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'Spartans care for each other and want to do what's best.' MSU officials require COVID testing for students on campus this spring

Posted at 7:56 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 10:49:30-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a guidance, urging colleges to require weekly COVID testing for students after large outbreaks last fall.

Michigan State University Vice President and Spokesperson Emily Guerrant, says this is something the University has already been doing with their Spartan Spit Kit tests.

“We’re requiring testing of any of our students who are living on campus, or coming to campus for any reason," she said. "Maybe they’re an employee and coming to campus for work still.”

Now, they're just working on improvements.

“If you were following this in the fall, if you participated in the spit test, the spit test would indicate if you need to go get an additional spit test. That’s not the case anymore," Guerrant said.

With the new, more contagious strain of COVID now in Michigan, MSU is making sure more precautions are in place for the almost 4,000 students living on campus.

“The last thing we need is for that to get into that student population and carry off on another huge outbreak," said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail.

Vail also said the key to keeping COVID numbers down in the county, is students doing their part.

“The way we can do that is by following the simple guide lines of wearing masks, not gathering in large crowds, staying 6 feet apart.”

Students like Sheikh Raza think the tests have been effective.

“That gives us a certain level of assurance that we are living in a safe community," Raza said.

And Sophomore Jack Harrison has been impressed by the University's efforts.

“Any time before I go home and visit family in Ann Arbor I take advantage of the testing site at Spartan Stadium. It’s super convenient, very impressive," he said

Guerrant believes these continued efforts will lead to the University being able to reopen when it comes time to do so, safely.

“We know that they want to look out for each other. They may still want to socialize and hang out with their friends, but they are motivated by the fact that Spartans care for each other and want to do what's best,” she said.

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