Weekly Coronavirus Communications Update - March 20

Colleagues,

Here are some important updates related to MSU’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that you may have missed this week. Included in this week’s update are a number of helpful resources related to the COVID-19 vaccines — from a special edition InsideMSU newsletter to a myth-busting article addressing some of the common misinformation circulating in social media and elsewhere.

Important Updates

  • Tuesday, President Stanley informed the Spartan community of the discovery of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant in East Lansing. He urged everyone to continue following the safety practices currently in place like social distancing and wearing face masks because they are effective toward this new strain. He also encouraged the Spartan community to do their research on the COVID vaccines to make informed decisions when it comes the time to receive it.
  • Also Tuesday, it was announced that President Stanley will serve among 40 college and university leaders across the country as part of the Task Force on Higher Education and Opportunity, which was created to address the major challenges that students and underserved communities face as a result of the pandemic.
  • Thursday, University Communications sent out a special edition of InsideMSU focused on COVID-19 vaccines. Be sure to read it through for important vaccine information and resources for learning about and receiving a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Friday, the state of Michigan updated its mask and gathering order. Changes include increased capacities at outdoor sporting venues, mandatory testing of high school student-athletes, and eased restrictions on indoor gatherings that only include people who have been fully vaccinated.
  • As a reminder, all MSU faculty, staff and students have access to #itechmsu Commons, which is a network run by MSU’s Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology that offers an educator-driven space for sharing ideas, questions and teaching resources and allows you to connect with educators across MSU. Get started by logging in with your NetID and password.
  • Our next employee town hall on the COVID-19 vaccines is Monday, March 22 at 3 p.m. The town hall will focus on local distribution efforts and answering employee questions on the COVID-19 vaccines. You can still sign up to participate here.

Spartan Stories

  • MSU’s Peter Gulick, professor of medicine in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and infectious disease expert, reviews some myths about the vaccine and counters these with scientific facts.
  • MSU employees discuss why receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is important to them in a MSU Today article.
  • Assistant Professor Amanda Chaun, Associate Professor Angela Hall, and Associate Director for Undergraduate Programs and Associate Professor Stacy Hickox answer questions about what the workplace may look like post-COVID. 
  • Spartan veterinarians are administering COVID-19 vaccines to assist the nationwide effort to get Americans vaccinated
  • Two fisheries and wildlife undergraduate students are building a box that allows bird banding research to continue during the pandemic.

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.

Good luck to the MSU Women’s Basketball team, starting the first round of the NCAA tournament on Monday against Iowa State at 6 pm!

Emily Gerkin Guerrant
Vice President and Spokesperson