Weekly Coronavirus Communications Update - Feb. 13

Colleagues:

As the partnership with Ingham County Health Department to operate the mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic continues to gain awareness and recognition, I want to echo the president’s comments from Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting and again recognize and thank all those helping to make it happen, including MSU Police Department, IPF, EHS, Land Management and Health Care Inc. THANK YOU!

Below is your weekly update on important coronavirus-related messages from around campus this week.

Important updates

  • Monday, the university announced it will host a town hall on the COVID-19 vaccines for employees 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 to provide information on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines and address common myths about them. Learn more and register here.
  • Tuesday, Governor Whitmer toured the mass COVID vaccination site clinic at the MSU Pavilion to observe its vaccination efforts. Later, she praised the clinic for its efficiency and the impact it had on the community during her press conference.
  • Friday, the university informed all students that it will lift the enhanced physical distancing period in a phased approach. More information is available in a letter to students and with the attached talking points.
  • Last week, MSU’s Early Detection Program announced it will begin hosting weekly office hours each Monday at 4 p.m. to address questions from the campus community on the program. The next office hour is Monday, Feb. 15.
  • Last week, MSU also updated its commencement website with an update on spring commencement. University leaders are considering several different scenarios for the spring 2021 commencement ceremonies. In all cases the health and safety of our communities is our guiding principle.
Spartan stories
  • After conducting research on the 1918 Influenza pandemic, Siddharth Chandra, a professor in James Madison College, discusses its connection with the COVID-19 pandemic in a MSU Today article.
  • Eric Benbow from the Entomology department studies how pathogens in aquatic insects can spread disease, saying a better understanding of this may have impacted the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The School of Journalism was highlighted on Fox 17 of Grand Rapids for its commitment to accuracy during the pandemic.
  • Freshman in the Department of Theatre have created a satirical web series about the experience of starting college during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will begin to be aired on Facebook Live Friday at 8 p.m.

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 the updated enhanced physical distancing directive 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