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Message to Faculty and Staff

Aug. 23, 2021

Good afternoon, 

Below are several updates the Re-entry Committee would like to share with you.   

Vaccine Incentive for Students Coming This Week! 

Today the FDA granted full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for those 16 and older. This is good news, as this may reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccination rates across our local communities, state and nation.  

This week the University will be announcing a new vaccine incentive for students, #VaxUp and Cash In! Daily and weekly prizes will be awarded to students who confirm their vaccination status in the MyFSU Healthy Dog portal. Please stay tuned to the Coronavirus Updates Hub webpage for the official details. 

Classroom Contingency Plan 

On Friday, Provost Fleischman sent an announcement to the campus community highlighting a Classroom Contingency Plan, or “Plan B,” should our community experience a spike in COVID-19 cases. This plan enables faculty to reduce classroom density, if needed, while providing quality classroom instruction. You can read the announcement and the Classroom Contingency Plan online. 

Masks in the Classrooms 

With the University’s requirement that masks be worn indoors by everyone, regardless of vaccination status, several questions have been raised – primarily can a faculty member remove their mask when presenting a lecture if remaining six feet from the audience (this was per the MDHHS Gatherings and Face Mask Order, which has since been rescinded) and can students remove their masks when delivering a speech or presentation in class?  

Right now the University is requiring everyone to wear a mask, even when lecturing or presenting to the class. This applies to all faculty and students. The Re-entry Committee will continue to monitor the situation and will re-evaluate as the semester progresses.  

Masks in Cubicles 

Masks continue to be required indoors in cubicle work environments and shared spaces. The only place a mask is not required is in an office where the door can be closed, or when eating or drinking.  

Reporting a Positive COVID-19 Test 

If you test positive for COVID-19, please report this via the “Report a Positive Test Result” portal found in the right-hand menu of the Coronavirus Updates Hub homepage. This will help Human Resources and the Birkam Health Center provide the current quarantine/isolation protocols and other support you may need.   

Vaccination Documentation Form 

The University is asking everyone (faculty, staff and students) to document if they have been immunized against COVID-19. This form is located in the Healthy Dog Portal under the COVID-19 tab (where you complete the daily symptom checker). This will help gauge the vaccination rates of our Ferris community.  

Other Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Is the University requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students? 

We are strongly encouraging everyone to receive the vaccine, but it is not a requirement to attend Ferris State University. We know that this is the best way to assure community health and to avoid the disruptions seen across the country this past year from COVID-19. 

2. Is the University requiring COVID-19 testing during move-in week? 

Yes, all students living on-campus are required to participate in free COVID-19 testing upon move-in.  

3. Will COVID-19 testing be available this semester? 

Yes. Asymptomatic testing is currently available for students, faculty and staff at the Birkam Health Center Monday through Friday by appointment. Please call x2614, Option 2, if you would like to schedule an appointment. There will also be asymptomatic COVID-19 testing clinics available for students, faculty and staff on the Big Rapids campus, and those dates/times will be announced soon. Symptomatic testing is also available at Birkam Health Center for students.  

As we move forward into the semester, please continue to do the following:   

  • Wear a face covering indoors, regardless of vaccination status.  
  • Engage in good hygiene practices including frequent and thorough hand washing.  
  • Complete the daily symptom checker when coming to a campus location and/or when working for Ferris, regardless of work location.   
  • Report COVID-19 signs/symptoms in the symptom checker. 
  • Report a positive test result for COVID-19.  
  • Stay home when you are sick.

Please stay tuned, as we will continue to provide information via email and on the Coronavirus Updates Hub webpage. As always, you can reach the Committee at [email protected]. Thank you for staying informed and keeping our campus community healthy and safe. 

-The FSU Re-entry Committee