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MSU clears confusion on vaccine, mask mandates

The idea behind Friday’s announcement is to give people enough time to at least get their first COVID-19 vaccine shot.
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University (MSU) cleared up some confusion over its vaccine mandate.

Students, faculty and staff will be required to have at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine by August 31. Because that announcement came Friday, a lot of people were initially concerned they couldn’t get fully protected with two shots, to meet the deadline.

MSU deputy spokesman Dan Olsen said the idea behind Friday’s announcement is so people can plan to at least start getting their COVID shots by the end of the month.

“To make sure we have the safest campus possible,” said Olsen.

MSU’s new vaccine and mask mandates come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is getting more worried about the highly contagious delta variant.

Some students said they’re happy to see the mandate.

“The mandate is going to be important given the cases rising and the delta variant,” said Matt Apostle, MSU student.

But not everyone is on board with the new requirement. There’s an online petition trying to ask MSU to reverse the mandate.

Olsen said the university is still sorting out details like how they will verify that someone got the shot, and how someone might apply for a religious or medical exemption.

He said people who aren’t vaccinated will still have to follow COVID-19 protocols.

“They’ll be required to participate in MSU’s early detection program, that’s the saliva based testing program, for COVID-19,” said Olsen.

Apostle said he’s worried about others who won’t be able to get their shots at home.

“I know talking with students, a big issue I’ve seen is them saying ‘I’m fine with getting the vaccine, but my parent’s aren’t as ok with it,’” said Apostle.

Olsen said the university is looking at helping some students and staff get the vaccine when they return to campus.

“There’s a community aspect here as well. We want to make sure we are providing a level of protection to our neighbors as well, in all the communities that we serve,” he said.

A new indoor mask mandate is in effect on campus, at least to start off the semester. The university said it doesn’t expect disruptions to in person learning with the vaccine and mask requirements.

The vaccine requirement only applies to students, faculty and staff at MSU. Spartan Stadium, as of Monday, doesn’t have a mask requirement since it is an outdoor venue.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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