Weekly Coronavirus Communications Update - March 12

Colleagues,

Today’s announcement that soon all Michigan residents over 16 will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine is encouraging and welcome news. Starting April 5, all adults not previously eligible to receive a safe and effective vaccine will be eligible.

As MSU works to keep our campus community informed about these vaccines and those who are administering them, I want to point your attention to our dedicated webpage on the vaccines. Here you will find past town halls, frequently asked questions, and importantly, a list of vaccine providers. While not exhaustive, we hope it will help you register with as many providers as you are able to receive a vaccine sooner.

As the weather warms up, we are getting renewed hope for a brighter and more normal future. Together, we can and will get through this.

Important Updates

  • Recognizing the anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic and the dedication of Spartans this past year, President Stanley released a video thanking MSU staff, faculty and students for their resilience during the pandemic and encouraging them to receive the COVID vaccine.
  • With the Big Ten tournament beginning this week and St. Patrick's Day nearing, community leaders from the City of East Lansing, Ingham County Health Department and MSU came together to urge the community to continue following the current COVID-19 safety measures in place. This includes limiting indoor and outdoor social gatherings to only 15 people and wearing face coverings.
  • Wednesday, Provost Teresa Woodruff sent a message to educators reminding them that spring semester classes end on Wednesday, April 21. April 22 and 23 will be designated Study Days for students to prepare for final exams. There will be no classes, assignments, exams or quizzes for students on these Study Days.
  • Also Wednesday, MSU announced it will hold graduation ceremonies this spring for 2021 graduates. There will be more than 50 limited-attendance ceremonies scheduled by each college based on student’s majors and last names. They will be spread across large MSU parking lots to allow for physical distancing.
  • The university also on Wednesday announced its next employee town hall on the COVID-19 vaccines will be held March 22 at 3 p.m. This town hall will focus on local Ingham County vaccine distribution efforts. If you are unable to attend, a recording will be made available the following day on our Together We Will website.
  • Thursday, Ingham County Health Department announced it is expanding vaccine providers to its three Federally Qualified Health Centers. Learn who is eligible at these sites and how to book an appointment on the ICHD website.
  • Also Thursday, MSU Emergency Management Coordinator Lt. Dave Oslund sent a message to all MSU employees to make them aware of a volunteer opportunity with the local health department to assist in its vaccination efforts. All volunteers who complete four five-hour shifts are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • New information is now available on the university’s dedicated COVID-19 vaccine webpage, including links to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine near you, past town halls and information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

Spartan Stories

  • Anand Nair, Eli Broad Endowed Professor in the Department of Supply Chain Management wrote about financial waste in the medical field, noting that the financial constraints brought about by the pandemic may encourage health care organizations and hospitals to rethink their procedures.
  • Bloomberg published an article about the MI Diaries project, launch in April 2020 by sociolinguists Betsy Sneller and Suzanne Wagner launched, asking participants to submit recordings talking about their lives during the pandemic. The researchers listened to stories of isolated teenagers, socially distanced weddings and Zoom Christmases to discover changes in how we speak.
  • A study from MSU’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) has shown that the pandemic hit students in the most disadvantaged public schools across Michigan the hardest.
  • WKAR sat down with Peter Gulick, an expert in infectious disease at MSU, to discuss the pace of the vaccinations.

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