EAST LANSING, Mich. (CBS Detroit) — Michigan State University officials said classes beginning Jan. 10 will be remote for at least the first three weeks.

In a letter from university President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., the decision came as the state reported a rise in COVID cases.

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Stanley said students planning to move into residence halls can still do so. Dining halls, the library and IM facilities will be open.

“I realize that students prefer to be in person, and so do I. But it is important that we do so in a safe manner. Starting the semester remotely and de-densifying campus in the coming weeks can be a solution to slowing the spread of the virus,” Stanley said in the letter. “During the first three weeks, my leadership team and I will be reviewing case numbers and other COVID-19 trends regularly to determine what additional protective measures will be enacted.”

He said while classes will be remote at the start of the semester, there are some labs and professional school programs that will need to be in person. Students will be hearing from instructors in the coming week on those classes.

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Students are encouraged to reach out to their professors closer to Jan. 10 if they have questions about the format of the class.

Stanley said there will be additional information on vaccine and booster requirements. Vaccinated students, faculty and staff will still be required to get the booster shot if and when they are eligible.

MSU is one of several universities in Michigan requiring a booster shot ahead of the upcoming semester. The University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Central Michigan University, have also required the booster shot.

Stanley announced that mandate last Friday, saying “All members of our campus community who were fully vaccinated either with a two-dose regimen more than six months ago or a one-dose regimen more than two months ago are now eligible for a booster and should immediately receive one.”

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