As the end of the semester is nearing, students are readying to return home to their individual communities, but with that comes the concern of spreading COVID-19.
In an email sent on Thursday, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. asked students to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by increasing preventive measures and participating in the Spartan Spit program.
"It’s our collective responsibility to ensure the safety of our community, especially for those who plan to travel or return home for Thanksgiving," Stanley said in the email. "COVID-19 is on the rise in Michigan and the state has recorded a record number of positive cases due, in part, to small indoor gatherings without face coverings."
The suggestions are as follows:
- Wear a face mask, maintain physical distancing, wash hands frequently and avoid large gatherings.
- Practice enhanced physical distancing for 14 days prior to departure.
- Participate in saliva testing and know your infection status prior to departure.
- Quarantine for 14 days upon destination arrival.
From Nov. 15-22, MSU will be offering free, saliva-based testing for both on- and off-campus students. Stanley strongly encouraged those who will be traveling to participate, although limited lab capacity will mean that testing dates may fill up soon.
University Spokesperson Dan Olsen commented on the role that MSU can play in slowing the spread of the virus, saying that it's crucial that MSU doesn't spread COVID-19 by sending infected students home.
"We want to make sure that we're not contributing to any unnecessary spread or transmission of COVID-19," Olsen said. "This is a way to allow students to get tested before they return home, to know their status then and take appropriate measures to protect themselves and those around them, family, friends and loved ones."
Students can register by clicking here, or by clicking the link in Stanley's email. After registering, they can pick up a test kit at any of the pick-up locations throughout campus.
Stanley also said that testing will only reflect the status at the time the sample was collected, so practicing mitigation behaviors is still important both before and after the departure test.
In addition, clinical testing will continue to be offered at Spartan Stadium by walk-up and at Olin Health Center by appointment.
As of Tuesday, Ingham County reported a total of 4,981 COVID-19 cases and 70 deaths. Hospitalizations between two county hospitals total 82 confirmed, with nine more suspected. According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan reported a single-day case record last week on Oct. 31, with 3,792 cases.
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