COVID-19 directives

Updated Sept. 5, 2022

To slow the spread of COVID-19, Michigan State University is directing everyone to take personal responsibility to protect their own health and safety, as well as the health and safety of MSU faculty, staff, students, visitors and loved ones.

Face Coverings

MSU does not require face coverings in most indoor settings, including in instructional settings and research spaces. Face coverings are not required outdoors while you are on property owned or governed by MSU.  

There are limited settings where a face covering is still required:

  1. in a health care or medical facility
  2. if required by a federal/state regulation or contract
  3. in an MSU performance venue if promoter/artist contract requires it

If you have a medical condition that may prevent you from safely wearing a face covering in one of the limited required settings, you can contact MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. 

Face coverings should:

  1. as a best practice, have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric,
  2. fit snugly against the side of your face and do not have gaps,
  3. completely cover your nose and mouth,
  4. be secured, and
  5. allow for breathing without restriction.

Face coverings should only be worn for one day at a time, and cloth masks should be properly hand washed or laundered with soap/detergent before subsequent use.

The following do not constitute face coverings: face coverings with exhalation valves, vents, or other openings; face shields only (without face covering); or face coverings with thin fabric that does not block light.

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine

All faculty, staff, and students are required to be vaccinated or have an approved exemption. FDA-authorized, FDA-approved, and WHO-approved vaccines will meet MSU’s vaccine requirement. Additionally, faculty, students, and staff must receive at least one approved COVID-19 vaccine booster as soon as they are eligible to do so.

In the interest of the health and safety of the entire MSU community, exemptions to the vaccine requirement will be limited. The exemptions are:

  1. Religious exemptions: Persons requesting an exemption due to a sincerely held religious belief that precludes them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine may submit a request for a religious exemption. A religious exemption is not the same as a philosophical, moral, or conscientious exemption.
  2. Medical exemptions: Persons requesting an exemption due to a medical condition that precludes them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine may submit a request for a medical exemption. Documentation from a medical provider is required. The exemption will be provided only for CDC-recognized contraindications and for individuals with disabilities under the ADA.

Faculty, staff, and students can request an exemption for religious or medical reasons using the vaccine verification form. Requests for exemptions will be reviewed by the Review Committee, or other designated MSU personnel, and the Review Committee will inform the person whether their request for an exemption is approved or denied. Those who have an exemption request denied can file an appeal.

Additionally, students who are only taking online courses and will not be on property owned or governed by MSU for any reason during a semester will be exempt from MSU’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Directive. These students can request an exemption using the vaccine verification form.


Symptoms may appear after exposure to the virus. Using whichever tools and processes are made available by the university, pay attention for the appearance of possible flu-like symptoms, including:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list may not include all possible symptoms. Public health officials, including the CDC, will continue to update the list as they learn more about COVID-19. If you begin exhibiting symptoms, stay home and contact your personal health care provider if symptoms worsen.

Exposure to COVID-19

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate yourself for five days, whether you are vaccinated or not. The CDC recommends wearing a mask for another five days afterward. Students, faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician.

Close contacts, regardless of vaccination status and that have been free of COVID-19 symptoms since their exposure, will be asked to monitor for symptoms for at least five days. There is no need to quarantine if no symptoms are present. For those exposed, the CDC recommends monitoring for symptoms and wearing a mask for 10 days. If any symptoms develop, please get tested.

Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can request a medical appointment at Olin Health Center, where a Student Health Services provider will administer a COVID-19 test if medically indicated. Students and employees may locate a test in the community or use a home test. You also can get tested using the State of Michigan Coronavirus Testing Hotline at (888) 535-6136 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and press 1 to be connected to an operator who can help you find a nearby location and schedule an appointment. Alternatively, visit to find locations near you.

Adherence to Public Health Guidance and Cooperation with Public Health Authorities

For the protection of the entire community, MSU expects all faculty, staff, and students to follow all applicable state and public health guidance and cooperate with public health authorities.

Adherence to instructions

To protect yourself and others, faculty, staff, and students must observe instructions from MSU or public health authorities that are emailed to your “” account and follow those instructions.