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University of Michigan and Michigan State University announced on Friday that both schools will require confirmed vaccination status ahead of their Fall academic season. University staff and students present for in-person instruction must provide proof of vaccination. Masks will also be mandated to be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel sent the mass memo to anticipated students and personnel on Friday, cautioning that returning Wolverines must either: a.) Submit proof of vaccination (one or two doses) no later than Aug. 30., or b.) Apply for a medical or religious exemption.
MSU also announced their own COVID guidelines ahead of the new academic year. Michigan State President Dr. Samuel Stanley, Jr. said his response to permit indoor masking mandates and encouraging students to get vaccinated was a decision driven by “science.”
“We were hoping we would not need to necessarily mandate,” said the MSU president. “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.”
Michigan currently ranks 25th among all U.S. states in vaccination rate, with 48.74% of Michiganders considered fully vaccinated.
Prior to the decision by both Michigan institutions, Ivy League schools and California’s higher education systems pledged to request vaccination status started paving the way for other universities to follow — despite the primary concern of spreading COVID, which the vaccine does not prevent.