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Message to Faculty and Staff

January 24, 2022

Good afternoon, 

The Re-entry Committee would like to share several updates and reminders with you this week. 

Two Ways to Receive FREE COVID-19 At-Home Tests

Opportunity #1 – Did you know residential households in the U.S. can order one set of four free at-home tests from https://www.usps.com/? Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Limit of one order per residential address
  • One order includes four individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
  • Orders will ship free starting in late January

Opportunity #2 – Did you know your University-sponsored health insurance plan will reimburse you for your at-home COVID-19 test purchases?

Health plan members can submit receipts for purchases of at-home COVID-19 tests made on or after January 15, 2022, for reimbursement. Health plan members can submit for reimbursement up to $12 per test, up to eight tests per covered plan member per month (for example, a family of four would be eligible for reimbursement for up to 32 tests). Please note the limit is eight tests per member, not eight boxes of tests (at-home COVID-19 tests typically come packaged in pairs).  

Priority Health and MESSA/BCBS are still working on finalizing their reimbursement processes. Please stay tuned to your health plan providers for further information. In the meantime, save your receipts for future reimbursement. 

If you take a COVID-19 home test and it is positive, it is important to remember that if you have any emergency symptoms, like trouble breathing, chest pain, or severe weakness, you seek emergency medical care immediately and follow up with your health care provider as needed.

COVID-19 Testing for Faculty and Staff on Campus

On the Big Rapids campus, COVID-19 testing remains available 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. This testing is for those who are asymptomatic (no symptoms present). Please only use this testing location if you are NOT experiencing symptoms. You can “Schedule an Asymptomatic COVID-19 Test" right from the Coronavirus Updates Hub webpage. Or, asymptomatic testing for faculty and staff is also available Monday through Friday by appointment at Birkam Health Center. Please call (231) 591-2614, Option 2, if you would like to schedule an appointment.

Free COVID-19 testing is also available for those who are symptomatic and asymptomatic at the “Park and Test” COVID-19 clinics hosted by District Health Department #10. There is no need to schedule an appointment; however, you must pre-register for a test online. It is a drive-up service; first-come, first-served. In Big Rapids, testing is available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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. In addition, many pharmacies like Walgreens, Rite Aid and Meijer also have free testing available and at-home tests for purchase. 

I Tested Positive for COVID-19...What Do I Do?   

If you test positive for COVID-19, report your status in the University’s “Report a Positive Test Result” portal. This will alert Human Resources and Birkam Health Center to reach out to you to begin the contact tracing process (close contacts are those who were within 6 feet for 15 minutes cumulatively over 24 hours), and provide you with specific isolation guidelines and any resources you may need while isolated.  

Do I Need a Negative COVID-19 Test to Return to Work After Testing Positive? 

You are not required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before coming back to work after recovering from COVID-19. However, if you are still experiencing symptoms and/or a fever, please stay home until you are symptom/fever free or until your symptoms have significantly improved.

KN95 Masks Available for Faculty, Staff and Students

The University has KN95 masks available for those who would like one. Faculty and staff can order by calling x2164 or emailing [email protected]. KN95 masks are also available for students at the Information Desk inside the University Center.

 Vaccines/Boosters Still Available 

If you have not been vaccinated yet for COVID-19, it’s not too late! Faculty, staff and students can still schedule their first round of the Pfizer vaccine series at Birkam Health Center by calling (231) 591-2614, Option 2. Booster shots are also available. Or, vaccines are still widely available at many pharmacies across the state. You can find a vaccine site near you by visiting www.vaccines.gov. If you are able, please take advantage of the opportunity these vaccines provide to lessen the severity of the disease and keep yourself, your colleagues and your family safe.    

The University will continue to implement the health and safety protocols established to keep our Ferris community safe. This means assessing our health each day and completing the daily symptom checker before coming to campus, wearing a face covering indoors over the mouth and nose while on campus, staying home when ill, reporting a positive test result, and engaging in good hygiene practices including frequent and thorough hand washing. By practicing these measures each day, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in our community. 

Thank you for staying connected with us, and as always, we will continue to provide information via email and on the Coronavirus Updates Hub.  

-The FSU Re-entry Committee