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 in your home. If you have any questions, contact MSU's COVID-19 Triage Hotline at 855-958-2678 or your primary health care provider.
  • What are MSU's plans for the Spring 2020 semester?

    While students will continue to primarily learn virtually for the spring 2021 semester, MSU is increasing the number of in-person courses and bringing an additional 2,500 students back to residence halls. The spring semester will start Jan. 11, 2021, and end April 23. 

    Spring break is canceled, but the spring calendar will include three midweek days without classes  throughout the semester to provide breaks for students. Undergraduate instruction will end April 23, 2021, and finals week will be held one week earlier than previously scheduled to allow for a weeklong period for graduation ceremonies. 

    For the spring semester, MSU will require participation in the COVID-19 Early Detection Program for students living on campus and undergraduate students coming to campus during the spring semester due to, for example, in-person classes, labs or work.

  • What public health orders are in place?

    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 issued four of 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 the expectation of those who do 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.
  • 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.
  • Are there confirmed cases connected to MSU?
    MSU is aware of confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to the university and is updating its COVID-19 dashboard weekly. MSU continues to work closely with local and state health departments and follow all appropriate steps to mitigate further spread.
  • 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 announced it is now 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 Broad Art Museum is open to the public.
    • The MSU Union, though some services are closed due to the recommended student quarantine.
    • The MSU Law Library.
    • The Computer Center, including the store and some labs.
    • 1855 Place will be open daily.
    • IM Sports West will reopen Oct. 26 as a membership-only facility. Students, faculty and staff can purchase a membership, which now includes the fitness center, group fitness classes and lap swimming.

     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 will not re-open as the semester resumes:

    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. This initiative will help MSU identify the possible presence of the virus in people who are asymptomatic. By analyzing saliva samples throughout the semester, officials will be able to better monitor and manage infections on campus before outbreaks might occur.

    MSU is asking all faculty, staff and students who will be in the East Lansing area this fall to volunteer and by doing so, you’ll help us mitigate the spread of the virus — the larger our volunteer pool, the better we’ll be able to detect outbreaks. 

    For the spring semester, MSU will require participation in the COVID-19 Early Detection Program for students living on campus and undergraduate students coming to campus during the spring semester due to, for example, in-person classes, labs or work.

  • 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 pilot program for campus and the surrounding community. The app is a next step to help 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 fall sports?

    The Big Ten Conference on Sept. 16, after adopting significant medical protocols including daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and an enhanced data-driven approach, announced the football season will resume starting the weekend of Oct. 23-24.

    There will be no fans allowed in Spartan Stadium, and tailgating will not be permitted on campus.

     

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 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.

    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.

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

    For the fall semester, only symptomatic students or those exposed to COVID-19 are required to be tested for COVID-19. If that is the case, please contact MSU's COVID-19 hotline at 855-958-2678.

    Any student showing symptoms will have access to testing. 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. 

    For the spring semester, MSU will require participation in the COVID-19 Early Detection Program for students living on campus and undergraduate students coming to campus during the spring semester due to, for example, in-person classes, labs or work.

  • Can I live on campus for the spring 2021 semester?

    An additional 2,500 single-occupancy residence hall spaces will be available to students in spring 2021. A request form will go live in students' My Housing account on Nov. 9 and will close Nov. 16. MSU anticipates being able to share approvals by Nov. 25.

    Students will not be able to self-select spaces. The review criteria will include situations such as housing-related insecurities, needing additional assistance to be academically successful, those with in-person or hybrid courses, and graduate and professional students.

    Students who signed up for the Learn from Home option also had their spring 2021 contracts canceled and will need to go through the approval process for spring if they want to live on campus.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • What is the grading policy for fall 2020 semester?

    MSU has adopted a new substitute grade called NR-C (No Record - COVID19) for fall. This means instructors will implement a grade of NR-C for all undergraduate student grades of 1.5, 1.0, or 0.0 earned during Fall Semester 2020. Grades of 0.0 will automatically be replaced with NR-C; grades or 1.0 or 1.5 will be replaced with NR-C if the student so chooses.

    By default, graduate students will generally have the option of substituting a grade of NR-C for grades of 2.5 or below earned during Fall Semester 2020.

    Students are strongly encouraged to work with their academic advisors and their programs to determine possible implications of their choices. Also, per request of the college, the option can be removed for specific programs, in particular those whose accreditation or other constraints make the NR-C option problematic.

  • 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

  • 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. 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 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.
  • 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.