Weekly Coronavirus Communications Update - Jan. 16

Colleagues:

Many of you have seen the national media attention surrounding planned protests at Capitols across the country. As MSUPD shared yesterday, the department, along with its local, state and federal law enforcement partners, is prepared and ready to respond to protect the safety of our campus and surrounding community. As you know, this weekend is also when some of our student body will return to campus and the East Lansing area for the start of classes. We will continue to do so in a safe and welcoming manner.

As a reminder, undergraduate classes will all start in an online format Tuesday and those that are scheduled for in-person learning will transition on Jan. 25.

Here’s your weekly update:

Important Updates

  • Monday, Ingham County released an update about the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, 12,000 people have scheduled appointments to get the vaccine from the Ingham County Health Department. However, due to a limited supply, thousands who are eligible to receive the vaccine have been unable to schedule appointments. The health department also asks the public to be patient as it tries to assist everyone because the vaccine’s high demand has led to technical glitches and an overwhelming amount of calls and emails.
  • Thursday, the city of East Lansing, Ingham County Health Department and MSU came together to remind the community of the current health orders in place and urge all to continue following COVID-19 safety measures.
  • This week, University Communications with the help of MSU IT updated the testing and reporting dashboard to now include new information on the university’s Early Detection Program. You can see the results from those screenings on the Together We Will website.
  • With Michigan authorizing anyone over 65 to receive the vaccine, MSU Retirees Association explained how Spartan seniors can make an appointment to receive it in an e-notice. Ingham County residents can sign up to receive the vaccine at the Ingham County Health Department website. In addition, Ingham County has released an FAQ about vaccine registration.

Spartan Stories

  • Faculty members in the College of Arts and Letters have received a $3 Million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to complete their COVID-19 art initiative — “Creativity in the Time of COVID-19: Art as a Tool for Combating Inequity and Injustice.” This project aims to give a voice to those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic by collecting and highlighting their coronavirus-inspired artwork. Art from across the nation will be showcased in online and physical exhibits in Lansing and in satellite exhibits at the University of Buffalo; University of Washington, St. Louis and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
  • With the vaccine being administered to over 5 million people in the U.S., MSU’s Peter Gulick is quoted in an article discussing the safety of the vaccine in immunocompromised people.
  • After the recent discovery of coronavirus mutations in the U.S, Gulick also spoke with WKAR about how effective vaccines may be against the new strains.
  • MSU’s Nigel Paneth is featured on NBC News discussing the use of high-level antibody plasma treatments for COVID-19 patients.

As always, please continue to check our Together We Will website for the latest information on our response to the pandemic, and MISpartan Impact for stories on partnerships and collaborations across the state. FAQs for our spring semester are attached to help with questions your unit or area might be receiving. If your office has frequently asked questions your teams are receiving, we want to help incorporate those into our script as well. Please email those questions and your respective answers to Jackie Fondren (fondren@msu.edu).

Emily Gerkin Guerrant
Vice President and Spokesperson