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Michigan State University Pivots To Require COVID Vaccines, Indoor Masking

Two separate photos edited together of Mike Balow standing outside next to the MSU campus Sparty statue and Travis Menge at the Lansing Center for the GOP nominating convention.
Travis Menge and Mike Balow
Mike Balow (left) and Travis Menge (right) are the state Republican party nominees to serve on the MSU Board of Trustees.

Michigan State University will require COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty and staff by Aug. 31.

And, effective Sunday, masks will be required indoors at all campus facilities.

Previously, MSU officials said vaccines would be encouraged but not required. MSU President Dr. Samuel Stanley, Jr. said the changes are motivated by "disturbing" data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how contagious the Delta variant is.

"We were hoping we would not need to necessarily mandate," Stanley said Friday. "But ... we've always said we want to be driven by the science. We want to be driven by the findings of CDC. We want to be driven by what's happening in this community."

Students, faculty and staff have been pressuring the university to adopt a vaccine mandate. This week, hundreds of people signed a petition asking the university to bar people from in-person activities unless they produce proof of vaccination or get tested twice weekly.

MSU will grant waivers only to people who cite medical or religious reasons, according to a news release.

The University of Michigan announced Friday that all students, faculty and staffmust get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus by Aug. 30.

Sarah Lehr is a state government reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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