Booster requirement; new quarantine/isolation guidelines
Dear students, colleagues and friends,
We are excited to return to campus to begin the spring semester in just a few short weeks. CMU's leadership team continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and is planning for another safe semester on our campus.
Fully vaccinated now includes booster
To ensure we continue to keep cases low within our campus community, the "Protect yourself. Protect others." program now requires a booster for eligible students, faculty and staff who choose to have up-to-date vaccination rather than weekly testing. Community members may still choose weekly testing as an alternative to vaccination.
For those who prefer to opt out of weekly testing, your COVID-19 vaccination status must be up to date, which now includes a booster. You should schedule your booster six months after the second dose of a two-dose regimen (Pfizer or Moderna) or two months after a single-dose regimen (Johnson & Johnson).
If your vaccination status requires updating based on the information above, you have until Jan. 17 to receive your booster and to update your vaccination status using the CMU COVID-19 Health Screen website or the smartphone app. The app and website will inform you of your current vaccination/booster eligibility and compliance status, and also will send reminders a month in advance of your booster eligibility, if applicable. The COVID-19 Health Screen app now includes functionality to update your booster status. Please update your app if you have not done so recently. And remember, all community members should complete the health screen app each day before coming to campus.
Students, faculty and staff who are unvaccinated or who do not wish to complete the voluntary vaccine attestation must continue to participate in weekly testing. Those who fail to participate in weekly testing, including previously vaccinated individuals whose vaccination status is no longer up to date, will face appropriate disciplinary action.
Multiple booster vaccination clinics are scheduled throughout January on campus. Boosters also are available now to eligible individuals through the Central Michigan District Health Department and at most area pharmacies.
Testing and updated quarantine/isolation guidelines
Testing is one of the most important things you can do as a member of the CMU community. Everyone — regardless of vaccination status — is encouraged to be tested 2-3 days prior to returning to campus in January. Testing is available at most area pharmacies and will be available on campus at the Bovee University Center. If you're unable to test prior to returning to campus, please plan to be tested within 48 hours of your return. Find and schedule your test on the Michigan.gov COVID-19 testing site or schedule an on-campus test through the CMICH health screen app.
Isolation and quarantine guidelines for our campus community also were updated this week, following updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here's what you need to know:
- If you test positive for COVID-19 and are:
- Symptomatic: You are still required to isolate for 10 days.
- Asymptomatic: Your isolation period may end after five days with proof of a negative antigen test result.
- If you've had close contact with someone who tested positive:
- Unvaccinated individuals and vaccinated individuals who have not yet updated their vaccination status with a booster: Your isolation period may end after five days if you have no symptoms and provide proof of a negative antigen test result.
- Up-to-date vaccinated individuals: You do not need to quarantine if you have no symptoms, but you are encouraged to test 3-5 days after exposure.
Take precautions to keep each other safe
Please remember that cold, cough and flu season is upon us. The symptoms shared between these routine illnesses can be very similar to COVID-19 symptoms. If you have any symptoms of cold, cough, flu or COVID-19, please do not come to campus. Call your doctor or CMU Health and complete the CMU Health Screen app. Your doctor can best advise you on next steps.
As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our campus safe, we will continue with the same mask protocols we implemented in the fall.
Our students, faculty and staff led us to complete a successful fall semester through high vaccination rates, vigorous testing and community masking. With confirmed cases of the omicron variant here in Michigan, continuing these protocols and adding a booster requirement will help us maintain the leadership standard we have set in the fight against the virus, allowing for a safe and successful in-person semester this spring.
Less than two years ago, we faced a largely unknown virus without a vaccine. We pulled together and set a national standard for continuing safe in-person education by working together. I am confident in our ability to face the omicron variant, and I am proud to lead a campus that will meet this challenge together head-on.
Bob Davies, Ph.D.
Central Michigan University