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Western Michigan University to fine unvaccinated students who miss weekly COVID-19 tests

Western Michigan University in Winter with no snow
Posted at 6:28 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 20:08:18-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Western Michigan University will be changing its testing protocol for unvaccinated students starting in the new year.

While the majority of students are fully vaccinated, there is still around 21% who aren't, or haven't registered their doses with the school's health center.

The school said they had to make changes because some of the unvaccinated students weren't complying with the rules put in place for them.

"I personally think that it is a good thing they are trying to get the vaccine out, because it is important for students to vaccinated," said Western Michigan University student Drew Gelbaugh.

Starting Jan. 10, 2022, Western Michigan University will begin fining unvaccinated students who don't comply with the weekly COVID-19 test requirement.

"It’s very complicated. It is good on one hand and then bad on the other hand for students," said Gelbaugh.

The mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing was put in place at the beginning of the school year.

When the new semester starts, unvaccinated students will see a balance on their account for missing a test.

"I don’t know if fining students is exactly the best way to go about doing that," said Gelbaugh.

For each missed test up to five tests, a $50 fine will be given. When six tests are missed, fines will increase to $100.

The school said no cap has been set for fines given.

RELATED: MDHHS urges booster to start New Year off right

"They definitely could take some lower measures. Not huge financial risks for the students. Just keep them encouraged, and I think keeping the mask mandate good. I think they could definitely come up with something better to do," said Western Michigan University student Erin Willis.

Once the student's account hits $300 in fines, students will be unable to register for classes.

"I think that taking away that education might not be right necessary, but trying to keep the students safe by doing that does make sense to me," said Gelbaugh.

A testing site location will remain on campus for student and employee use.

Students and employees are encouraged to get vaccinated and register their vaccinations with the Sindecuse Health Center.

Click here for more information.

READ MORE: One year after first COVID-19 vaccines administered, here's where Michigan stands

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