Testing and Reporting

MSU’s updated COVID-19 dashboard provides the public with information on the vaccination rate of the MSU community – students, faculty and staff – as well as data from the university’s Early Detection Program and Residential and Hospitality Services' quarantine and isolation housing. Beginning Sept. 21, the dashboard also reflects the number of COVID-19 cases reported by the Ingham County Health Department and to the MSU University Physician’s office. Additionally, MSU’s self-reported vaccine rate was adjusted Sept. 21 to exclude several groups not required to complete the vaccine verification form, including retirees, no-pay faculty and individuals no longer actively working for MSU.


State, county COVID-19 dashboards

The state of Michigan and the Ingham County Health Department publish COVID-19 dashboards, detailing the number of cases by area, trends and demographics on positive cases, among other information.

Right to privacy

MSU will not disclose the identity of any person or any information that could potentially identify a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 out of respect for their right to privacy. This includes, but is not limited to, an individual's place of work, residence and groups or teams an individual is associated with on campus, etc. We expect members of our community to respect that right to privacy as well.

Notification policy

As part of our effort to increase transparency while also protecting an individual’s right to privacy, MSU will observe the following communications protocols:

  • Contact tracers will notify individuals believed to have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive (only those who are unvaccinated would need to quarantine). Definition of close contact: Sustained time — more than 15 minutes — within six feet of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Because MSU is conducting appropriate contact tracing in partnership with the local health department to identify and notify anyone who might be at risk, units, departments and residence halls will not be sending an email each time there is a positive case on campus.


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 and have questions, contact MSU's COVID-19 Triage Hotline at 855-958-2678 or your primary health care provider.

If you are ill or test positive, you should self-isolate and avoid close contact with others. For students who live on campus, space for quarantine and isolation will be provided. 

  • Students experiencing significant symptoms can request a medical appointment at Olin Health Center. A Student Health Services provider will administer a COVID-19 test as medically necessary. Significant symptoms include:
    • High fever
    • Persistent cough
    • Persistent shortness of breath
  • Asymptomatic students or students with mild symptoms should use the Early Detection Program for a test. Results are typically returned within 24–36 hours. Mild symptoms include:
    • Congestion
    • Loss of taste
    • Loss of smell
  • Employees experiencing significant symptoms should contact their primary care provider. Asymptomatic employees or employees with mild symptoms also can use the Early Detection Program.

Members of the MSU community can get tested at the Sparrow Laboratories clinic in Frandor at the former Sears Auto Center. Test results are typically available within 24 hours. In addition, many urgent care centers and pharmacies in the East Lansing area offer testing as well. The state of Michigan also runs a test location finder.

MSU COVID-19 Early Detection Program

The COVID-19 Early Detection Program is a key part of MSU's health and safety strategy. The program is designed to create a campus-wide net that provides two primary benefits:

  • Secure and timely test data that provides the COVID-19 status of campus community members at the highest risk of transmission. This enables individuals to protect themselves and each other from spread.
  • The generation of actionable, quality population-level data, so that university leaders can make critical, informed, and immediate decisions regarding the health and safety of MSU’s people and places.

Students, faculty and staff who receive a limited medical or religious exemption to MSU's vaccine mandate are required to participate in the program. Other members of the community can volunteer to take part, even if they are vaccinated.

Quarantining, isolating and contact tracing

For Fall 2021, when positive cases are identified, MSU’s COVID-19 Triage Line in collaboration with Ingham County Health Department, or applicable local health department, will lead contact tracing and notification efforts.  They will, on a case-by-case basis, identify close contacts (defined as someone who has been within six feet for 15 minutes or more of a person who tested positive for the novel coronavirus).  Close contacts will be contacted by the MSU COVID-19 Triage Line.  In some cases, an entire class of students will be notified that they have been identified as close contacts, and in other cases, only specific students or employees will be identified as close contacts and notified. 

Confirmed close contacts who have been fully vaccinated and have been free of COVID-19 symptoms since their exposure will be asked to monitor for symptoms, have themselves tested 3-5 days after exposure, and wear a mask in all public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.  To be considered fully vaccinated, a person must have received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine two or more weeks before the exposure or have received the single-dose vaccine two or more weeks before the exposure.

Confirmed close contacts who have not been vaccinated will be required to quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with an infected person.  Quarantine requires that a person stays home, checks their temperature twice a day, and monitors for symptoms consistent with COVID-19. They should contact the MSU COVID Triage Line if symptoms consistent with COVID-19 develop.

Vaccinated people who have potentially been in close contact (unconfirmed) with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, such as in a classroom, do not need to quarantine or isolate and should continue to attend in-person classes and participate in social activities.  However, they should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after the potential exposure. The CDC also recommends that they get tested within 3-5 days after the exposure, even if they do not show any symptoms. To meet this recommendation, they may participate in MSU’s Early Detection Program by registering at earlydetection.msu.edu/.

Unvaccinated people who have potentially been in close contact (unconfirmed) with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 need to take extra precautions for the next 14 days.  They should continue to attend in-person classes, but very vigilant about wearing appropriate and properly fitting face masks whenever they are indoors in any public space for the next 14 days.  They will need to carefully monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested within 3-5 days of the potential exposure. Students who are not yet fully vaccinated must be participating in the Early Detection Program.  They can do so by registering at earlydetection.msu.edu/.

It will be incumbent on students to notify their instructors that they will not be able to attend class if they have tested positive or if they are identified as a close contact and are not fully vaccinated. Instructors, advisers, and administrators should never take it upon themselves to serve as contact tracers or share someone else’s medical information with students or colleagues.  All questions or concerns about contact tracing, positive cases, or isolation/quarantine expectations should be referred to MSU’s COVID-19 Triage Line at 855-958-2678.

Any concerns about students or employees misrepresenting their vaccination status or not following quarantine/isolation expectations should be referred to MSU’s Misconduct Hotline at misconduct.msu.edu.


Finding a testing location elsewhere in Michigan

Call the state of Michigan's COVID Hotline at 888-535-6136 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and press 1 to be connected to an operator who can help you find a nearby location and schedule an appointment; or, visit Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest to find testing locations near you and schedule an appointment. There are many locations where you can get tested at no cost to you.