Aug. 10, 2022: COVID-19 safety expectations for fall semester

Dear Spartans,

As the fall semester begins, I want to extend a warm Spartan welcome to our new and returning students. I also offer my thanks to MSU’s dedicated, world-class faculty and staff for their work preparing for an exciting academic year. Our university community’s health and safety are always a prime concern, so below is important information as we enter the new semester.

Protecting ourselves and our community

It is clear our COVID‑19 mitigation efforts have helped MSU continue in-person classes and activities safely while also protecting our community. Preliminary results from a recent study involving MSU researchers indicates colleges and universities with a COVID-19 vaccine requirement significantly cut infection rates and deaths last year. The high vaccination rate among our students and employees is an essential component of our success, creating a safer community for all to live, work and learn.

As the pandemic evolves, the university’s approach must evolve, too. With vaccines and boosters, home and community testing opportunities and proven therapeutics easily available, I am confident our approach will foster another safe and successful academic year.

This truly has been a community effort, and I am grateful for the diligence and engagement of faculty, students, staff and visitors during the past two years. As we look to the start of classes, I want to remind you of several key directives and expectations regarding COVID‑19:

  • All students and employees must be fully vaccinated and have received at least one booster shot (or be on the path to do so) or have applied for and received an approved exemption. Record your vaccinations and booster here. The next COVID‑19 vaccine/booster clinic will be held Aug. 31 at the Breslin Center.
  • Information on what students and employees should do if they test positive for COVID‑19 or are exposed to it can be found on our guidance page. It is no longer required to report a positive case to the university. Note that MSU no longer provides quarantine and isolation space for residential students. All students are encouraged to create a plan for how to handle a positive case within their living situation.
  • At this time, MSU has lifted its face-covering directive, and masks no longer are required indoors, including in classrooms. There still may be limited situations where masks may be required, such as in campus health care facilities or due to state/federal regulations, performance contracts or other contracts. All who wish to wear masks should be supported.
  • Although the Early Detection Program and on-campus testing at the Clinical Center have ended, community testing is widely available in the East Lansing area and throughout the state and country. At-home tests are available to order for free. Students with significant symptoms who visit Olin Health Center will be tested if medically appropriate. You may also utilize the state of Michigan’s test location finder. MSU is actively planning for additional testing opportunities on campus this fall. For those with approved medical and religious exemptions, routine testing no longer is required.

Visit the FAQ section of the Together We Will website for more commonly asked questions and answers.

Even as much of society returns to a more normal environment, we must remember the significant impact that COVID‑19 has had and is still having on members of our community. Now, more than ever, is a time for consideration for others. Many in our community will continue to take preventive measures such as masking to protect themselves and their loved ones. We all need to respect others’ personal health precautions to support MSU’s culture of safety.

A word about monkeypox

You may have heard about outbreaks of MPV, commonly called monkeypox, that have spread across several countries that don’t normally see infections, including the United States. University leaders are closely monitoring the virus, and while detected in Ingham County, its risk to our campus community is relatively low. Unlike COVID‑19, MPV is primarily transmitted by skin-to-skin contact.

The university is having conversations with the Ingham County Health Department and will take its guidance from public health officials as it relates to any additional preventive measures. We encourage all community members to wash their hands frequently and see a physician if they have symptoms. More information, including symptoms to watch for and how it spreads, is available from the county health department.

I’m excited about the year ahead, and with continued attention to our individual and collective health, I’m certain it will be a safe and successful one.


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