LCC requires masks, but not vaccinations, in effort to control COVID-19

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Brick signage for Lansing Community College

Alexandra Hill

Lansing Community College is requiring all students, faculty and staff to wear face masks indoors at all LCC locations, regardless of vaccination status.

Lansing Community College is requiring all students, faculty and staff to wear face masks indoors at all LCC locations, regardless of vaccination status. 

Unlike some universities in Michigan, LCC is not requiring vaccines for its students or employees. Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Oakland University, University of Michigan and Wayne State University are among the colleges and universities in Michigan requiring vaccinations for students taking in-person courses or living on campus. 

“The college has been very successful in its COVID-19 planning and response efforts,” said Chris MacKersie, LCC’s executive director of administrative services. “This is in part due to a very strong emergency management program and the fact that we have no student housing.” 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, LCC officials say the college has followed guidance from federal, state and local health departments and experts. MacKersie said the college continues to advocate for vaccinations. 

“Personally, I am very pleased with the college’s ‘people first’ pandemic response,” MacKersie said. 

However, unlike the general LCC student population, some programs at the college do require vaccines. For example, the nursing program requires students to be vaccinated, said Carter Haugen, a nursing program student. 

“Throughout the school, they don’t require vaccinations, but in the nursing program it actually is required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times,” Haugen said. “I think it’s very reasonable to have those restrictions in place right now.”

This is the first year Haugen is in the nursing program, but it’s his third year at the college. 

“We had a whole list of things we had to do before getting into the program and submitting our vaccination cards and uploading that document was one of them,” Haugen said. 

MacKersie said LCC has experienced no COVID-19 outbreaks this semester, and said this success represents the “commitment made by both LCC employees and students to keep each other safe on campus.” LCC officials say they have received minimal feedback regarding vaccination mandates. 

“As LCC is not a residential school, the environment is going to be much different than the large Michigan State University student population that is living on or near campus in East Lansing,” said Madison Van Epps, health communications specialist with the Ingham County Health Department. “While we saw some LCC-associated cases last fall, we are not seeing as many LCC-associated cases this fall.”

LCC has not surveyed students regarding their vaccination status, so numbers specific to the college are not available.

As of Oct. 12, 63.2% of Ingham County residents age 12 and up have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Ingham County Health Department. There are 17,203 more individuals aged 12 or older that need to be vaccinated for Ingham County to reach 70%.

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