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Message to Faculty and Staff

November 8, 2021

Good afternoon,

On Friday the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration published its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for workplaces with 100 or more employees. Under this standard, employers must develop and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. Over the weekend, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily halted the implementation of this new vaccine mandate for employers. While we expect more information will be available soon, the University is currently reviewing the ETS to fully understand its vaccine and testing requirements, and other obligations. A summary of the ETS and Frequently Asked Questions are posted on OSHA’s website.

COVID-19 Testing 

Through mid-December the District Health Department #10 is hosting “Park and Test” COVID-19 testing clinics at 14485 Northland Drive in Big Rapids on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The testing is free and available for those who are symptomatic and asymptomatic (without symptoms). You can pre-register for a test online. If this location is not convenient, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has a Test Finder on their website to help you locate places throughout Michigan where you can get a free COVID-19 test.

On the Big Rapids campus, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing remains available for faculty, staff and students at the Pharmacy Care Clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 4:45 p.m., and Wednesdays from 12 to 1:45 p.m. You can “Schedule an Asymptomatic COVID-19 Test" right from the Coronavirus Updates Hub webpage. Or, testing is also available at Birkam Health Center Monday through Friday by appointment. Please call x2614, Option 2, if you would like to schedule an appointment. 

COVID-19 Dashboard 

The COVID-19 Dashboard shows seven new cases reported as of Friday, Nov. 5, with 22 active cases among faculty, staff and students associated with the University. This includes not only the Big Rapids campus but our statewide locations as well. Kendall College of Art and Design reports no new cases, with no active cases among faculty, staff and students. The dashboard is updated daily, with Saturday and Sunday numbers reported Monday afternoon.

Flu Shots Available for Faculty, Staff and Students

As our community continues to battle the coronavirus, we are also entering flu season. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 and the flu is by getting vaccinated for both. To help the University community stay healthy, the Birkam Health Center is offering flu shots to faculty, staff and students on Tuesdays via the Healthy Dog Portal. If any of the available appointment times do not work in your schedule, please contact Birkam Health Center by phone at x2614 for a possible alternative appointment. 

Thank you for continuing to use the tools and resources available to help keep our University community safe and healthy. This includes:    

  • Completing the daily symptom checker before coming to a campus location 
  • Reporting COVID-19 signs/symptoms in the symptom checker
  • Staying home when you are feeling ill
  • Reporting a positive test result for COVID-19  
  • Wearing a face covering indoors over the mouth and nose, regardless of vaccination status  
  • Engaging in good hygiene practices including frequent and thorough hand washing  

We will continue to provide information via email and on the Coronavirus Updates Hub. As always, you can reach the Committee at [email protected].  

 -The FSU Re-entry Committee