FAQs

MSU requires students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as well as receive one booster shot, with limited medical and religious exemptions, as well as online-only exemptions for students only. Below are answers to questions about these requirements as well as general FAQs.

General

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

    If you are feeling ill or have tested positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate and avoid close contact with all others. There is no requirement to report your case to the university.

    Students are asked to not come to class if they are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19 and reach out to their instructors for accommodations so that they can continue their coursework. Faculty are asked to be empathetic to those who are unable to attend class for a time and to recognize the mental health challenges that students and colleagues may be experiencing.

    Employees experiencing symptoms should not come to work and contact their supervisor to make accommodations. 

    For more information on what to do if you are ill, test positive or are exposed to COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 guidance page.

  • Where can I get a vaccine or booster?

    In the U.S., anyone 5 years of age and older, including international students, is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. It is being distributed via doctor’s offices, hospital systems, pharmacies, grocery stores, county health departments and many other locations.  

    All members of the MSU community age 12 and older, including students, faculty, staff, patients, retirees and their families, can receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine or booster through the MSU Health Care Pharmacy

    Students also can get a vaccine or booster through Olin Health Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling (517) 353-4660 to book an appointment. 

    You can also find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster near you by visiting vaccines.gov.

  • How do I get tested for COVID-19?

    While the Early Detection Program and PCR testing at the Clinical Center have both ended, other testing options are widely available. 

  • Who must isolate or quarantine?

    The following rules apply if you test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who is positive:

    • If you test positive for COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms, you must isolate yourself for five days and avoid any contact with others. There is no requirement to report your case to the university. 
    • If you are unvaccinated and are exposed to COVID-19, you should quarantine for five days. If you are exposed and vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine but should self-monitor for any symptoms.

    For more information on what to do if you are ill, test positive or are exposed to COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 guidance page.

  • Is isolation and quarantine housing being offered in the residence halls?

    MSU is unable to provide quarantine and isolation housing for on-campus residents in 2022-23. Students should have a plan of what they do if they test positive or have close contact with someone who tests positive. There is no requirement of notifying the university.

    Expectations for students who test positive:

    1. Isolate yourself and limit non-essential contact with others
    2. Do not attend in-person classes or activities
    3. Utilize takeout, grab-and-go dining or mobile ordering
    4. Contact medical personnel if symptoms worsen or do not improve

     

    Expectations for students whose roommate tests positive:

    1. Self-monitor for symptoms, and leave the room when possible
    2. When in your room, limit contact with your roommate and consider wearing a mask
  • Is MSU offering any COVID-19 treatments?

    The MSU Health Care Pharmacy is dispensing two COVID-19 treatments to both patients of MSU clinics and to members of the broader campus and local community.

    The two oral medications can help prevent severe illness and hospitalization when taken soon after symptom onset. Patients must meet select criteria to receive the medicines.

    To access the treatments, individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 will need to obtain and provide a doctor’s prescription. For MSU students who meet the select criteria, they can receive a prescription after testing positive via the Olin Health Center, or they can see their primary care physician virtually or in person and obtain a prescription after testing positive via a home or community test.

    Click here for more information.

  • What are the COVID-19 protocols for athletic, music, art and theater events on campus?
    MSU athletic events, regardless of campus venue, no longer require masks. In addition, the proof of vaccine requirement at indoor athletic venues no longer applies. Wharton Center and other performance venues may still have COVID-19 requirements, such as masking, depending on artist/promoter contracts. Please check with the venue before the event.

COVID-19 vaccine/booster mandate

  • What is MSU’s COVID-19 vaccine and booster requirement?

    MSU requires students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated and have received one booster shot OR have received an approved exemption

    • In general, people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine;
    • People are considered compliant with MSU's booster mandate after receiving one booster shot.
      • Individuals are eligible for their first booster five months after a Pfizer vaccine, five months after a Moderna vaccine or two months after a Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 
      • A second booster dose also is available for those age 50 and older. Though recommended by the CDC, it is not required to fulfill MSU's vaccine/booster mandate. 

    Even those who contracted COVID-19 previously are required to receive a vaccine and one booster when eligible, which provides additional protection.

    Volunteers, unpaid/no-pay appointees and emeriti faculty are not subject to the vaccine mandate, though visiting scholars are required to receive a vaccine and booster.

    The vaccine requirement does not apply to contractors or vendors. Visitors to campus, unless they are a student, faculty or staff member, also are not required to be vaccinated.

    For information on receiving a vaccine or booster, click here.

  • What do incoming students need to do and by when concerning the vaccine mandate?

    New students must either be on the path to being fully vaccinated and boosted or apply for an exemption before they will be allowed to enroll in courses at MSU. Only after filling out the vaccine verification form with their information will they be allowed to enroll in courses.

  • How do I provide proof that I have been vaccinated and boosted?

    Students, faculty and staff enter their information using MSU's vaccine verification formEnsure you are using a supported browser (Chrome, Firefox or Edge).

    To enter your vaccine doses, please provide the dates of vaccination and the manufacturer of the vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, etc.).

    To enter your booster info, go to the vaccine verification form and click “Edit info/Add booster.” The box indicating you have received your original vaccine (Yes, I have) should be marked. Click “Submit.” Scroll down, enter booster information, and click “Submit” to complete the requirement. A how-to guide also has been created.

    MSU reserves the right to require further verification or documentation if needed.

  • What are the consequences for not complying with the vaccine requirement?

    If a student is not fully compliant, a COVID-19 directive compliance hold is placed on their account. The hold prevents students from accessing grades, enrolling in or changing courses and receiving financial aid refunds. 

    Employees who violate the vaccine requirement may be subject to discipline, including termination from the university.
  • Are second boosters being required by MSU?
    A second booster dose has been approved by the CDC/FDA for those age 50 and older. Though it is recommended by the CDC for that age group, it is not required to fulfill MSU's vaccine/booster mandate.
  • What if I am not currently eligible for a booster vaccination?
    If you are not booster eligible, you do not need to take action yet. Once you become booster eligible, you will have 14 days to get your booster to be compliant with the university vaccine requirements. You will receive reminders as your eligibility date nears.
  • Can I change my form if I make an error or need to add my second dose?

    Yes, the vaccine verification form allows you to make edits multiple times and will recognize your most recent response.

  • Can those under the age of 18 receive the COVID-19 vaccine at MSU?
    Minors (those under the age of 18) must receive permission from a parent or guardian. A medical consent form can be obtained by whoever is providing the vaccine. For those obtaining a vaccine at the MSU Health Care Pharmacy, minors should bring a signed consent form with them.
  • How do I request an exemption from the vaccine mandate?

    Exemptions to the vaccine and booster requirement will be limited. The exemptions are:

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Online only courses (students only): Students requesting this exemption must attest they are taking only online courses and will not physically be present on campus or in any MSU owned or governed property for any reason, including attending or participating in courses, services, programs, recreational or sporting events or other activities of any kind.

    Individuals with an existing medical or religious exemption from the original vaccine mandate also are exempt from the booster requirement. Online-only exemptions for students are only approved for one semester at a time; students wanting such an exemption will need to apply for each semester.

    New requests for online-only, religious and medical exemptions may be made for the booster requirement. Again, those who already have religious or medical exemptions will remain exempt from the booster requirement. You do not need to file another request.

    More information on exemptions can be found here.

  • Do employees or students need to inform anyone (supervisors, faculty, etc.) of their vaccination status?

    No. Employees and students only are required to provide the dates of their vaccination dose(s) and type of vaccination using the vaccine verification form. The university reserves the right to request or seek further verification/documentation.

  • Am I eligible for a booster if I recently got infected with COVID-19?
    Per CDC guidelines, individuals can receive a booster as soon as they are out of isolation after being infected with COVID-19. If you have concerns, talk with your primary care provider or a medical expert and apply for a medical exemption if needed.
  • If I qualify for a medical or religious exemption, will I be required to participate in the Early Detection Program?

    The Early Detection Program has ended. Those with an approved medical or religious exemption are not required to participate in testing.

  • How do international vaccines affect the vaccine/booster mandate? What if I cannot receive a vaccine in my country?

    For the vaccine mandate, MSU will only accept all FDA-approved or -authorized and WHO-approved vaccines. Per the CDC, individuals can receive an FDA-approved or -authorized vaccine 28 days after receiving a noncompliant vaccine outside of the United States. Individuals coming to MSU from outside of the United States will be given a grace period to receive a compliant vaccine if necessary.

    For more information visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html

    If a vaccine or booster is not medically available in the country someone is residing, learning or working, they should submit a request for a medical exemption at https://covidresponse.msu.edu/vaccine-queue/queue.

  • Will faculty be informed about the vaccination status of everyone in their class (vaccinated or have an appropriate exemption)?

    No, the expectation is that everyone will be vaccinated or have an appropriately approved medical or religious exemption. Students should not be asked about their vaccine status by instructors, supervisors, staff or other students.

  • Can an employee remain employed at MSU without being vaccinated if they are working remotely?

    No. Even employees who have previously arranged with their supervisor to work fully remotely must be vaccinated or apply for a medical or religious exemption. 

     

     

  • What happens if it is learned that an employee or student has attested to being vaccinated when in fact the person was not actually vaccinated?

    Individuals can report, anonymously, to the MSU Misconduct Hotline (800-763-0764). They will need to provide the date, time and location involved.

Vaccine exemptions

Face coverings