EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Just hours after the University of Michigan announced Friday that it would require all staff, students and faculty to get a COVID-19 vaccine before the fall semester, Michigan State University announced a similar action.
In a letter to the MSU community, President Samuel Stanley Jr. said CDC data released Thursday was concerning and shifted the landscape. It suggested that even vaccinated individuals can in some cases spread the virus.
As a result, he said that all students, staff and faculty must be vaccinated against the virus by Aug. 31. Some exceptions will be allowed for medical or religious regions.
Additionally, he instated an indoor mask mandate for all campus buildings and MSU facilities in East Lansing effective Aug. 1. That will be in place for at least the first few weeks of the fall semester.
It’s a reversal from a decision announced just over a month ago, when the university said it was not going to require the vaccine. Stanley said then it may be revisited if pandemic trends warranted.
On Friday, the state reported a total of 2,250 new cases of COVID-19 over the last three days. That’s an average of 750 cases per day. The state also reported a total of 19 deaths, nine of which were found during a vital record search.
When asked whether the new changes would affect Michigan State events such as football games, Stanley said while it would be hard to mandate vaccines for those attending events on campus, it’s likely masks will be required at least inside. Stanley did note there is a difference in transmission when people are gathering outside as opposed to inside.
The school now joins other Big Ten schools Northwestern University, Rutgers University, the University of Maryland, Indiana University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Michigan in requiring vaccines for students.
For those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccination, 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.
The university said they would have more information to share with the community next week.