Weekly Coronavirus Communications Update - Feb. 27

Colleagues,

I’m going to take the winter sunshine and warmer weather this weekend as positive signs of the pandemic improvements on the horizon. Case numbers in our community and state continue to decline from the peak before the Holidays. And the federal approvement of another vaccine from Johnson and Johnson will help with the capacity distribution efforts worldwide. So as we start March, let’s be optimistic in addition to safe and vigilant.

Also, we’ve had many requests to expand this weekly communications update to the full campus. University Communications has added this weekly update to both the Together We Will website and InsideMSU’s edition each Tuesday. We encourage leaders to continue sharing the update, but you can also point your teams to the website and newsletter as places to find the same information.

Important Updates

  • Tuesday, MSU shared a follow-up video to the employee town hall on the COVID-19 vaccine where panelists answered some of the questions they were unable to get to in the limited time they had last week. You can see a recap of the town hall and the rapid-fire question and answer session on the MSUToday website.
  • Wednesday, President Stanley and College of Nursing Dean Randy Rasch joined the Detroit Regional Chamber for a town hall on the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Thursday, Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services hosted its second COVID-19 vaccine town hall, addressing questions within communities of color. If you missed this meeting, visit the department's official website.
  • Also Thursday, the provost sent a message to all educators reminding them of the two break days next week and the university’s expectations that faculty not assign work to students on those two days.
  • Friday, Senior Vice President Vennie Gore sent a message to students lifting the enhanced physical distancing directive and reminding them of their obligations to continue following the MSU Community Compact and local and state health orders while they enjoy their two break days next week.
  • Ingham County Health Department shared a flyer highlighting the different ways to register to receive a vaccine from Ingham County COVID-19 vaccine providers.
  • As a reminder, the Early Detection Program has added Friday as a new weekly sample day. If you are participating in the program and would like to change your weekly sample day to Friday, please go to registration form and update your day. Also, please share this information with any students who are participating in the program as well.
  • The city of East Lansing has extended its Emergency Orders and mask mandate in outdoor public spaces through May 16, 2021.

Spartan Stories 

  • Strategic Infrastructure Planning and Facilities has installed over 60 air purification devices in campus buildings and 238 in campus elevators to keep Spartans safe against COVID-19. These air purifiers can protect buildings from COVID-19 as well as other viruses like the flu.
  • To combat low student engagement as a result of COVID-19, researchers from MSU and University of Michigan developed two curricula designed to guide teachers in motivating and engaging their students.
  • Senior Brent Strong wrote a story fo MSUToday about how the pandemic has affected him and his community.
  • A new MSU study finds that Michigan school districts are beginning to offer some in-person instruction instead of only online instruction. Following Governor Whitmer’s goal of having all schools offer in-person instruction by March 1, less than half as many districts provided remote-only instruction in February compared to January.
  • MSU professor Troy Hale is featured in a WWMT article discussing how he is taking a road trip across the nation, bringing his students along with him virtually to show them some of the positive sides of working from home.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has led MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to cancel its annual fundraising race that honors former Spartan Alex Powell, Alex’s Great State Race. Instead, it is hosting a social media campaign throughout February to give thanks to its supporters. Visit RCPD’s official website to see the content it released throughout the month. 

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.

Emily Gerkin Guerrant
Vice President and Spokesperson