Editor's note: MSU has approved COVID-19 vaccine exemptions for 2,051 students, faculty and staff. The description of those who had received them was incorrect in an earlier version of this story.
Michigan State University has approved COVID-19 vaccine exemptions for 2,051 students, faculty and staff so far. That's out of roughly 60,000 students and staff member on campus this fall.
University spokesperson Dan Olsen said a total of 4,082 people applied for an exemption and that officials are "still in the process of reviewing exemption requests so those numbers aren't final."
This fall, MSU is requiring all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated unless they receive an exemption for medical or religious reasons or they are taking all online courses and will not be coming to campus for other reasons.
The university has been made aware of 242 cases among students and 64 among faculty and staff since Aug. 2, and 95 cases were reported last week alone.
Those number come from the university's COVID Dashboard which is based on MSU's early detection program, student testing at Olin Health Center and self reports.
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail they're monitoring these cases closely, but it's an improvement from last year.
“We had over 600 cases in that same Sept. 6, Sept. 7 week, that we're affiliated with MSU students, so 95 or so compared to over 600 is certainly progress at this point in time,” Vail said.
Vail said these lower numbers can more than likely be attributed to just over 91 percent of students, faculty and staff being vaccinated.
“We do know that the vaccine is the most powerful tool we have to combat this pandemic," Vail said. "We hear a lot of talk about breakthrough cases. And while we do have cases of people getting infected after being vaccinated, we know those are typically mild.”
The university's dashboard is different from the previous one they had because the COVID case reports are not coming from the Ingham County Health Department, but from the university directly.
The dashboard is updated weekly.
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