Eastern Michigan University requires testing for students taking classes on campus

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Eastern Michigan University said Tuesday it will require all students who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 but want to attend classes on campus to undergo weekly testing.

The policy is effective with the start of the fall semester on Monday. The Ypsilanti university previously announced a vaccine mandate for students living on campus.

“As we approach the start of the fall semester, the University continues to evaluate guidance from local and state health agencies to assess the best tools available to promote health and wellness for our campus community," EMU President James Smith wrote in a letter to students and staff.

"Important to this analysis is yesterday’s announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granting full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after applying the FDA’s ‘high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality.'"

Students who have not received their final dose of vaccine and reported their vaccination status through EMU's vaccine certification system by Sept. 3 will get an email detailing weekly testing requirements. Students who receive their final shot after Sept. 3 will no longer be subject to weekly testing once they report their vaccination status. 

"The Students Stay Safe program will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 on our campus, in combination with other EMU Safe policies, such as the use of masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, our COVID PASS Daily Health Screening, and our wastewater testing system," Smith wrote. 

Free testing will be available at EMU’s on-campus testing center, or students may upload test results obtained elsewhere. 

Oakland University, which in April became the state’s first public university to require the vaccine for students living in dormitories, announced Monday that it will require all students, faculty and staff on campus to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer posed for pictures in April 2021 while attending a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center.

Rising case rates and the delta variant drove the decision, OU President Ora Pescovitz wrote in a letter to the campus community.

Oakland University is the seventh of Michigan's 15 public universities to require its entire community to get a vaccine. Also mandating vaccines are Michigan State, Wayne State, Grand Valley State universities and the University of Michigan's campuses in Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint.