MSU defends COVID vaccination, testing policy for events

MSU defends COVID vaccination, testing policy for events
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 10:27 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University defended its stance on its new COVID policies for patrons.

Read: New vaccination policy in place for Michigan State University spectators

On Saturday, MSU laid out new guidelines for anyone wishing to attend a ticketed event. Customers will need to show either proof of vaccination or negative test results.

If customers decide to show a test, the test must be a PCR or a medically-administered rapid test stamped no more than 72 hours before the event.

Home tests will not be accepted. The policy applies to all events on campus, including sports.

Jan. 3, 2022: Michigan COVID cases up to 1,568,573 and 27,286 deaths

The policy is causing a stir among people who had already purchased tickets before the mandate came out.

“I would not have purchased them had I know that these were the restrictions,” said Katrina Rockwell.

Rockwell, a Spartan alum, is unhappy about MSU’s decision to implement proof of vaccinations or a negative COVID test in order to attend their events.

Related: Where to get COVID testing in Mid-Michigan

She said she bought her husband tickets for Christmas before the announcement. Now she and her husband are debating what to do.

“My biggest beef with this whole situation is -- why didn’t they stop me when I was filling out the paperwork and say, ‘Stop. Please know if you purchase these tickets, you will be required to do this, this, and this,’” Rockwell said.

One of the venues which the change applies to is the Wharton Center, which will begin its run of “Cats” Tuesday night. The Wharton’s Bob Hoffman said the University’s COVID policies are continually evolving to protect their patrons.

“The policies have been continually updating,” Hoffman said. “As we see this latest surge in COVID, we’re doing the responsible thing and making sure people are safe.”

Attorney Matthew Heos said businesses requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test is perfectly legal for a privately-owned entity. The line starts to blur, however, when it comes to a public-funded institution, like MSU.

“They’re taking a hybrid approach knowing that they’re going to get that blowback,” Heos said. “But Michigan State is part of the state government, so where there’s a mandate, there’s probably going to be a lawsuit to follow.”

“I believe they have the right to make the rules for what’s best for the university, I get it. But again, you need to be transparent and let people know that this is going to be a stipulation so I can decide what I want to do,” Rockwell said.

MSU’s Associate Athletic Director said they’re willing to refund anyone who doesn’t want to attend the games as a result of the regulation.

Related: Replacing your COVID-19 vaccination card

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