transmitted by vaccinated individuals.
Today, I want to provide you with additional direction on where and how to provide verification of your vaccination status and the exemption process for those who have medical or religious reasons for not getting a COVID-19 vaccination.
Verification of vaccination status
Students, faculty and staff will submit verification of their vaccination status using MSU’s Vaccine Form, which will be made available to all students, faculty and staff in the coming weeks. During the verification process, students and employees will be asked to provide the dates of their vaccination, the manufacturer of the vaccine and the location where vaccines were administered.
Those who received one dose of a two-dose series are expected to complete their vaccination series according to the recommended schedule and must report when they have done so via the Vaccine Form. Additionally, those who are not fully vaccinated by Aug. 31, are required to participate in the Early Detection Program until they are fully vaccinated and follow the Face Coverings Directive.
Medical and religious exemptions requests
The university will recognize medical and religious exemptions to the vaccination requirement. Individuals requesting an exemption due to a sincerely held religious belief that precludes them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine may submit a request for a religious exemption. Individuals requesting an exemption due to a medical condition that precludes them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine may submit a request for a medical exemption. Documentation from a medical provider will be required. A link and information on how to apply for an exemption also will be provided soon. Individuals with an approved exemption will be required to participate in the Early Detection Program and follow the Face Coverings Directive.
I recognize that some of you might have additional questions about our efforts to protect Spartans and our communities this fall. With that in mind, a robust list of frequently asked questions is available on the Together We Will website to provide additional information on each of our decisions.
It takes each of us doing our part to protect ourselves and each other. I continue to firmly believe that a COVID-19 vaccination is the best path to the fall semester we all seek — working, living and learning on campus, in person, together.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. (he/him)