FAQs

General

  • What are MSU's plans for the Fall 2020 semester?
    President Stanley has announced MSU's intention to bring Spartans back on campus this fall. To help assess how the university safely accomplishes that, President Stanley has appointed a task force to research return-to-campus options and to put recommendations in place as we make decisions.
  • How was the fall reopening decision made?

    It was based on guidance from health care professionals, feedback from faculty, staff and students, as well as MSU leadership and recommendations from the university’s COVID-19 Reopening Campus Task Force. Safety has always been the chief concern, but there has been meaningful progress in controlling COVID-19 infections in our region and state.

    Since MSU began remote instruction in March, the university has taken several important steps to enhance overall safety, including increased cleaning standards, establishing a strong supply chain for appropriate amounts of personal protective equipment and partnering with local health care facilities in preparation for an outbreak.

    Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Norman Beauchamp and University Physician David Weismantel co-chair our reopening task force and have been thorough and inclusive in their work. As physicians, they are ensuring MSU is collectively making decisions based on health data, science and safety for our community.

  • What is the expectation of those who come to campus?
    Per the governor's executive order, all faculty, staff, students, contractors, suppliers, vendors and visitors in any enclosed space are required to wear face coverings indoors and outdoors and practice physical distancing at all times (at least 6 feet of physical separation between yourself and others). MSU has released more detailed information on the requirements for those on campus.
  • Are there confirmed cases connected to MSU?
    MSU is aware of confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to the university. MSU continues to work closely with local and state health departments and follow all appropriate steps to mitigate further spread.
  • Does the state’s executive order that limits indoor gatherings impact MSU’s ability to hold in-person classes?
    No. The state’s executive order applies to social gatherings and does not impacts MSU’s or any Michigan university’s ability to hold in-person courses in a physically distanced manner.
  • What is the status of the MSU health clinics?

    MSU Health Care clinics are in the process of reopening with extra safety measures in place. More information can be found here. Almost all locations still offer telehealth visits. MSU Pharmacy offers prescription delivery within a 30-mile radius of campus, same-day curbside pick-up at both locations, 90-day supply and will assist with early refills. To learn about these services, visit healthteam.msu.edu/covid19.

  • What is the status of the MSU Veterinary Medical Center?
    The MSU Veterinary Medical Center has modified its operations to maintain the quality and efficiency of its Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Medicine Service while protecting its clinical staff during the pandemic. For the foreseeable future, the emergency service will operate based on patient capacity. Clients and referring veterinarians are encouraged to visit the hospital’s website for up-to-date capacity alerts. All patients brought to the MSU Veterinary Medical Center will be evaluated for care, and any patient with immediately life-threatening problems will be admitted; however, during times of exceeded capacity, MSU will only accept the most critically ill patients in need of life-saving care.
  • Is MSU canceling all events on campus?

    Nearly all events across campus have been rescheduled or canceled.

    No new events should be scheduled on campus at this time. Any exceptions to this must be approved in writing by a vice president or the president. Please contact the event organizer or venue to for further details, including whether the event is being rescheduled.

  • Will there be fall sports?

    Big Ten Conference announced on July 9 that if the conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to conference-only schedules in those sports.

    Student-athletes began returning to campus on June 15 in preparation for voluntary summer workouts. Michigan State's plan was developed following safety guidelines from the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and CDC guidelines as well as on-campus medical professionals and guidelines provided by the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA.

    Exact plans for fall sports are still under discussion, and decisions made by the Big Ten and NCAA will also impact the university. MSU continues to plan for those events to take place in the fall, but preparedness demands that we also plan for alternative scenarios. For example, MSU might be able to offer athletic competitions, but without spectators.

Students and Parents

  • What should I do if I feel ill or have been exposed to COVID-19?

    MSU Student Health Services remains open, and medical visits for MSU students are available at Olin Health Center and require an appointment be scheduled prior to arrival at the clinic. Call 517-353-4660 Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 to 4:50 p.m.

    If feeling ill, students can contact Olin’s 24-hour nurse line at 517-353-5557 or contact their personal health care provider for health concerns. If you are ill, you should self-isolate and avoid close contact with all others. More information on what to do if you feel sick can be found on the CDC website.

    If you think you have been exposed from a close contact, you should self-quarantine and monitor your symptoms. More information can be found at the State of Michigan's coronavirus website.

  • How is safety being addressed on campus?

    The health and safety of our entire campus community continues to drive our decisions and actions. The COVID-19 pandemic presents significant and unpredictable health risks. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and can be spread by people who do not know they have the virus. There is no guarantee that persons on campus will not become infected by COVID-19.

    But we’ve learned a great deal about the novel coronavirus since classes moved to a remote format in March. The university is taking a multitude of steps to address safety on campus, from cleaning procedures to physical distancing (at least 6 feet, or 2 meters, apart) and mask requirements. We also know safety is greatly affected by students’ own behaviors and the circumstances and actions of those around them. A community compact has been established with directives and expectations for all. Classrooms have been retrofitted, cleaning stations established and clear requirements for face coverings and physical distancing are in place, among many other measures.

  • How can I prepare myself for coming to campus?

    All MSU travelers — domestic and international — who are incoming to campus are asked to follow MSU health protocols for inbound travelers. It is strongly recommended that students and employees traveling from a high-risk area self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

    MSU has spent months preparing the campus to be as safe as possible, but recent experiences within MSU Athletics and other areas have shown that there will indeed be COVID-19 cases and we must be prepared. We must take actions that reduce or prevent transmission of the disease. To slow its spread, dining hall layouts and procedures have been updated, student rooms adjusted and study spaces marked for physical distancing. Seating and capacity in classrooms have been reduced and new technology added to assist with instruction.

    As a student, you have an important role to play, too. You should avoid large gatherings, whether in a bar or at a party, or during passage between classes. It’s critical that all of us follow the compact and directives — whether on campus, at home or in nearby communities. For more information about our safety protocols in the residence halls, please visit this Residence Education and Housing Services webpage.

  • All my classes are remote. Should I remain at home?
    If you can live safely and study successfully at home, we encourage you to consider that option for the fall semester. The vast majority of first-year students this fall will have course schedules that are completely online. Living away from campus may be the best choice for you and your family, particularly if you have family members at higher health risk. We have adjusted some of our residence hall rules recently, so please apply as soon as possible to be released from your contract, if that is your choice.
  • What if I want to live on campus?
    You should make your choice based on what is the safest and best place for you to live and learn. We know many students consider MSU their home and don’t have another appropriate living space. Many international students cannot, or prefer not to, return to their home locations at this time. We also are aware that some students reside in places where the technology availability, the degree of disease prevalence, personal support or physical surroundings are not conducive to remote learning. MSU will continue to accommodate all students who need a safe place to live.
  • What will be different on campus?
    As a student, you will be able to meet others and experience much of what MSU offers in a more remote or distanced fashion. Gatherings in dining areas and study spaces will change. We are not allowing overnight guests in residence halls. Face coverings are required on campus both indoors and outdoors. Study groups will be virtual or held where more than 6 feet of physical distance can be accommodated at all times. We don’t envision intramural sports taking place or indoor exercise facilities being available, given current state executive orders. Strict adherence to group limits of 10 or fewer people with face coverings and distancing will be required, as defined by the recent executive order from Michigan’s governor (outside of classroom settings). We believe this creates opportunities to socially engage and make new friends while on campus, but the experience will be different.
  • What if I'm currently living in a hot spot? Will there be a quarantine requirement?
    We’ve seen a gradual increase in cases in Michigan, as well as spikes in other states and communities across the nation and around the world. All students should step up the safety practices of mask wearing, physical distancing, sheltering at home and avoiding gatherings in the two weeks before the start of classes. For students arriving from hot spot locations as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Ingham County Health Department, we recommend a quarantine period after campus arrival. (NOTE: At MSU, we use “isolation” to refer to those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who test positive, and “quarantine” to refer to those who may be at risk due to a known exposure and need to self-monitor for a period of time.)
  • Will all students be tested for COVID-19? Do we have to be tested prior to arriving on campus?

    Any student showing symptoms will have access to testing through MSU’s Olin Health Center and other sites on campus. Testing is an important part of the overall response to COVID-19, helping identify positive cases so the spread can be contained and the individual can be promptly treated. MSU is working closely with the Ingham County Health Department on contact tracing. Students will be notified if there is a concern they may have been exposed to the virus and need to self-monitor, get a test or self-quarantine. We also are exploring options to help identify populations that need additional testing through a procedure the CDC refers to as “surveillance.” This technique involves ongoing collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data through the collection of saliva samples.

    Our current plan does not include testing all students prior to campus arrival.

  • Will in-person extracurricular activities and registered student organization events still be allowed?
    es, but with some changes. Any in-person activity or event will be limited to 10 people or fewer for indoor settings and 100 people or fewer for outdoor settings. In both settings, face coverings must be worn and appropriate physical distancing must be maintained. Virtual events and activities may also be organized.
  • What financial resources are available for students?

    Congress provided funding for colleges and universities to use as student aid in recognition of the disruption caused by COVID-19. MSU received $14.9 million and has disbursed all of its allotted funding to 7,844 eligible students. Additionally, 265 other students received $309,991 in emergency institutional/donor grants.

    Due to the overwhelming number of applicants and the limited resources available, applications for the Support our Spartans Student Emergency Needs Fund for COVID-19 are no longer being accepted.

    Other resources for students can be found here.

Faculty and Staff

  • Should employees be coming back to work?

    Though the governor rescinded her "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive orderemployees should remain working from home until otherwise directed by their supervisors. 

    For those administrative and academic functions that are deemed necessary to return to campus, a template has been created to help guide them through that process. Those units must review and respond to the Return-to-Work Procedures and Protocols framework, which guides what steps need to be taken before bringing employees back to campus.

  • What steps do essential employees working on campus need to take?

    Essential employees working on campus must complete a health screening every time they come to campus. The University Physician's office has provided a form employees must complete before coming to work.

    Employees on campus also must wear cloth face coverings. Supervisors are responsible for providing coverings; more information can be found here.

  • Are research activities continuing at MSU?

    MSU has taken significant strides to re-activate on-site research and in facilities across the state. More than 30 laboratory research buildings and 550 labs are now open for operation under modified conditions. Safety has been the priority throughout this effort.

    In the interest of transparency and accountability, MSU provides a variety of administrative contact points to which complaints on unsafe research practices may be addressed, according to the reporting individuals’ personal comfort levels. They include:

    • the advisor or laboratory PI
    • the chairpersons and graduate associate chairpersons in departments and schools,
    • the deans and associate deans in the colleges,
    • the Office of Regulatory Affairs (517-432-4500)
    • the Office of Research & Innovation (517-355-0306 during office hours, or 517-285-5646 any time), and
    • the MSU Misconduct Hotline at 1-800-763-0764, where anonymous reports will be immediately directed to MSU Environmental Health and Safety. (Explanation, and information on anonymous reports, may be found at https://msu.edu/unit/intaudit/hotline.html.)
  • What should I do if I feel ill or have been exposed to COVID-19?

    If feeling ill, faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician. If you are ill, you should self-isolate and avoid close contact with all others. More information on what to do if you feel sick can be found on the CDC website.

    If you think you have been exposed from a close contact, you should self-quarantine and monitor your symptoms. More information can be found at the State of Michigan's coronavirus website.