MSU mandates COVID-19 vaccination for all students, staff and faculty, reimposes indoor mask-wearing requirement


An MSU COVID-19 detection kit/ Photo Credit: MSU University Communications

Nathan Stearns, Sports Broadcast Director

EAST LANSING— After previously not requiring students, staff or faculty to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley announced that all students, faculty and staff will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 31.  In an email sent to students and faculty on Friday afternoon, he also revealed that masks will be required for all activities within campus buildings beginning on August 1.

The indoor mask requirement is expected to be in place for the first few weeks of the fall semester, at a minimum.  Previously, the university waived indoor mask mandates and daily health screening requirements in late June.

Stanley did confirm that limited exceptions to the vaccination policy will be available for relevant medical or religious reasons. More information is expected within the next several days.

Today’s announcement comes as the delta variant continues to result in higher levels of reported COVID-19 cases in Michigan, and across the country. The variant, widely believed to be more contagious and possibly more deadly than the original COVID-19 strain, is resulting in widespread hospitalizations in states where vaccination rates are lower (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri). In all six of these states, less than half the general population has received at least one dose of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines

According to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard, 63.5% of Michiganders (over five million citizens 16 and older) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

MSU, along with the University of Michigan, which also announced the requirement of COVID-19 vaccines for all students, staff and faculty earlier today, joins Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland and Rutgers as the seven Big Ten universities currently mandating COVID-19 vaccinations. Ohio State, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue and Penn State have yet to announce any mandated COVID-19 vaccine requirements for students and staff.

In addition to MSU and Michigan, Oakland University, Albion and Kalamazoo College, Lawrence Tech and Detroit Mercy are requiring vaccinations for all students, staff and faculty within the state of Michigan.