Weekly Coronavirus Communications Update - May 14


Today we wrapped up the last of the graduation ceremonies with the MSU Law School. Next week is the start of the summer semester. As we begin this transition, I’d like to make note that these weekly updates may become a bit more sporadic, moving to an every-other-week basis. It will depend on how much information there is to share, or the timeliness of the information. I appreciate all the feedback provided over the past 15 months for these updates, and I know many of you find value in continuing to receive them.  

I hope everyone has a good weekend and enjoys the sunshine!

Here is this week’s recap.

Important updates:

  • Monday, President Stanley announced that masks are no longer needed in outdoor settings on campus for individuals and groups of less than 100 people. In his letter, President Stanley also shared that students coming to campus or property governed by the university for any reason this summer will be required to participate in the Early Detection Program. The program will continue to operate for those faculty and staff who wish to continue participating voluntarily.
  • Friday, the state shared that starting 9 a.m. Saturday, May 15, Michigan’s Mask and Gathering Order will be updated to allow vaccinated individuals, in most cases, to gather indoors without a mask.  MSU is still legally required to follow the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration (MIOSHA) guidelines, however, and so for now employees, students and guests must continue wearing a mask indoors.  We anticipate the state will be updating these guidelines in the coming weeks, and we will continue to monitor for the impact on MSU.
  • Also Friday, Provost Woodruff shared updated travel guidance for university-sponsored travel, both domestic and international.
  • Earlier in the week, state leaders announced that Michigan had reached 55% of residents aged 16 and older having received the COVID vaccine, which was a level in the “Vacc to Normal” plan announced a few weeks ago. With that milestone, in-person work for many places of employment can resume on May 24.
  • HR on Friday sent a message to Deans, Directors and Chairs regarding the impact of the state’s lifting of in-person work restrictions. The message shares information on how the university is planning for a return to business locations. A copy of that message is attached.    A letter to all employees about these plans will be coming early next week.
  • The state of Michigan has released the next series of community town halls focused on concerns of people with disabilities and their caregivers in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine. The event can be viewed at Facebook.com/MichiganHHS.
    • The next town hall will be on May 18th at 4:00 p.m. via Facebook Live, and will be hosted by the Protect Michigan Commission Middle Eastern Workgroup.

Spartan Stories:

  • MSU associate professor, Claudia Finkelstein, highlights five tips for returning to normalcy after the pandemic. Read more here. She also talked with MSU Today Podcast Host Russ White about our collective mental health as we cautiously emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen here.
  • A new study from Michigan State University College of Nursing researcher Jiying Ling shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased anxiety, depression and stress among lower-income families. Read more here.

Please continue to check our Together We Will website for the latest information on our response to the pandemic. 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.