As I communicated to you in mid-December, to help ensure the health, safety and well-being of all Spartans the university has added booster shoots to our COVID‑19 vaccine requirement. The deadline for students, faculty and staff to receive a COVID‑19 booster and submit their information is Feb. 1.
The vast majority of those in the MSU community are eligible for boosters and should make an appointment now, whether they have returned to the East Lansing area or not. For those who are not yet eligible for a booster (five months after completing a Pfizer vaccine regimen, six months after Moderna or two months after Johnson & Johnson), you will have 14 days after you are eligible to comply with the requirement, and you will receive reminders as your eligibility date nears.
A few other important notes:
You can find a vaccine booster near you by visiting our Together We Will website, which also has FAQs posted about the booster mandate. Additionally, MSU is working with the Ingham County Health Department to organize booster vaccine clinics on campus. More information will be shared soon.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control recently updated its recommendations for isolation and quarantine after a positive test or exposure to COVID‑19. MSU has changed its guidelines, which can be found at Together We Will. Additional guidance has been provided to supervisors by MSU Human Resources.
After the decision to start most spring semester classes remotely, I received feedback from many members of our community. With rapidly rising COVID‑19 cases of the new Omicron variant, some have appreciated the ability to reduce in-person interactions in the classroom, while others feel confident about in-person learning formats due to our high vaccination rates and face-covering requirement. But with this exponential growth of cases in the community, many individuals, including some who have been vaccinated, will test positive. We anticipate that significant numbers of students and faculty will need to isolate, leading to absences from the classroom that could disrupt in-person learning. The secondary impacts of quarantining and caring for themselves and others could also make the first several weeks of the semester very chaotic and challenging.
A remote start for most classes, while not the start that most people wanted for this semester, helps us begin with more consistency as we collectively try to manage through this current surge. I’m sorry this is disappointing for some, but again, my commitment to the health, safety and success of our students and faculty and staff has not wavered. Our leadership team will continue to monitor the situation and provide an update later this month about classroom modalities moving forward.
I recognize that some of you might have additional questions about our efforts to protect Spartans and our communities this spring semester. With that in mind, we continue to update the Together We Will website. I wish everyone a healthy new year and a successful start to the semester.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. (he/him)