Oakland U will offer $100 vaccine incentive, require masks

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

For those who attend, work or teach at Oakland University and get the COVID-19 vaccine, there is $100 waiting.

OU officials announced this week that they are offering $100 incentives to students, faculty and staff who get the vaccine and offer proof to the university.

Other universities' plans:

EMU:Require masks in classrooms, encourage COVID-19 vaccine

Wayne State:Vaccinations required for fall return to campus

UM & MSU:COVID-19 vaccinations required amid fears of delta variant spread

CMU:Masks mandatory at least through September

It's part of the university's effort to fight coronavirus, especially the delta variant, and, effective Aug. 5, OU also will require students to wear masks on campus.

In an open letter to the university, President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz said the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant is the main reason for the incentive and mask mandate.

"The health and safety of the Oakland University community remain my highest priority. Considering the many challenges throughout the pandemic, I have been determined to pursue the best possible decisions to keep us healthy and to protect us from the spread of COVID-19 and, more recently, its variants," Pescovitz wrote. "In that regard, I believe vaccinations are the most effective defense against the devastating health effects of COVID-19 and the variants, and will allow us to have as normal of an upcoming semester as possible."

The president's letter stated that although more than 70 percent of OU staff have been vaccinated, "we must attain a 90 percent fully vaccinated status for the entire OU community (students staff, faculty) to ensure the highest health-and-safety standard."

The university said that a person's vaccination status will not be made public and that the information will be used "only to track the vaccination percentage of individuals on campus."

The university said it already requires proof of vaccination for students living on campus.

Students, staff and faculty should have their first shot before the start of fall semester. Unvaccinated individuals can schedule their vaccinations by visiting OU’s Graham Health Center for an appointment, or by visiting a vaccine clinic.

Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan universities announced earlier this week policies that are similar to Oakland's. Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and Michigan State are requiring vaccinations for their communities amid fears of the delta variant. 

lfleming@detroitnews.com

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Twitter:@leonardnfleming