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    Central Michigan University students, staff must be vaccinated or test weekly


    Central Michigan University announced Thursday that all students, faculty and staff must either provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination by Sept. 3 or begin participating in weekly testing for the virus. 

    Previously, the Mount Pleasant university had encouraged students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated but had not set any requirements. The school also announced it would require face masks to be worn indoors.

    The announcement comes just more than a week before classes begin and was prompted by the delta variant, CMU President Robert Davies wrote in a letter to the university community. 

    “Every university needs to make decisions based on its own unique circumstances and characteristics and what’s going on with its faculty, students and staff as well as the community environment,” Davies said in an interview with The Detroit News. “This is what fit the best for Central Michigan University, to provide the option of going through weekly testing or being vaccinated.”

    A recent survey of the CMU community showed that 34% of students have gotten vaccinated, compared to 59.5% of residents statewide and 38.4% of Michigan residents ages 16-19 year-olds.

    Weekly testing for students who are unvaccinated will be paid for by the university, Davies said. The school is also offering vaccines for free, Davies said in his letter.

    In Isabella County, where CMU is located, 46% of residents have been vaccinated, according to the Michigan COVID-19 dashboard.

    “We will continue to push and to support vaccines, to help educate our students and our faculty and our staff and the community at large about the importance of vaccination,” said Davies, who said he has been vaccinated. “But we also know individuals have different opinions, thoughts, based on many factors about the vaccine. Our goal, as we have learned over the past year, is that options are very helpful in navigating the COVID-19 (virus), and specifically with the delta variant.”

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