Vaccinations/Path to Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions
It is encouraging for us to see significant progress here in Berrien County, the state of Michigan and the United States overall in the management of the spread of COVID-19.
Last week’s new CDC ruling, which offers new guidelines on mask wearing for those who have been fully vaccinated, is another sign of significant progress for the United States.
While Michigan is maintaining expectations on capacity and distancing, the state of Michigan has modified mask guidelines to match the new CDC guidelines. We will continue to follow and implement any state COVID-19 policy changes for Michigan and higher education institutions as they are announced.
As you may know, Michigan continues to focus its plans to safely reopen and lift COVID-19 restrictions based on the overall percentages of individuals vaccinated in the state. As we focus on those ultimate goals, please note that the Andrews University position remains the same: we do strongly encourage but will not require a COVID-19 vaccination.
With these realities and commitments in mind, we want to let you know how we plan to relate to reopening and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on our own campus:
We plan to reopen for fall 2021 without the current COVID-19 restrictions in place. However, we will be able to do that only if 70 percent (ideally 80 percent) of employees and students are fully vaccinated.
To help measure our progress toward that goal, it is very important that all students report their vaccinations so we can best know where we stand as a campus as we work toward our 70 percent, or better, vaccination goal. If you have been vaccinated, please report that online to Andrews University at this link if you have not already done so (note that the link will require an Andrews ID sign-in to report your vaccination).
An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks following their final dose—after the second dose of either Moderna (administered 28± days after the first dose) or Pfizer (administered 21± days after the first dose) or after the first and only dose of Johnson & Johnson. The University’s online reporting system will prompt you to report whether your vaccine is a first or a second dose, as appropriate.
In our general campus policies related to occupancy, mask wearing and distancing will continue to follow the expectations issued by Michigan through its Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (MIOSHA). As policies change, you can expect to see those updated policies in releases on the state of Michigan Coronavirus website and particularly on its dedicated vaccination website.
We anticipate that these guidelines will change throughout the summer, so if you are living on or near campus or in Michigan during the summer, we encourage you to review these official Michigan websites throughout the summer for the latest information and any changes to protocols and restrictions. We will also update our Andrews University COVID-19 Safety Plan, which you can find here.
I wish to let you know that we realize this year has been a challenging one for everyone, here on campus, for our families and neighbors, and around the world. We join with you in committing to the hard work that is still needed to return to a more open, personally engaging environment as soon as we can.
As we do that, we continue to be thankful to each one of you who, as part of our student family, has gone the extra mile again and again over this last remarkable, unexpected and challenging year, including our graduating students who we celebrated during spring graduation services.
Vice President for Campus & Student Life