MSU administration continues to plan for an in-person spring semester beginning Jan. 10, with requirements of masks and vaccines, including the new COVID-19 booster mandate, while closely monitoring the cases and spread of the virus.
"We've worked really hard to get back in person and we believe we've done a good job of that with our mask and vaccination requirements adding critical protections for our campus community this fall," spokesperson Dan Olsen said in a statement. "Our cases have been lower than the surrounding community as a result of these measures."
This includes a 91% vaccination rate for the MSU community. Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said these precautions are important for the university to open for the spring semester.
"(MSU is) layering up mitigation strategies, they're making sure students are vaccinated and that's kind of the best we can ask for at this point in time," Vail said.
She said the cases at MSU are not out of the ordinary compared to the surrounding community and there is no reason why transmission would be higher on campus, especially with MSU's precautions.
"We're not seeing anything at the university that sticks out beyond just what's going on with widespread community transmission," Vail said. "The university is part of this community so there are going to be cases there as well."
MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. confirmed the spring semester preparations in an email announcement, encouraging students to take their own actions to ensure a safe return to campus.
"We also recommend all returning students, faculty and staff test for COVID-19 before returning to campus for classes or work. If you need help finding a test, the state of Michigan has good resources for many options," Stanley said in the email.
Editor's note: The article was edited at 11:26 a.m. to add information from Stanley's email announcement to students.
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