WMU to fine students for missing required COVID-19 testing

Kalamazoo County

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Unvaccinated Western Michigan University students who miss a required test will be subject to fines beginning at the start of the spring semester, the school announced Tuesday.

Just before fall semester began, WMU said 66.4% of employees and 40% of students had their COVID-19 vaccination verified at Sindecuse Health Center. As of Tuesday, 88.5% of employees and 78.6% of students are verified vaccinated for an overall rate of 80.2%.

For students and employees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, they have been required to be regularly tested. WMU said in an email to the community that most students have faithfully followed the rules, but there are some who have regularly missed tests despite extensive reminders and personal outreach. Due to this, the school will start implementing fines beginning the week of Jan. 10, 2022.

“For each test missed up to five, students will be assessed a $50 fine for each missed test. At the sixth missed test and for every missed test thereafter, the fine increases to $100 per occurrence. There is no ceiling to the number of fines that can be assessed,” an email to the Broncos community said. “Be aware that if you owe more than $300 on your student account, you will be unable to register for classes.”

When testing begins for the spring semester it will take place in North Kohrman Hall, room 2258. Testing for employees will begin on Jan. 4, 2022. For students, it will begin Jan. 10, 2022. The school said students and employees impacted will receive additional information about this change in the coming weeks, including days and hours of operation at the new testing site.

For anyone who has been fully vaccinated but hasn’t uploaded their paperwork can do so in the Sindecuse Health Center’s secure patient portal. Directions for uploading are easy to follow and can be found here. Once verified, you no longer would be subject to the routine testing requirements.

In addition to testing, WMU said face masks will continue to be required for the spring semester.

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