Aug 14: Mandatory self-quarantine for inbound students from high-risk areas

Dear Spartan community,

MSU’s COVID-19 Reopening Task Force continues to put risk-mitigating measures in place to help protect our Spartan community this fall. Those measures include the travel protocols the university announced in July, which apply to traveling students, faculty and staff. While this message is specific to our incoming and returning students, the important information shared below should be known by all who are part of our campus community, including faculty and staff.  

After meeting today with the Ingham County Health Department, the university is updating its travel protocols from what was previously communicated. It is now required that all students traveling to East Lansing and surrounding communities from high-risk states and countries self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. This update better aligns the university’s protocol with the public health guidance issued by our local partners at the county health department.

Quarantine, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is used to keep someone who has come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 away from others. It is also used as a preventive measure when someone has traveled to and/or from a state or country identified as having a high prevalence of COVID-19 infection. Being in quarantine does not mean one currently has COVID-19, but they may have been exposed or could be asymptomatic.   

Effective immediately, if you are traveling to East Lansing or surrounding communities from a U.S. state that has a risk level of “active or imminent outbreak” as defined by the COVID Act Now risk map, and have stayed there for at least 24 hours, it is required that you self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. This means you must stay at your off-campus residence or residence hall for at least 14 days, leaving only to obtain medical care or meals, practicing physical distancing and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19. Similarly, if you are traveling to East Lansing and surrounding communities from outside the United States from a country with a COVID-19 Red or Orange risk level, you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and follow these same measures.

For those affected students who intend to live on campus, MSU Residential and Hospitality Services will follow up with additional information on housing accommodations later today.

Please be sure to review the risk maps prior to traveling to East Lansing and surrounding communities, as they are updated frequently and the status of your home state or country may have changed since the last time you reviewed them. And, as a reminder, all students should be practicing an enhanced physical distance period prior to their arrival, as well. This is a crucial step in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within our community.

We recognize this requirement adds complexities to students’ planning for our fall semester. MSU intends to be as flexible as possible to accommodate our students during this period with respect to their learning options. If you have in-person classes or labs that begin while you are completing your self-quarantine period, you should promptly reach out to your professor to discuss appropriate accommodations. To the extent possible, MSU will work with students to limit the impact on their academic experience.

Other Travel Guidelines 
The university has shared that you should not travel if: 

  • You are sick
  • You test positive for COVID-19
  • Youcome into contact with someone who has COVID-19 
  • You have a fever, cough or shortness of breath
While traveling: 
  • Wear a mask at all times,except when eating or drinking  
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Practice good hygiene, which includes frequently washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available
  • Comply with all guidance you receive from public health officials
For more information on our travel protocols, visit our website.