FAQs

General

  • What do I do if I am feeling ill or test positive for COVID-19?

    Any member of our community exhibiting signs of COVID-19 must seek immediate medical attention.

    If you are feeling ill or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate and avoid close contact with all others. You also should contact MSU's COVID-19 hotline at 855-958-2678 and stay in touch with your health care provider. 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 on the State of Michigan's coronavirus website.

    For more information on when you can be around others after either a positive test or potential exposure, check out this scenario chart from the Ingham County Health Department.

  • What are plans for spring 2021 commencement?

    MSU is planning more than 50 limited-attendance outdoor graduation ceremonies to recognize the accomplishments of the spring 2021 graduating class. Unlike previous years, a university-wide convocation will not be held. Undergraduate ceremonies are being scheduled by each college based on students’ majors or alphabetically by last names.

    Advanced degree ceremonies for master’s and doctoral degree recipients as well as education specialists will be held virtually and streamed on the MSU commencement website. The colleges of Human Medicine, Law, Osteopathic Medicine and Veterinary Medicine will hold in-person ceremonies. More than 8,400 undergraduate and graduate degree-earners will be recognized across three weekends in April and May.

    To accommodate current attendance restrictions on outdoor gatherings, each graduate is permitted up to two guests. Given the limited number of people able to safely gather, even outside, the spaces cannot accommodate 2020 graduates, who had no options to attend in-person ceremonies last year. The university will offer those graduates opportunities at a future date.

  • What are MSU's plans for the Fall 2021 semester?

    The university is planning for a more typical fall semester, with 75% of undergraduate classes offered in person. Classes will be offered in multiple scenarios — in person, hybrid and some still online, especially those that would traditionally fill large lecture halls. The health colleges and other graduate programs are on different academic calendar than undergraduate students. Students should check with their individual college to learn more about their in-person experiences planned for the fall semester.

    We expect that routine mitigation testing and other public health policies will continue at some level in the fall, and all of us will need to adhere to these policies and engage in the actions and behaviors that have kept us safe and healthy.

    • We will offer a residence hall experience to first-year students and as many other students as possible while still providing a safe living space.
    • MSU Athletics is planning for fall events with spectators again, although we’ll be following state requirements and guidelines that will be in place at that time regarding attendance.
    • The Wharton Center and Broad Art Museum are planning events this fall.
    • Community-based activities will be permitted in alignment with local and state requirements and guidelines.
    • Our current university-related travel restrictions will be adapted to location-based guidance.
    • As we prepare for more students to be back on campus in the fall, we also will have more employees returning to in-person positions as well. More information will be coming from unit supervisors and leaders in the coming months.

     

  • What is the expectation of those who do come to campus?
    All faculty, staff, students, contractors, suppliers, vendors and visitors are required to wear face coverings indoors and outdoors, practice physical distancing at all times (at least 6 feet of physical separation between yourself and others) and abide by the MSU Community Compact. Anyone coming to campus also must fill out a daily health screening form.
  • What is Spartan Health Check?

    Spartan Health Check is a website that is a one-stop destination for faculty, staff and students to keep track of Early Detection Program testing and results and fill out the daily health screening form. In addition to students living on or visiting campus for any reason, we continue to encourage all faculty, staff and students who are near East Lansing to be a part of the Early Detection Program

  • Who must fill out the health screening form before coming to campus?

    All employees and students must fill out the health screening form every day before coming to campus (students living on campus must fill it out daily as well). Additionally, MSU is strongly recommending that all students living off campus in East Lansing or the surrounding communities also complete the health screening form every day, even if they will not be on campus that day.

    guide has been created for supervisors and administrators so they can access screening reports for employees in their units.

  • What is MSU's policy on wearing masks and double-masking?

    Face coverings must be worn by everyone (including all faculty, staff, students, vendors and visitors) indoors and outdoors while you are on property owned or governed by MSU and while participating in MSU-related or MSU-sponsored activities. If you have a medical condition that may prevent you from safely wearing a face covering, you should contact MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to begin the accommodation process.

    Guidance from the CDC outlines how masks with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric work best. Though MSU does not require double-masking, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to learn more about the CDC guidance as they make decisions on what mask works best for them.   

  • How many confirmed cases are connected to MSU?
    MSU is working closely with public health officials on confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to the university to mitigate the further spread of the virus and is updating its COVID-19 dashboard daily.
  • What buildings and services are open on campus?

    While some buildings across campus have returned to normal business hours, many services traditionally offered to students, faculty and staff in person remain virtual. It is highly recommended to contact a campus office before visiting to get the most updated information.

    Please remember that all members of the MSU community, including visitors, must wear face coverings and practice physical distancing while inside any building, including in offices, hallways, elevators and restrooms.

    The following buildings will be open, at least in part:

    • MSU Libraries is offering contactless pickup, using newly installed touchless lockers. Also, the first-floor study space has reopened with extended hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there are printers and computers available for use.
    • The MSU Union.
    • The MSU Law Library.
    • The Computer Center, including the store and some labs.
    • 1855 Place will be open daily.
    • IM facilities are open.

    The MSU Museum is not open, though faculty and staff can make appointments for research purposes.

    Please visit https://eatatstate.msu.edu/news/diningupdatesaug2020 for an updated list of dining options.

    Other buildings and services, such as the MSU Veterinary Medical Center and MSU Health Care, have modified their operations. Patients and visitors should contact those services before arriving on campus.

  • How do students and employees get access to personal accommodations, such as clear face coverings?

    All accommodations can be requested via the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.

  • What is the COVID-19 Early Detection Program?

    The COVID-19 Early Detection Program is a key part of MSU's health and safety strategy. By analyzing saliva samples throughout the semester, officials will be able to better monitor and manage infections on campus, particularly before outbreaks might occur.

    For the spring semester, students living on campus or coming to campus at any point must sign up for mandatory testing via the Early Detection Program. Faculty and staff, as well as students living off-campus this spring semester, are strongly encouraged to participate in this testing as well.

  • What is the MI-COVID Alert app?
    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget and MSU have launched a COVID-19 exposure notification app. The app is an important tool in helping to reduce the spread of the virus following increased testing and additional contact tracing efforts in Michigan. All members of the MSU community are strongly encouraged to sign up.
  • What is the status of the MSU health clinics?

    MSU Health Care clinics have reopened 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. Clients and referring veterinarians are encouraged to visit the hospital’s website for up-to-date capacity alerts.

COIVD-19 Vaccines

  • Is MSU administering the vaccine?

    MSU has resumed its vaccine clinic at the north side of the Pavilion for any student, faculty or staff member. Appointments are not needed; walk-ups are welcome. The clinic is open 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Additionally, on May 10, a one-day Johnson & Johnson clinic will be held.  

    If you need transportation to the Pavilion, the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) is providing free transportation to and from appointments seven days a week to this and other vaccine locations throughout Ingham County. Call 517-394-2282 to schedule your trip, which must be scheduled at least 24 hours before your appointment. CATA also is running a regular route to the MSU Pavilion (Route 32) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    Beginning May 11, MSU students, faculty, staff, patients, retirees and their families can receive a COVID-19 vaccine through the MSU Health Care Pharmacy

  • Why did MSU switch vaccines to Pfizer from Johnson & Johnson?
    On April 13, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine.

    The recommended pause allowed the FDA and CDC to review cases of extremely rare blood clots. The vaccine has since been approved for continued use.

    Out of an abundance of caution and following federal and state guidance, MSU switched the type of vaccine offered at its clinic from the one-dose J&J vaccine to the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. This change in vaccine was made possible by MSU’s partnership with the Ingham County Health Department, and we are very grateful for their support.

  • What is happening at the MSU Agricultural and Livestock Pavilion?

    MSU is providing the Ingham County Health Department space to use as a vaccine distribution center. This distribution site is not open to the public; an appointment is required. The MSU clinic for faculty, students and staff also is being held at the Pavilion. 

  • Can I receive the vaccine if I recently tested positive for COVID-19?

    People who have had COVID-19 can still get a vaccine. The CDC recommends getting it after you have recovered. If you are currently showing any COVID-19 symptoms, please wait until you are symptom free to schedule a vaccine.

  • How do I sign up to receive the vaccine?

    As of April 5, anyone 16 years of age and older, including international students, is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

    Anyone with questions about signing up for the vaccine can contact their county health department or reach out to health centers and pharmacies in your area. A list of ways to sign up for the vaccine can be found here.

  • Will the university require vaccines for faculty, staff and students?

    MSU leadership strongly urges members of the community to receive the vaccine when it is available to them. Not only will receiving the vaccine protect you from the virus, but it also protects your friends and loved ones.

  • Are employees giving time off to receive the vaccine?
    For MSU employees, the university is allowing up to one hour of release time to receive a vaccine. This would be one hour for each appointment needed based on the vaccine received. The time would not be recorded and would allow the employee to go get a vaccination and return to work, subject to approval by the supervisor.
  • Do I need to keep wearing a mask on campus after I receive the vaccine?

    Yes. It is vital that you keep wearing a face covering and practice all COVID-19 related safety measures, as it will take many months before everyone is protected.

  • Who do I contact for more information about COVID-19 vaccines?

    Local health departments and primary care providers are the best resources for information about vaccines. It is recommended you visit your local health department website as several have frequently asked questions posted online. 

    The State of Michigan also has some frequently asked questions on its website.

Students and Parents

  • What if students required to take part in the Early Detection Program leave the campus area for any length of time?

    If you leave campus and return to East Lansing, you are expected to submit a spit test through the COVID-19 Early Detection Program within 24 hours of arrival. You will need to have at least one negative test result before resuming any in-person activities, which include classes, research activities or events.

     

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

    If feeling ill, students should contact MSU's COVID-19 hotline at 855-958-2678 or contact their health care provider. 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.

    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 you think you have been exposed from a close contact, you should self-quarantine and monitor your symptoms. The standard length of quarantine is 14 days; however, it is now allowable for people to quarantine for 10 days following exposure and to monitor for symptoms and wear masks on days 11-14 as long as they remain symptom-free. More information can be found at the State of Michigan's coronavirus website.

    For more information on when you can be around others after either a positive test or potential exposure, check out this scenario chart from the Ingham County Health Department.

  • Will students be required to be tested for COVID-19?

    Any student showing symptoms will have access to testingFor the summer semester, students living on campus or coming to campus at any point must sign up for mandatory testing via the Early Detection Program. Students living off-campus are strongly encouraged to participate in this testing as well.

  • Will there be any changes to room and board costs for spring semester due to classes being delayed?
    Spring room and board rates remain the same, though MSU will be giving a housing and dining credit to spring semester residents for the Jan. 6-14 period, as this change to the move-in period was out of their control. The credit will be placed on Student Accounts in late January. Current apartment residents are not included in the credit as their 2020-21 lease is not impacted.
  • Do I have to quarantine upon arrival when I return for spring semester?
    We ask that students who are returning to East Lansing from outside communities — whether in-state, national or international — quarantine upon their arrival to help reduce the spread of the virus. During this time, students are to remain in their local residences, leaving only for life-sustaining activities, such as seeking medical care, purchasing food or groceries or exercising outdoors. This effort will be most effective if students adhere to this quarantine for at least 10 and up to 14 days and continue monitoring for symptoms for the remainder of the semester. 
  • Can I stay in my own residence hall room/house/apartment if I have to isolate/quarantine or do I have to move?

    Students who are quarantining/isolating should remain in their place of residence, away from any roommates as much as possible. For students living on campus, if you are in a single room and do not have a community bathroom, you can stay in your current room. For those rare situations where that is not possible, MSU has set up isolation housing that students can use.

  • Why should I participate in contact tracing?  What happens if I don’t?

    Contact tracing involves identifying those individuals who were in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 or was exposed. It is a vital tool to identify outbreaks. It is important that students up the phone when they see a number from a 517 area code; it might be the Ingham County Health Department or Office of the University Physician. Students are expected to fully cooperate with contracting efforts; if they do not, they can be referred to the student conduct process.

  • If I share names during contact tracing, will they know that if came from me?

    Contact tracers do not share any private information when identifying individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

  • What if I don’t want to get tested, even if I’m told I should?

    It is vital to get tested if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed. If you are asked to be tested for COVID-19, and you refuse, you can be referred to the student conduct process.

  • What mental health resources are available for students?

    There are myriad resources available for students, even though nearly all classes are virtual. Students do not need to be on campus to take advantage of crisis counseling, download a virtual care kit or take part in consultation services aimed at reaching historically underrepresented groups, among many other programs. For more information, visit the Resources page.

    Spartan students also are sharing tips for success directly with one another. Watch as MSU senior Jay Gooden offers suggestions and resources for reducing stress, staying organized and finding help when it’s needed.

Faculty and Staff

  • 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. The standard length of quarantine is 14 days; however, it is now allowable for people to quarantine for 10 days following exposure and to monitor for symptoms and wear masks on days 11-14 as long as they remain symptom-free. More information can be found at the State of Michigan's coronavirus website.

    For more information on when you can be around others after either a positive test or potential exposure, check out this scenario chart from the Ingham County Health Department.

  • Should employees be coming back to work?
    The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration extended its emergency rules regarding COVID-19 an additional six months to Oct. 14. The emergency rules continue to prohibit in-person work to the extent that an employee’s activities feasibly can be completed remotely. 

    Employees who are working remotely should continue to do so, in accordance with direction from 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, along with a decision-making guide and supporting documents

  • 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.

  • What do I do if a student discloses they have tested positive for COVID-19?
    If a faculty member, adviser, or staff member are made aware of a positive test by a student (from the student) they should notify the University Physician's office by calling (517) 353-8933 or emailing uphys@msu.edu. It is not appropriate to share information about a student's health or medical status with the rest of the class or other faculty/staff members. The appropriate people will be contacted through MSU's contact tracing efforts if they are believed to have been a close contact with the positive individual. Any communications provided to the classroom or department, if deemed necessary through contact tracking, will be sent by the University Physician's office.
  • Are research activities continuing at MSU?

    All major research buildings are now open for operation under modified conditions. Research teams should refer to the Building Safety Information Plan that serves as the principal safety plan for all buildings on campus. Teams in research labs and creative spaces should also refer to their individual lab safety plans and complete any required training

    All research faculty and staff (including students) must fill out a health screening form each day they come to campus to work. MSU IT and the University Physician’s office have created an online campuswide health-screening form that units can use. All research teams are encouraged to participate in the Early Detection Program for convenient and free weekly testing.

    Please visit vp.research.msu.edu/coronavirus for more information.

    • 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 msu.edu/unit/intaudit/hotline.)
  • What mental health resources are available for faculty and staff?
    Faculty and staff are encouraged to keep an eye on theit own mental health and well-being. All academic units have been instructed by the Office of the Provost to be as flexible as possible with work arrangements, and that directive will extend into the spring. Please reference the faculty and staff mental health resources that are available.