Dear WMU community,
As we prepare for a safe and successful 2021-22 academic year together, we have a few updates and reminders to share.
As announced on Aug. 12, regular, mandatory testing is required of all unvaccinated students and employees. The Fetzer Center will serve as the testing site, where tests are self-administered under observation.
- If you are an unvaccinated student who lives on campus, your first round of testing begins this week: Go to the Fetzer Center Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 1-3, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- If you are an unvaccinated employee, or an unvaccinated student who lives off campus, your first round of testing begins next week: Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7, the Fetzer Center will be open for testing daily from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Campus community members who are unvaccinated and subject to the testing mandate will receive a separate email today detailing the testing process. The mandatory testing process also is explained at wmich.edu/covid-19/testing.
COVID-19 information resource
The COVID-19 website has been revamped. The redesigned site is easier to navigate and better organized to help you quickly locate the information you need. Check this resource often.
Effective today, as an added precaution, masking is recommended for outdoor events on campus with 100 or more people in attendance. This includes ongoing and one-time events, such as home games for outdoor athletic competitions and the graduation celebration at Waldo Stadium in October.
Masking remains mandatory inside all campus buildings and any other University-controlled properties for students, employees and visitors regardless of their vaccination status. When Kalamazoo County falls below the “substantial” community transmission level, the University’s mask requirement will return to the previous policy of requiring masks only for students, faculty and staff who have not verified their vaccination status in Sindecuse Health Center’s secure patient portal. The COVID-19 transmission rate in Kalamazoo County is currently classified as “high” by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On-campus vaccination rate
We appreciate the many campus community members who have uploaded their vaccination records to the patient portal for verification. Numbers continue to climb, especially as the first day of the semester draws near. Exceeding the state and county’s vaccination percentages, 66.4% of Western employees and 40% of students had their vaccination on record at the health center as of Thursday, Aug. 26.
According to the state health department, 55.3% of Michigan residents and 61% of Kalamazoo County residents had been vaccinated by Aug. 26. A little more than 38% of Michiganders between the ages of 19 and 29 have been vaccinated. The same is true for 39.2% of Kalamazoo County residents in this age range.
If you have not uploaded your COVID-19 immunization record, directions for how to do so are easy to follow and located online at wmich.edu/covid-19/vaccination.
If you have not been vaccinated, you can begin the process on campus during the second day of the health center's vaccination clinics today, Tuesday, Aug. 31, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Sindecuse. No appointment is necessary, but please present a valid WMU identification card (the Bronco Card).
The University’s badging system, which displays an individual’s safety status, has a few more colors this year. In addition to green and red, orange and purple badges have been added to indicate required quarantine and isolation, respectively.
Here’s a rundown of what each color means:
Green: You are cleared for public spaces on campus today and must wear a mask indoors.
Red: You are not cleared for public spaces on campus today because you answered “yes” to one of the screening questions, you are not in compliance with mandated COVID-19 testing or you are taking exclusively online courses and not using campus resources.
Orange: You are required to quarantine; stay home and monitor for symptoms.
Purple: COVID-19 positive: You must isolate for 10 days.
We appreciate your compliance with the University’s variety of safety measures amid the ongoing pandemic. They are designed to keep you and our entire community healthy.
Diane Anderson, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Jennifer Bott, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Jan Van Der Kley
Vice President for Business and Finance