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 MSU's plans for the Spring 2021 semester?

    While the spring semester will start as planned Jan. 11, the state's extension and broadening of its COVID-19 public health order mean MSU will not resume undergraduate classes until Jan. 19. All classes will begin online, and in-person instruction begins Jan. 25.

    Graduate and professional programs continue to have different academic calendars. Those students will hear from their deans and leaders about start dates and class schedules.

    Spring break is canceled to reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus locally and throughout our state and the country by limiting unnecessary travel. The spring calendar does include four midweek days without classes: March 2-3 and April 22-23. Finals week will be held one week earlier than previously scheduled to allow for a weeklong period for graduation ceremonies.

    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 by Jan. 11 and must verify they have received a flu vaccine (with some exceptions) before arriving on campus.

    Additionally, all students returning to the East Lansing area are asked to quarantine for 10-14 days upon arriving.

  • Does the delay in the start of classes impact add/drop dates and the tuition refund period?

    Please check the Registrar’s Office website for all updated and official dates for the spring semester.

  • Will MSU be returning fully to in-person classes if cases decline in the spring?

    The university does not plan to transition online programs to in-person, outside of those we have identified to start in-person this spring.

  • What public health orders are in place?

    The state of Michigan recently extended and broadened a public health order pausing some activities across the state until Jan. 15. That led to the delay of classes starting for the spring semester until Jan. 19. 

    The decision by the Michigan Supreme Court in early October that Gov. Whitmer did not have the authority to declare a state of emergency based on the COVID-19 pandemic does not change the health directives and orders for Michigan State University. The MSU Community Compact is still intact, and the same health and safety directives — wearing face coverings indoors and outdoors on campus, washing your hands, practicing physical distancing and limiting large gatherings — are still in effect.

    Further, the Ingham County Health Department has issued its own emergency orders to maintain and reinforce the most important public health edicts — use of face coverings, limitations on indoor and outdoor gathering sizes, capacity limits for restaurants and mandatory employee health screenings.

    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also issued additional clarification and emergency orders related to face coverings, limiting gathering sizes and restaurant and bar capacities, among other areas.

  • What is Spartan Health Check?

    In the coming weeks, MSU will be rolling out “Spartan Health Check,” a new website that will be a one-stop destination for you to indicate your vaccine status, keep track of your Early Detection Program testing and results and fill out your daily health screening form. More information on this new site, to be used by faculty, staff and students, will be coming soon. 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. If you were registered for the program this fall, please remember that you have to re-register for the program for the spring semester.

  • What is the expectation of those who do come to campus?
    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). Anyone coming to campus must fill out a daily health screening form, and undergraduate students must receive a flu vaccine and take part in mandatory COVID-19 testing this spring. MSU has released more detailed information on the requirements for those on campus.
  • 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.

  • Are there confirmed cases 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 weekly.
  • 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, though some services are closed due to public health orders.
    • The MSU Law Library.
    • The Computer Center, including the store and some labs.
    • 1855 Place will be open daily.
    • IM Sports West is offering individual exercise only and no group classes, per recent public health orders. 

     The following computer laboratories will be open:

    • Bessey Hall: Rooms 211, 214, 216, 217 and 316.
    • Case Hall: North and South lounges
    • Computer Center: Rooms 210, 403, and 415
    • Owen Hall: Lounge
    • Plant and Social Science: Room A152
    • Wells Hall: Rooms B102, B110F, B110G and B110H
    • Wonders Hall: North Lounge
    • MSU Union: Lounge 42 and Engagement Center 200

     There are some buildings that are not open:

    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 by Jan. 11. Faculty and staff, as well as students living off-campus this spring semester, are strongly encouraged to participate in this testing as well.

    Saliva testing will begin on Jan. 4. 

  • 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. 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.
  • Will there be winter sports?

    The college basketball and hockey seasons began in November, women's gymnastics begins Jan. 22 and other sports being evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    The Big Ten requires student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games to undergo daily antigen testing via third-party vendors. Test results must be completed and recorded prior to each practice or game.

    There will be no fans allowed in athletics venues, and tailgating will not be permitted on campus.

COIVD-19 Vaccines

Students and Parents

  • 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 spring semester, students living on campus or coming to campus at any point must sign up for mandatory testing via the Early Detection Program by Jan. 11. Students living off-campus are strongly encouraged to participate in this testing as well.

    Saliva testing will begin on Jan. 4. 

  • Do I have to get a flu vaccine?

    Students living on campus or coming to campus or any university-controlled property at any point during the spring semester will be required to have received an influenza vaccine. Those students must verify they have received the vaccine before coming to campus in January.

    All other students are strongly urged to receive a flu vaccine as well.

    The influenza vaccine is one thing each of us can do to help keep each other healthy and safe as we continue to fight back against COVID-19. While this vaccination is required for all undergraduate students living on campus or coming to campus for any reason this spring, there are limited exceptions for the requirement, including:

    • Undergraduate students who have medical reasons for not receiving the influenza vaccination.
    • Undergraduate students who have religious reasons for not receiving the influenza vaccination.
    • Undergraduate students who have moral or ethical reasons for not receiving the influenza vaccination.
  • 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.
  • Does the delay in classes starting impact when students will receive financial aid? 

    For the majority of students, the changes made to the spring semester schedule will not change the timing of the disbursement of financial aid or the distribution of overage checks.  There may be a few cases – for example with VA benefits – that the distribution of financial aid and/or the distribution of overage checks may be delayed by up to eight days.

  • 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 is the grading policy for spring semester?

    MSU has adopted a satisfactory/not satisfactory (S/NS) binary grade reporting option for students for spring 2021. More information about the S/NS grade reporting option is available on the MSU Guide to Remote Access website.

    Students are strongly encouraged to work with their academic advisors and their programs to determine the possible implications of their choices.

  • 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.

  • How do students stay socially engaged while learning virtually?
    While Michigan State University students are learning remotely, they continue to have access to a wealth of opportunities and connections that come with being a Spartan. Check out some ways everyone can stay involved and connected to one another, including joining student clubs and organizations and taking part in live events.

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?

    Employees who are working remotely should continue to do so for the spring semester, in accordance with direction from their supervisors.

    In mid-March, the university issued directions that employees should work remotely unless their job duties were such that they must be present physically. Employees should look to their college and unit leadership for direction.

    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?

    MSU has taken significant strides to re-activate on-site research and in facilities across the state. The Nov. 15 public health order announced by the state does not impose new restrictions on research.

    Research teams should refer to the Building Safety Information Plan that serves as the principal safety plan for all buildings on campus. It will be important for each building to share and review the plan with its occupants so that everyone can work together to promote building safety. Teams in research labs and creative spaces should also refer to their individual lab safety plans and complete any required training.

    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 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.