Weekly Coronavirus Communications Update - April 16

Colleagues:

This week MSU made incredible progress in helping students access a COVID-19 vaccine. We are proud to share that more than 2,700 students have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine through our on-campus distribution efforts. And more than 4,000 vaccine appointments have been made available to student first-dose appointments next week.

A special thanks to all of our incredible volunteers and partners who are continuing to make this possible. Spartan nation is incredibly grateful.

Important updates

  • Following the FDA’s recommendation of pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, MSU announced it will now offer students the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. All appointments previously made by students will be honored and MSU will continue to make additional appointments available over the next few weeks. This vaccine switch was made possible with the help of the Ingham County Health Department.
  • Many Spartan students are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at MSU’s student-only clinic. More than 2,700 students have been vaccinated so far.
  • Tuesday, Provost Woodruff released an announcement with a variety of updates and reminders about the spring and fall semesters. The Spring semester ends on April 21 and MSU will offer the Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory (S/NS) binary grade reporting option for most students this semester. For the fall 2021 semester, MSU has expanded its online course offerings and will be offering in-person, hybrid and online classes. A fall break will also be piloted on Monday, October 25 and Tuesday, October 26. Lastly, Provost Woodruff announced that as more people are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and making travel more possible, some of the procedures for MSU-sponsored outgoing international travel have changed. Now, faculty who are fully vaccinated will no longer be subject to a full travel review by the Faculty and Staff Travel Review Committee unless there are security or safety issues and the list of countries fully vaccinated graduate students may visit has expanded. Please see MSU’s international travel webpage for all requirements for MSU travelers.
  • A reminder that the last two mental health days for students are this coming week – Thursday and Friday, April 22 and 23.  No classes will be meeting on these days.
  • Thursday, MSU Executive Vice President for Administration Melissa Woo sent a message to faculty and staff providing guidance on the extension of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health (MIOSHA) emergency rules regarding remote working. The emergency rules continue to prohibit in-person work to the extent that an employee’s work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.
  • Friday, MSU Emergency Management Coordinator Senior Vice President Vennie Gore and Lt. Dave Oslund sent a message to current students informing them of additional COVID-19 vaccine appointments made available for next week (April 20-23). The university continues to encourage students to receive a vaccine and a recent survey by the National Social Norms Center at MSU indicates 80% of students are planning to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • MDHHS released an Epidemic Order to take effect April 19 – May 24. You can view the order here: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/coronavirus/4-19_Epidemic_Orderv4_722412_7.pdf
  • Earlier today, MSU Athletics announced that fans will be allowed at the Spring Football game on Saturday, April 24 at 2 p.m. Following protocols and guidelines established by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), a limited number of spectators will be allowed to attend the contest. The event will feature live scrimmage periods as well as individual and group drills.   To view the press release:  https://msuspartans.com/news/2021/4/17/msu-athletics-announces-plan-for-spring-football-game.aspx.  Attached are the safety protocols that will be followed for the game.

 

Spartan stories

  • The stellar work of Spartan scientists in fighting for the end of COVID-19 is mentioned in a MSU Today graphic. See the graphic here.
  • Anil Jain, MSU’s distinguished professor of computer science and engineering, and his team of researchers are using revolutionary fingerprinting recognition systems for young children in developing countries to streamline COVID-19 vaccination efforts and solve infant identification problems. Read about his work here.
  • President Stanley spoke with West Michigan’s Morning News about how fall semester will look at MSU. Listen here.

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. Attached is an updated 800 script for you and your units to use when responding to callers or those who have questions about MSU’s response to COVID-19.

Best,

Emily