Additional Q&A from Briefings

Here are some of the questions President Mark Schlissel and other university officials were not able to get to during last week’s briefing.

COVID-19 VACCINE

Will proof of vaccination be required for returning students, faculty and staff? (March 12, 2021)

To keep our community safe, every U-M student is strongly encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the earliest possible opportunity. In fact, everyone over age 16 becomes eligible for vaccination in Michigan starting April 5. The university is not requiring a vaccine at this time.

Is Michigan Medicine vaccinating students?  (Feb. 12, 2021)

There is a small number of students who qualify for the vaccine under Phase 1a or Phase 1b. Michigan Medicine leadership has been made aware that incorrect and misleading information is circulating around the U-M campus and Ann Arbor community that vaccines are being administered to a large number of students. This is not true. Michigan Medicine is closely following prioritization guidance from the state of Michigan. The limited supply of vaccine currently available is being administered to individuals in Phase 1a and 1b, in alignment with the State of Michigan prioritization guidelines.

Where can I check to see where I’m in line for my COVID-19 vaccine?  (Feb. 12, 2021)

Michigan Medicine is continuing to work in coordination with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible individuals. At this time, only those who are eligible as part of Phase 1a or 1b, according to MDHHS guidelines, can receive a vaccine as supply permits. Eligible individuals include:

The COVID Vaccine. Be Safe. Be Informed. Be Ready. Phase 1A: All U-M health care workers, staff and students (as defined by the State of Michigan Phase 1A expansion. Phase 1B: Patients & U-M faculty & staff age 65 and older, essential frontline workers, police officers, security personnel, childcare workers & employees providing critical infrastructure support. Phase 1C: Individuals at high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 infection. Phase 2: All individuals age 16 years or older and anyone who did not otherwise fit into the earlier groups for whom the vaccine is recommended.

Use the vaccine eligibility check to help you determine what phase you are in to get a vaccine and next steps once the State of Michigan enters that phase. Please note: Your result is not a guarantee that you will receive a vaccine during that phase.

I’ve been vaccinated; do I still need to quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure?  (Feb. 12, 2021)

U-M has adopted the guidance released by the Washtenaw County Health Department in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding quarantine post COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated: Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series.
    • 2 or more weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series.
    • 2 or more weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.

If you have traveled (considered a probable exposure), U-M public health officials continue to recommend you get tested within 72 hours of returning to the Ann Arbor area following travel (out of state and/or country).

Additional information is available on the WCHD website.

Will I get paid when getting a COVID vaccination?  (Jan. 29, 2021)

Employees may request released time from their work schedule to receive the COVID vaccine through the university distribution program and will be paid regular time. Employees who receive the vaccine outside their work schedule will not be paid.

Employees who have paid sick leave or PTO and schedule a doctor’s office visit during work hours to receive the vaccine through their health-care provider (or other external entity) may access short-term sick or PTO for the period of absence.

If someone has been vaccinated for COVID-19, is it still possible to transmit the virus?  (Jan. 29, 2021)

Based on our experience with other vaccines and early data from the COVID-19 vaccines, it is likely that people who are vaccinated will have enough immunity where they will not pass the virus to others if exposed, but this is not 100 percent certain.

I’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, do I still need to participate in weekly mandatory testing?  (Jan. 29, 2021)

Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is still required if you are mandated to participate in testing. We don’t have enough data about the effectiveness of the vaccine to say whether it provides full protection against contracting COVID-19.

Will the university be publishing numbers reflecting the percent of faculty, staff, hospital workers and students vaccinated to date on an ongoing basis?  (Jan. 29, 2021)

For more details about who is included in each phase of vaccination and a chart showing vaccine progress at Michigan Medicine, visit our COVID-19 Vaccine Phases and Progress page.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine be required for all U-M employees?  (Dec. 4, 2020)
As of now, the university does not have plans to make this mandatory. More information on the COVID-19 vaccine can be found here.

What is the plan concerning vaccinating students?  (Dec. 4, 2020)
Once vaccines are approved for use, the state of Michigan will coordinate distribution of available doses throughout the state, in conjunction with the federal government. Because the vaccines will likely be available only in limited quantities, Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutics Task Force is currently developing a plan for distributing the vaccines received.

Those who are at highest risk for exposure to COVID-19 and serious disease will be prioritized, including health care workers, followed by essential workers and people over 65 or people with an underlying condition that puts them at risk for serious illness with COVID-19. However, vaccine availability also may require further prioritization within these groups, for example, health care workers with direct patient contact vs. essential workers with lower risk for exposure to infectious material.

Students will be able to receive the vaccine once availability increases and it will be administered at the university under the auspices of Michigan Medicine collaborating with the University Health Service. More information on the COVID-19 vaccine can be found here.

Will masks still be required if you receive the vaccine?  (Dec. 4, 2020)
Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other factors, including how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities, will also affect this decision. More information on the COVID-19 vaccine can be found here.

SAFETY & HEALTH

Will there be options offered to staff to work remotely? (March 12, 2021)

Campus employees who have been working remotely during the pandemic will return to campus in a gradual, phased approach over the summer, based on the nature of their jobs with some employees continuing to work remotely for some portion of their work weeks. Employees will receive adequate notice regarding work plans and will learn more in the
months ahead from their immediate supervisors.

Our preparations for fall will mean that certain groups of employees who currently work remotely, particularly those that are in student-facing roles, will be returning to in-person work in spring and early summer. We’ll be reaching out at the unit level since that is where the decisions about staffing needs are made.

What is the plan for mask mandates on campus? (March 12, 2021)

To keep our community safe, we anticipate that face coverings and social distancing will remain a part of our campus routines in the fall. The precise requirements will be reviewed periodically.

With the new COVID-19 variant in Michigan, is double masking recommended?  (Jan. 29, 2021)

Our health and safety officials are continuing to monitor the spread of the virus in our community and beyond. This extensive monitoring is happening in real time and will continue as long as it is needed, allowing us to act promptly if conditions change.

Of course, face coversings aren’t the only tool against the coronavirus. But combined with reduced in-person gatherings, widely available testing and greater attention to hand washing and disinfecting surfaces, face coverings have really made a difference in other countries and other parts of the United States.

Here are the top tips for mask-wearing in 2021: https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/its-time-to-make-most-of-masks-heres-11-ways-how 

What will spring commencement look like?  (Jan. 29, 2021)

U-M will conduct a virtual 2021 Spring Commencement due to ongoing health and safety concerns from the global COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the universitywide May 1 ceremony, the Rackham Graduate Exercises and celebrations for most schools and colleges also will be conducted virtually. UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint will announce commencement plans later this semester. Learn more here.

What does the new winter 2021 term plan mean for undergraduates in research labs?  (Nov. 20, 2020)

At this time, all undergraduate students across the three U-M campuses are eligible to participate in in-person research and scholarship during the winter 2021 term, at the discretion of their principal investigator. University leadership will continue to monitor virus transmission rates and update research teams as needed.

What is Michigan Medicine’s visitor policy during COVID-19?  (Nov. 13, 2020)
For the safety of patients, staff, and community, visitation is being severely limited during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more on the visitor guidelines here.

Will there be a requirement that all students, facility and staff be vaccinated?  (Nov. 13, 2020)

The university has begun vaccination planning in preparation for when a vaccine is approved and made available.  No decisions have yet been made on COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

At this time there is no FDA-approved or authorized vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to COVID-19. Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:

  • Wear a face covering when around others.
  • Keep a physical distance of 6 feet between you and others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Can I volunteer to help with contact tracing?  (Nov. 13, 2020)
Seventy-five student volunteer investigators are currently playing a key role in U-M’s COVID-19 response by serving as contact tracers. Members of the Contact Tracing Corps have received specialized training to reach out, monitor and offer support to people in the Ann Arbor campus community who had close contact with students testing positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Learn more here.

At a state level, Gov. Whitmer and MDHHS launched a new volunteer website, www.michigan.gov/fightcovid19, where trained medical professionals can register to serve their fellow Michiganders by assisting hospitals in fighting COVID-19. Other state residents also can use the site to find out how they can help in their local communities, give blood, donate money or needed medical supplies, or assist public health officials in tracking infections. This website will serve as a single clearinghouse for Michiganders to join the fight against COVID-19.

What will the winter 2021 term look like?  (Nov. 6, 2020)

The University of Michigan has developed a comprehensive plan for winter term incorporating public health guidance, lessons learned from the fall semester and extensive feedback and engagement with the community. Learn more about the Winter term 2021 plan here.

How are staff being notified of confirmed cases within their work areas?  (Nov. 6, 2020)

Public health community notification is designed to proactively make the U-M community aware of positive cases that were present in a U-M building during the infectious period. U-M Environment Health & Safety is conducting investigations of positive cases and their close contacts in conjunction with the Washtenaw County Health Department. Those individuals and their close contacts receive specific communications regarding their situation. Further information on public health community notifications and how the university community is being notified of potential exposes can be found here.

Can I get a COVID-19 test if I don’t have any symptoms?  (Nov. 6, 2020)

Yes. The U-M COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking program, a free, opt-in, voluntary surveillance asymptomatic testing program open to students living on or off campus as well as faculty and staff, including those from Michigan Medicine, who work in -person on the Ann Arbor campus.

Want to know how to get tested at U-M? Check out this guide for available testing options on campus.

Will the university require weekly testing in the winter term?  (Nov. 6, 2020)

Among the key aspects of the Winter Semester plan are a number of new testing protocols and opportunities. The university will:

  • Offer convenient weekly asymptomatic testing to all students (graduate, professional and undergraduate) who are not otherwise covered by a mandatory program, as well as faculty teaching in person and staff working on campus.
  • Require a negative COVID-19 test from all residence hall residents prior to moving in.
  • Implement mandatory weekly testing for all undergraduate students who live in residence halls.
  • Implement mandatory weekly testing for all undergraduate students who come to campus to attend in-person classes or activities, use facilities (e.g. libraries, unions, Rec Sports), work or do research on campus. Testing for this group prior to starting any on-campus activities also is required and will be made available. Compliance with mandatory testing requirements will be linked to Mcard activation and facilities access.
  • Require a negative test for undergraduates departing university housing before returning to their permanent residence. A negative test will be recommended and testing made available for all other undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Expand the testing of individuals in quarantine to students living off campus and not using U-M quarantine housing.

Why are medical school faculty and staff excluded from the additional season days?  (Nov. 6, 2020)

Michigan Medicine announced separate measures to recognize faculty and staff, who are not receiving the extra season days. Those measures include reinstatement of their retirement matching funds, a $500 bonus for faculty and non-bargained-for staff, and restoration of discretionary spending for professional development.

Should off-campus employees participate in the ResponsiBLUE Screening Check if they are working fully remote?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

Yes. Public health officials are asking all in the U-M community to use the screening check daily. It is only required for those coming to campus and entering campus buildings.

The U-M community is being asked to consider getting into a daily habit of using the tool as a way to help provide solid data on the health of our community as we move forward. You can learn more about the ResponsiBLUE app here.

Will the Stay in Place order extend past Nov. 3? (Note: the order has been lifted)  (Oct. 20, 2020)

The Washtenaw County Health Department’s stay-in-place order for University of Michigan undergraduate students ended at 7 a.m. Nov. 3 and was not extended, following a decrease in the proportion of county COVID-19 cases associated with U-M. Learn more here.  

Does UHS provide free COVID-19 testing?  (Oct. 20, 2020)
For currently enrolled U-M students and UHS Prepaid Plan members, there are no fees for COVID-19 testing. Want to know how to get tested at U-M? Check out this guide for available testing options on campus.

Will Rec Sports facilities be open for the Winter 2021 term?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

Yes. Reservations will be required to work out and to swim, face coverings will be required at all times while working out, and our facilities will be operating at decreased capacities, just to name a few changes. Learn more here.

What are the plans for spring commencement?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

There will not be a December in-person Commencement ceremony this year consistent with public health guidance on travel and large indoor social gatherings. All students who complete graduation requirements will earn and receive their degrees. Graduates will be invited to participate in spring ceremonies as they normally are.

The university is continuing to assess Commencement plans for this coming May and engage with students as part of the process.

How is the university addressing student mental health on campus?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

The university will add two mid-week, one-day “well-being breaks” without any scheduled academic activities Feb. 24 and March 23. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is expanding this year with eight additional counselors to reduce wait times and augment services, which are mostly virtual for students during the pandemic. Additional wellness services such as Wolverine Wellness and Recreational Sports facilities also will continue to be available to the U-M community. Learn more here.

Health & Wellness Resources:

  • Well-Being for Students is Student Life’s resource page for information and wellness tips related to COVID-19.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services provides information, services and tools to help students, staff, faculty, and family members reach their full potential.
  • University Health Service offers health care and individual wellness coaching to support students’ well-being and can be provided in-person or virtually
  • The U-M Depression Center also has developed resources, which students can access at the the Campus Mindworks site: org

I am an undergraduate student with a job on campus, can I still work? (Oct. 20, 2020)

Undergrads with campus jobs will still be able to go to work – under public health protocols. If a residence employs individuals to provide food preparation, cleaning, maintenance or repair services to the residents, employees may be permitted to enter on- or off-campus housing. More information on the Stay in Place order can be found here.

I am an undergraduate and work in a lab, can I still work?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

Undergraduates will not be allowed to participate in in-person research and scholarship. However, senior students engaged in in-person research and scholarship for credit as part of a class or a thesis project can work with research leadership in their particular unit to request an exception. More information on the Stay in Place order can be found here.

How will the Stay in Place order be enforced?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

The University of Michigan has established a non-emergency hotline to address issues in off-campus housing areas. Call 734-647-3000.

As with other state and local orders, violations can be reported to local law enforcement. Responses may vary according to the urgency of any given situation and the availability of law enforcement. First steps will always include education and engagement rather than penalties. Violations are subject to citations and penalties as outlined in the Michigan Public Health Code. Health Department staff are also available to answer non-urgent questions or to provide guidance. Leave a message at 734-544-6700 or email L-wchdcontact@washtenaw.org.

More information on the Stay in Place order can be found here.

Are public spaces, like libraries and dining facilities, closed during this time?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

Most on-campus services, including our libraries, will continue as they have during this semester, though with increased remote modalities. The Michigan Union will remain open for many services as well. More information on the Stay in Place order can be found here.

Can I go to the Center Campus Recreation Building/North Campus Research Complex/etc. to work out?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

No. While physical activity is encouraged, the order only allows for physical activity outside to reduce the risk of exposure. No more than 2 people should gather for physical activity. Read more here about virtual programming under the Stay-In-Place order. More information on the Stay in Place order can be found here.

What about athletics, are they cancelled too?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

The county order exempts Intercollegiate Athletics, so long as practices and competitions occur under medical supervision and regular virus tests are conducted by the Big Ten according to its approved protocols.

There has not been documented transmission of COVID-19 among student-athletes in U-M athletics facilities. U-M supports the league’s testing program, and the staff of the Athletic Department are committed to protocols that protect the health of our student-athletes. More information on the Stay in Place order can be found here.

When will the checkout procedures be available?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

Information on early departure planning can be found here.

Who can we contact to discuss housing and meal plan refunds?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

If you choose to move out early, you will receive a partial room and board refund credited to your student account upon successful completion of check-out procedures. All residential students who seek to move out early are required to complete a COVID-19 test as part of their departure process. To ensure you receive your refund, please complete this survey to verify that you have been tested and received your results in the 7 days prior to your departure. Plans for the Residence Halls for Winter 2021 term will be shared in November. More information on the Stay in Place order can be found here.

Are students living in residence halls allowed to visit other people’s rooms with proper masks and social distancing?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

In-person gatherings with non-household members is strictly prohibited for the duration of the Stay in Place order. Under no circumstance are visitors permitted in on or off-campus housing until the order ends Nov. 3 at 7 a.m. More information on the Stay in Place order can be found here.

Does the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling on Gov. Whitmer’s emergency order powers have any effect on the university? (Oct. 9, 2020)

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Washtenaw County Health Department announced emergency measures Oct. 5 to keep COVID-19 prevention and control strategies in place, after a Michigan Supreme Court ruling last week created uncertainty for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders. The measures include wearing face coverings, limiting gathering sizes and mandatory daily health screenings of employees. U-M and the county have existing measures in place for these orders. To learn more, click here.

What U-M efforts are underway to limit or prevent large group gatherings for tailgating? (Oct. 9, 2020)

Tailgating is prohibited on the U-M campus and strongly discouraged in Ann Arbor. University parking lots will be closed and tailgating will not be allowed at Pioneer High School or Ann Arbor Golf and Outing. The university is actively working with city and campus partners to address football safety and alternative activities for students not interested in fall sports. The focus will be on socialization and engagement opportunities that are small, reduce harm and promote well-being. The Washtenaw County Health Department issued an order on gathering size restrictions to 25 or less for outdoors/10 for indoors. More information on events and planning efforts to come soon.

How is the university community being notified of potential exposures in campus buildings? (Oct. 2, 2020)

Public health community notification is designed to proactively make the U-M community aware of positive cases that were present in a U-M building during the infectious period. U-M Environment Health & Safety is conducting investigations of positive cases and their close contacts in conjunction with the Washtenaw County Health Department. Those individuals and their close contacts receive specific communications regarding their situation. Further information on public health community notifications and how the university community is being notified of potential exposes can be found here. A poster focused on addressing COVID in the classroom can be found here.

What are the consequences for individuals not following the COVID-19 guidelines on campus? (Oct. 2, 2020)

Information on how the university is addressing individuals not following the COVID-19 guidelines on campus can be found here.

How long will employees be required to work from home? (Oct. 2, 2020)

The university continues to encourage those who are able to work from home to continue to do so. University employees can find information on working from home here.

How does the university view its responsibility toward the community? (Oct. 2, 2020)

The health and well-being of the entire community is the university’s highest priority and that extends to the Ann Arbor area. University plans are informed by the latest safety measures put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Michigan, the Washtenaw County Health Department and the guidance of U-M experts from public health, education, medicine and others across our campus community who are working with the governor to keep the state of Michigan safe. The university continues to evolve its plans to protect members of the community, which include the development of a digital toolkit containing information and signage to help protect the community. U-M and the city of Ann Arbor have developed the digital toolkit based on health and safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Michigan. Learn more on U-M’s COVID-19 community toolkit here.

TESTING, SAMPLING & TRACKING

Will CSTP testing continue in the fall?  (March 12, 2021)

Weekly testing will continue through the spring and summer terms and into the fall as warranted by the conditions as they evolve in the coming months.

Can an outside negative test be submitted to show up on a student’s ResponsiBLUE app?  (Feb. 12, 2021)

No. You will need to complete weekly mandatory testing through U-M to count for compliance. More information can be found here: https://campusblueprint.umich.edu/prevention-testing-care/testing/sampling-tracking-program

Will face coverings still be required if you receive the vaccine?  (Jan. 29, 2021)

Yes. While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, it will be important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic, like covering your mouth and nose with a face covering, washing hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Will students be able to test for COVID-19 up until the end of the fall term?  (Nov. 13, 2020)
Testing continues to be available, with this week’s schedule noted here.

Testing will be available at a reduced level after Thanksgiving until Dec 18. That schedule will be released after Thanksgiving.

When and where will rapid saliva testing be available to staff/students who want it? (Oct. 9, 2020)

U-M has made some changes to its Community Sampling & Tracking Program with the move to saliva-based testing, more testing locations across campus and made the sign-up process easier for the community. The Ann Arbor U-M community is encouraged to sign up for surveillance testing through the enhanced Community Sampling and Tracking Program.

U-M announced additional CSTP testing locations that can be found here. Each week, the CSTP will bring testing to different residence hall locations. Read more on the program here.

How does the university plan to encourage students to get tested for COVID-19 when they think they have it or have been exposed? (Oct. 9, 2020)

University public health experts, in close collaboration with the Washtenaw County Health Department, recommend if you believe you have had sustained close contact (within 6 feet of a case for more than 15 minutes) with a person who has COVID-19, you should quarantine. A guide for the U-M community on available testing options on campus can be viewed here.

The university also has created graphics for on-campus students and off-campus students on what to do based on potential COVID-19 scenarios. This is in addition to the instructor’s guide for COVID in the classroom.

The university also continues to encourage the entire U-M community to use the ResponsiBLUE symptom tracker daily to check themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. Additional information on what students should do if they think they have been exposed or have COVID-19 can be found here.

Why is student athlete COVID-19 testing prioritized yet other students find it more difficult to access testing as frequently? (Oct. 9, 2020)

Testing for student athletes is provided by the Big Ten Conference, and this does not affect testing capacity for others on our campus. We are relying on daily testing for student athletes since their sport does not allow them to use methods to prevent the spread of disease available to everyone else —masks, social distancing and the avoidance of interacting with large groups of people.

All students with symptoms can receive a COVID-19 test at UHS. Additionally, the U-M COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking Program is a free, opt-in, voluntary surveillance testing program for those on the Ann Arbor campus. All students are encouraged to sign up for the program. Learn more on the program here. 

Will U-M community member hospitalizations or deaths be listed on the U-M COVID-19 dashboard? (Oct. 9, 2020)

Michigan Medicine posts daily weekday snapshots of our current COVID-19 testing and inpatient count, which can be found here. For University of Michigan campus data, see the U-M COVID-19 Data dashboard.

Can you please define the administration’s definition of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus? (Oct. 2, 2020)

The University of Michigan follows CDC guidelines on the definition of a COVID-19 outbreak as “a higher-­than-expected number of occurrences of disease in a specific location and time,” which is outlined on its website here.

When will saliva tests be used for the U-M COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking Program? (Oct. 2, 2020)

The University Health Service has an agreement with Ann Arbor-based LynxDx Inc. to offer saliva-based COVID-19 diagnostic surveillance testing services on the Ann Arbor campus. This additional testing is scheduled to launch the week of Oct. 12.

The agreement will allow the university to ramp up its testing capacity to up to 6,000 individuals per week through the U-M COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking Program, a free, opt-in, voluntary surveillance testing program open to students living on or off campus as well as faculty and staff who work in-person on the Ann Arbor campus.

How are students testing outside of U-M being correctly tracked? (Oct. 2, 2020)

The U-M COVID-19 dashboard presents data from several sources, which are identified by the Washtenaw County Health Department. You can learn more about how the data is being tracked here.

When will you be making COVID-19 testing accessible to the entire student body (this includes asymptomatic individuals)? (Oct. 2, 2020)

Testing is available to the U-M community through the COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking program, which is designed to systematically sample the campus community for early identification of changes in virus spread. This testing program is being streamlined as of the week of Oct. 12 and is able to handle more tests. Resources for asymptomatic testing can be found here.

CLASS FORMAT

Will students and instructors both still have the option to teach or learn virtually if they require accommodations or aren’t yet comfortable returning to in-person learning?  (March 12, 2021)

The planning for the fall term is to offer medium to small classes in a safe in-person format. As the plans move forward, there will be careful consideration of necessary accommodations.

Will there be outdoor spaces/canopies on campus again?  (March 12, 2021)

Yes, there will be canopies and outdoor space on campus.

Last fall’s canopy program had more than 38,000 visitors and was well received by students, we are excited for the canopy offerings to return as the weather is improving.

Canopies provide a space outdoors for students to study or eat or rest while on campus, while we have reduced occupancies indoors due to the pandemic. As to when they come down, we are going to be responsive to public health guidance to determine the dates. Canopies will wind down as the public health situation improves.

There will be 7 canopies total in the following locations with total seating just over 200 seats.

  • Michigan Union
  • South Quad
  • Palmer Tennis Court
  • Ingalls Mall South
  • Gerstacker Grove (North Campus)

Visitor traffic patterns from the fall program helped inform canopy hours and locations.

  • Operating hours: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Canopies will be installed Friday, April 2 and Monday, April 5 with all canopies up and running as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 6.

Canopies will be equipped with wi-fi.

Canopies will have hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies students can use to sanitize their tables and chairs, staff will clean and sanitize surfaces regularly.

What are the university plans for the winter 2021 term?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

The University of Michigan has developed a comprehensive plan for winter term incorporating public health guidance, lessons learned from the fall semester and extensive feedback and engagement with the community. Learn more about the winter term 2021 plan here.

Only courses that must be taught in person will be delivered that way, as determined by instructors and program leaders. Our plans emphasize our academic mission, with safety measures to address key concerns and more options for remote instruction. No instructors will be required to teach in person if they choose not to.

Will winter 2021 term 2021 use Pass/NRC for grading?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

Information on the COVID-19 fall 2020-winter 2021 undergraduate grading can be found here.

Will this semester’s grading policy get changed to P/NRC?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

Information on the COVID-19 fall 2020-winter 2021 undergraduate grading can be found here.

What are the current plans looking like for Winter 2021?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

Planning for the winter semester is underway. The university sought feedback from students, faculty and groups of staff members that will help to inform our plans and our decision-making. This includes the provost’s office and the Faculty Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs collaborating to conduct a survey to gather information about the challenges and opportunities experienced in this rapidly changing environment.

The aggregate results of the survey will inform decision-making for Winter 2021 and beyond. More information on the faculty and student surveys can be found here. More information on the Stay in Place order can be found here.

If I decide to go home for the Stay in Place order, can I return to campus for the end of the semester?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

It is recommended that all students remain at their current address. Students who live in U-M housing may only return to their home/permanent address if they follow U-M testing and checkout procedures, which can be found here.  If other students return to their permanent address, it is strongly recommended they undergo COVID-19 testing prior to leaving their current residence and stay in place for the duration of this order. Free Saliva testing is available through the Community Sampling and Tracking Program, additional information on testing locations can be found here.

Once a student returns home, for safety reasons they will need to remain home. Additional information on early departure planning can be found here.

More information on the Stay in Place order can be found here.

When will there be a decision on the format for the winter 2021 term? (Oct. 27, 2020)

An announcement on the format for the winter 2021 term will be made in early November. For all university messages and news related to COVID-19, please click here.

When will there be a decision for the winter 2021 term? (Oct. 2, 2020)

U-M is actively working on a plan for the winter term and will announce details as they become available in the coming month. The university continues to learn from fall teaching experiences, which is essential for incorporating winter planning and will reach out to gather information from instructors, students and staff across the schools and colleges to help assess what’s working well and what are some of the things that need improvements.  U-M has revised its fall and winter term 2020-21 academic calendars for the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses due to challenges posed by COVID-19. You can read more here.

Will new undergrads be let into research labs this semester? (Oct. 2, 2020)

Beginning Oct. 12, all undergraduate students will be eligible to participate in in-person research and scholarship. Read more on the announcement here.

HOUSING & DINING

When will students be able to sign up for on-campus housing? (March 12, 2021)

Housing applications for all students will be released in early May. More information can be found here.

Will housing be single and/or double occupancy in the dormitory? (March 12, 2021)

Michigan Housing is excited to announce that residential communities and apartments will be open to welcome your student in the Fall of 2021. More details are available on the Housing website here, including how to apply, what room types are available, and what timelines to expect.

I had a residential meal plan for the fall 2020 term. What happens to my dining dollars, since winter 2021 housing contracts were canceled?  (Nov. 20, 2020)

Michigan Dining worked in coordination with Housing, as the meal plan is the board portion of the Housing contract.  The Dining Dollars will roll over to the Winter 2021 term, provided you are enrolled in a Winter 2021 meal plan. If you choose not to enroll in a Winter 21 meal plan, any Dining Dollar balance greater than $5 will be refunded to your student account after the Fall 2020 term has ended. Find more information here.

I had an off-campus block meal plan for the fall 2020 term. What happens to my meal swipes and dining dollars?  (Nov. 20, 2020)

Under normal circumstances, remaining Fall meal swipes and Dining Dollars would only roll over with the purchase of a Winter term meal plan. Due to the circumstances this year, Michigan Dining is allowing for these meal swipes and Dining Dollars to roll over without the purchase of a Winter term meal plan. Any remaining balances at the end of the Winter term will expire. Find more information here.

Are there any plans to open the dining halls for reservations or other indoor sitting areas for eating?  (Nov. 6, 2020)

Under the new Winter term 2021 plan, lounge spaces in Housing will be accessible by reservation only, dine-in options in the dining halls will not be available and the university will maintain or increase its quarantine and isolation housing capacity of 600 units. Check out dining operational updates here.

I left campus during the Stay in Place but didn’t empty my belongings from my room. Do I need to collect my belongings? By when, and how?  (Nov. 6, 2020)

If you are able to come back to campus before Nov. 20, please make arrangements to arrive between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to move out of your room. If you need help accessing your room, visit the Community Center to obtain a temporary key. Your check-out process will be finalized after you complete an Express Check-out form at the Community Center before you depart.

If you need to arrive after Nov. 30,  you can sign up to retrieve belongings through Sessions between Nov. 30 and Dec. 6. You will still need to follow the university’s departure protocols when you initially leave.

If you are unable to come back to campus, you can call John’s Pack’n’Ship, a local company, and they will pack, ship or store your belongings. You would need to cover the cost with John’s Pack’n’Ship.

With in-person classes ending on Nov. 20, will any on-campus/in-person services (e.g. Michigan Union, Michigan Dining, library access) be open until the end of the term?  (Nov. 6, 2020)

Michigan Dining will have most dining halls open for the remainder of the fall 2020 term. Parents and students are encouraged to visit dining.umich.edu for the most up to date information and hours of operation. Learn more here.

The Michigan Union will be open Nov. 30 through Dec. 17 from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. (Sundays 9 a.m.-9 p.m.) and Dec. 18 from 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

Pierpont Commons will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., starting Nov. 30 and closed weekends. The Michigan League will be closed during that time. For more information on hours of operation, visit here. Reservable study spaces will continue to be available via studyspaces.umich.edu

Information on university libraries can be found here.

I left campus during the Stay in Place order, but didn’t empty my belongings from my residential hall. When do I need to collect my belongings?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

If you are able to come back to campus before Nov. 20, please make arrangements to arrive between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to move out of your room. If you need help accessing your room, visit the Community Center to obtain a temporary key. Your check-out process will be finalized after you complete an Express Check-out form at the Community Center before you depart.

If you need to arrive after Nov. 30,  you can sign up to retrieve belongings through Sessions between Nov. 30 and Dec. 6. You will still need to follow the university’s departure protocols when you initially leave.

If you are unable to come back to campus, you can call John’s Pack’n’Ship, a local company, and they will pack, ship or store your belongings. You would need to cover the cost with John’s Pack’n’Ship.

Will students who signed early termination contracts due to concerns about COVID-19 receive a refund?  (Oct. 20, 2020)

If you do wish to cancel the remainder of the contract, please complete a departure notice on the Housing Business Portal by Nov. 20, and MHousing will cancel your housing contract for winter term and waive the early termination fees.

RESPONSE METRICS & MITIGATION STRATEGIES

How often is the dashboard residence hall data refreshed? (Oct. 9, 2020)

The data on the number of cases in each residence hall will now be updated twice a week. Updates will be posted on Tuesday and Friday and can be viewed here. Case numbers for residence halls include new cases and historical probable cases, in addition to those confirmed cases reported previously.

What are the metrics the university is using on determining whether to ramp-down again and move to all remote teaching? (Oct. 2, 2020)

Currently defined metrics, existing mitigation tools, and possible enhanced measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are outlined here.

FINANCE

Will U-M be covering the cost of a COVID-19 vaccine for faculty, staff and students?  (Nov. 20, 2020)

The university has begun vaccination planning in preparation for when a vaccine is approved and made available. No decisions have yet been made on COVID-19 vaccination requirements or cost.

Michigan Medicine has convened a multidisciplinary COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutics Task Force to develop an institutional strategy and operational plan for COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics once FDA authorization is obtained. When final data is available as to the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CVTT will review and await the final CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations. This will inform the recommendations put forth for COVID-19 vaccinations for Michigan Medicine employees. Learn more here.

Will the salary/promotion freeze continue to be in place for the 2021-2022 academic year?  (Nov. 20, 2020)

U-M has implemented comprehensive efforts to help reduce costs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The university is actively working on ways to address cost savings measures, while supporting the outstanding work from university employees. More information on this topic will be coming forward at a later date.

With the university conducting a majority of classes remotely for the winter term, will there be a reduction in tuition?  (Nov. 13, 2020)

As we move into the winter semester, the university continues to make significant investments in technology and training to help instructors create the best possible remote learning experiences that allow students to maintain academic progress and work toward their Michigan degrees. In addition, we will continue to provide services like CAPS and career counseling and offer many co-curricular opportunities online. For these reasons and others, our tuition will remain unchanged for the winter term.

How long is the university hiring freeze expected to last for staff positions? (Oct. 9, 2020)

University hiring remains frozen with the possible exception of staff or faculty in roles considered critical and those fully funded by grants from the federal, state or non-profit sectors. Learn more here.

Can university leadership please share a clear and transparent overview of our financial situation? (Oct. 2, 2020)

The university’s financial situation has been stabilized in the short term, but there is much uncertainty ahead. University officials will consider a financial update as a topic for a future Friday live session.

RESOURCES

Where can I find the University Human Resources Ann Arbor staff survey?  (Feb. 12, 2021)

In December 2020, University Human Resources sent an electronic survey to 12,008 staff members on the Ann Arbor campus and received 6,580 responses for a 55 percent response rate. View the summary of staff survey finding.

Do already expired—or soon to expire—Mcards need to be renewed now?  (Dec. 4, 2020)

Mcards expiring during the pandemic are being extended. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent and temporary employee and student Mcards on the Ann Arbor and Flint campuses that have expired—or will expire— in 2020 have already been extended for campus building access through January 5, 2021, but will be further extended through June 1, 2021. This practice will continue for Mcards that will expire January 1 through May 31, 2021. Please visit the Mcard website for additional information.

Will the university expand the cap of hours allowed in vacation banks?  (Dec. 4, 2020)

No. All employees are encouraged to plan time off.  Time away from work is an important part of self-care, supports well-being and enables continued high performance when at work. Current vacation or PTO balances can be viewed in Wolverine Access Self Service here.  Staff members who are at or near maximum of their vacation or PTO accruals should discuss with their supervisor options for scheduling time off.

Are graduate students able to purchase blue parking passes during the pandemic?  (Nov. 20, 2020)

In support of Graduate Student research and teaching activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Logistics, Transportation & Parking will offer a temporary parking permit option between December 1 – June 30, 2021. As of December 1, Graduate and Professional Graduate Students will be able to purchase annual, monthly or daily Blue parking permits that will expire on June 30, 2021. Learn more here.

Will the Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act carry over into 2021?  (Nov. 20, 2020)

The Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) provides a bank of up to 80 hours of paid time off for COVID-19-related absences.  For most COVID-related scenarios, the 80-hour EPSLA bank (or prorated amount for part-time employees) is available through Dec. 31, 2020, under current federal law. The university is monitoring any potential changes in federal initiatives that may come with the new administration. Paid sick time provided under this act does not carry over from one year to the next. Information on paid time off during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

Will study spaces be available in the winter term?  (Nov. 13, 2020)

Yes. Within the residence halls, the lounges and community space will be open by reservation only with a limited number of people in the space at the same time. Social distancing and mask coverings will be required. More information to come.

Across campus, reservable study spaces will continue to be available via studyspaces.umich.edu for the winter term.

What is the phone number to call if you see people gathering together without masks and want to report a concern?  (Nov. 13, 2020)

The COVID-19 Concerns Reporting Line allows community-based public health concerns to be addressed via a system that has been designed to reduce the need for law enforcement as a first response.

To report a public health concern, please call 734-647-3000.

What support is available to employees working remote with children? (Oct. 9, 2020)

The University of Michigan is taking steps to address child care needs of faculty, staff and students. Resources available to the U-M community can be found here.

Additional information about measures related to COVID-19 from Work-Life is available here.

Where can I find COVID-19 information and resources for faculty, staff and students? (Oct. 9, 2020)

Resources and support are available for all U-M students, faculty and staff. The following resources can be found on the Campus Maize & Blueprint website:

Instructional

Non-Instructional

Research

Academic Support & Accommodations Resources

Health & Wellness Resources:

  • Well-Being for Students is Student Life’s resource page for information and wellness tips related to COVID-19.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services provides information, services, and tools to help students, staff, faculty, and family members reach their full potential. While so many students are in remote locations (in Ann Arbor or elsewhere in the country and world), in different time zones, etc., CAPS would like to highlight SilverCloud as a helpful resource. This resource can be accessed 24/7 and can be used whenever you want, have the time, at your own pace, etc.
  • University Health Service offers health care and individual wellness coaching to support students’ well-being and can be provided in-person or virtually.

How is the university responding to the mental health crisis on campus during the pandemic? (Oct. 2, 2020)

The world has changed in ways large and small. For those who could benefit from someone to talk to, support is available year-round for all students, faculty and staff on every campus and at Michigan Medicine. Resources are available in person and virtually.

As with physical well-being, mental health is a continuum. At any point in time, especially at this point in history, we all find ourselves at different states of emotional health. Some may be struggling, and some may be doing OK. No matter where one is on that continuum, the university offers support services.

Health & Wellness Resources:

  • Well-Being for Students is Student Life’s resource page for information and wellness tips related to COVID-19.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services provides information, services and tools to help students, staff, faculty, and family members reach their full potential.
  • University Health Service offers health care and individual wellness coaching to support students’ well-being and can be provided in-person or virtually.

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding COVID-19? (Oct. 2, 2020)

The U-M COVID-19 Hotline serves the campus community by connecting them to U-M resources and support during the pandemic. To reach the hotline, please call 734-936-7000. For additional contact information, click here.