It seems like it happened overnight, but the steady decline in COVID-19 cases — combined with more and more people being vaccinated — has allowed the state to end restrictions that were in place for 15 months.
This is great news for our state and our university, and it has been great to see things open up and our communities return to their former vibrancy. From the start of the pandemic, Wayne State University has committed to following the science and prioritizing the health and safety of our campus community. This has served us well, but we can now return to a more open and familiar campus environment.
Effective immediately, masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated individuals when they are indoors on campus. Individuals who have not been vaccinated are still required to wear masks when inside all campus buildings, except when eating or drinking. Masks are not required for anyone — regardless of vaccination status — when outdoors.
To help us take this important step, a new question will be added to the Campus Daily Screener regarding vaccination status, starting Monday. When you complete the screener, the email response you receive will indicate not only whether you are cleared to be on campus, but also whether you are required to wear a mask indoors. While this will be a matter of trust, I urge you, for the safety of yourself and the campus community, to answer this question honestly.
This latest step toward normalcy is possible because of the impact of COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines provide the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus, protect our community and make a full return to campus this fall. If you have not received your vaccine, you can schedule an appointment at the Campus Health Center or find a location convenient to you.
Understanding the vaccination status of our campus community will guide our preparations for the fall semester. We completed one survey earlier in the spring, and it is time to update this information. Next week, you will receive an invitation to participate in a second survey. It is very brief and will only take a moment, but the results will be very helpful in gaining a more comprehensive picture of our campus vaccination status as we plan for our return.
To show our appreciation for those who are already vaccinated, and to encourage those who still need to be vaccinated, we are finalizing details on a special promotion that will be announced soon and will run for around four weeks. Please keep an eye on your inbox for more about the opportunity for vaccinated students, faculty and staff to win substantial and exciting prizes. This will be a much larger promotion than our previous student incentive program, and will be open to all vaccinated individuals, regardless of where or when they received their vaccine.
Things are changing for the better, and they are changing quickly, so we anticipate many questions as we work our way back to campus. To help keep everyone informed, and to answer your questions, we will hold a virtual town hall on Monday, July 19. An invitation to attend will be coming soon.
Thank you again for the cooperation you have shown during the last 15 months. As we get closer to the fall, I grow more eager to see our students, faculty and staff — in person and unmasked. Thank you for continuing to show the world what it looks like to be Warrior Strong.
M. Roy Wilson