Campus COVID-19 Briefings

April 9, 2021 briefing

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani gave an update on campus conditions and important reminders and recommendations for our community. (00:32​)

Rob Ernst, chair of the Campus Health Response Committee, discussed the university’s latest thinking around public health guidelines, vaccination tracking, and the end of the semester. (04:42)

Dana Habers, chief department administrator in Radiology and a co-lead of Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Therapeutics Task Force, discussed important vaccination opportunities for students. (11:39​)

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon discussed housing for the fall and events to help students gather safely. (21:15​)

Provost Susan M. Collins provided an update on course modalities. (27:21)

The leaders answered the following questions:

  • Should we update our BlueQueue if we got our shot elsewhere, or just wait until we are asked and decline it? (35:35​)
  • If you still have to wear a mask and be wary of infection, what is the point of getting the vaccine? (37:14​)
  • The inflation rate is rising significantly. Will our salaries keep up? Given that faculty and staff have endured a difficult work period, but still performed their duties, taught and produced research and performed university service under difficult circumstances, it would help faculty and staff morale to get a decent raise. (38:52​)
  • What guidance or support can we expect from UHR as schools and colleges begin recruiting to fill open positions again, as it relates to in-person visits and interviews? (41:40​)
  • In what ways is the university including graduate students in the planning for the fall semester? (43:10​)
  • I see in the news that Michigan Medicine is canceling elective surgeries. Can you clarify what’s going on? (45:59​)
  • How can we update our Blue Queue? (48:26​)
  • Will intramural and club sports be offered in the fall? (48:38​)
  • What kind of mental health resources are available for students? (49:16​)
  • We’re seeing a few questions about commencement. Are there any changes to your approach with the latest numbers? (51:27​)
  • Where and when will this replay link be shared for parents to watch? (53:00​)
  • President Schlissel addressed questions about returning to in-person work. (53:46​)

March 26, 2021 briefing

President Schlissel shared the announcement of the university plan to open Michigan Stadium to graduating students during our virtual May 1 Ann Arbor Commencement ceremony. Attendance will be ticketed and limited to graduates. (Time stamp: 00:00​)

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani gave an update on campus and state conditions. (01:49)

Provost Susan M. Collins provided an update on campus summer programs. (05:22​)

Dr. Malani shared the campus student testing plan for spring and summer terms. (10:05)

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon addressed the return of canopies on campus, opportunities for in-person interaction, and experiences for sophomores in Fall 2021. [Clarification: Michigan Union hours will expand April 5 and canopies will be up by April 6] (12:35)

Dana Habers, of Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Therapeutics Task Force, addressed vaccine availability for U-M faculty, staff and students, and what to do if you are registered with Michigan Medicine but have been able to receive a vaccination through another provider? And President Schlissel discussed the importance of vaccination. (20:41​)

The leaders addressed:

  • When will class statues as either in person or remote be solidified? I’d like to make my class decisions for the fall based on whether classes are in person or remote. (36:21​)
  • When will families interested in Michigan be able to visit campus? (37:31​)
  • When can we stop wearing masks outside on campus? (39:05)
  • Can a limited number of vaccinated staff work together without masks? (39:51​)
  • When a vaccination appointments become available for students, will it be considered a medical priority to be excused/absent from a class without academic penalty (in the event that it is unavoidable to schedule around current class times)? (40:49​)
  • Many people are having luck getting vaccines in smaller, rural towns. Do you have suggestions on how to find where vaccines are available? (42:17)
  • If we are not over 50 and do not have underlying health conditions, is there anyway to get a vaccine appointment before April 5th or should we just wait to sign-up? (43:59​)
  • Vaccination rates are rapidly ramping up among researchers. When can research lab restrictions be lifted for these workers? (46:19​)
  • Is it possible for students to use a local testing site, other than a UM campus testing site, to complete their weekly testing requirement? (49:21​)
  • With Rutgers saying students must be vaccinated to return to campus in the fall, has there been any talk about this here? (50:00​)

March 12, 2021 briefing

President Schlissel thanked members of the U-M community and announced the university’s fall semester plans for more in-person classes and a return to a more residential campus. (Time stamp: 00:00)

Provost Susan M. Collins discussed the academic plan for the fall semester. (06:50​)

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon discussed plans for housing, dining and Student Life activities that bring students together. (18:11)

President Schlissel addressed questions on staff returning to more in-person work. (22:19​)

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani and Rob Ernst, chair of the Campus Health Response Committee, discussed campus conditions, the importance of safe behaviors during social gatherings, and health and safety plans for the fall semester. (23:57​)

Dr. Ernst addressed:

  • How are conditions on campus right now? (27:27​)
  • What is the Campus Health Response Committee that you lead anticipating for the Fall Semester, in terms of projections and possible mitigation measures? (28:51​)
  • With the new CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals, will fully vaccinated students still be required to get weekly testing? (30:25​)
  • Are small outside gatherings of students, with social distancing rules strictly adhered to, are allowed at this time? (32:14​)

Sandro Cinti, infectious disease physician and co-lead of Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Therapeutics Task Force, addressed:

  • What is the current outlook for vaccine supply, both for Michigan Medicine and overall for our state and nation? (34:03​)
  • Can we get clarification on what is going on with vaccines in Michigan Medicine? Should we wait to hear from Michigan Medicine or should we be trying to get appointments with local drugstores, county health department, etc.? (37:53​)
  • Do you know if Michigan Medicine will prioritize instructors as 1C? (39:18​)
  • Is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine potentially harmful to those that are immunocompromised or have autoimmune disease because an adenovirus is used in this vaccine? (40:25)

The leaders addressed:

  • How is the university advocating for greater vaccine access for staff, faculty, and students? (42:13​)
  • You said that “most large lectures will remain remote.”  How is “large” defined? (45:54​)
  • May we hear more specifics about how the sophomores will be engaged so they can meet each other and build communities that they could not as freshman? (47:57​)
  • How are the vaccines working with the new Covid variants? (50:37​)
  • What are the plans for the upcoming spring/summer terms? (53:05​)
  • There are lots of questions about making vaccination mandatory. President Schlissel can you speak to that? (54:36)

Feb. 26, 2021 briefing

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani gave an update on campus conditions. (Time stamp: 01:10​)

(04:50​) Rob Ernst, associate vice president for student life and chair of the Campus Heath Response Committee, addressed

  • What has been the primary cause of covid-19 outbreaks related to the university, and what are you doing to stop this?
  • Will vaccination status ever replace the need for weekly testing? (Especially in regard to ResponsiBLUE)
  • Before and after I travel for my international trip can I be tested?
  • Why are graduate students being required to be tested?

(14:38​) Provost Susan M. Collins shared an update on U-M’s financial situation and modifications to some of the spending restrictions that were put into place last spring.

(20:31) Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon discussed how we are working with students to help them meet testing requirements and how we are helping students dealing with unexpected living expenses.

(25:53​) Vice President for Research Rebecca Cunningham discussed successes and lessons learned from our research reactivation and highlighted some of the amazing work of our researchers.

The leaders addressed:

  • Can you give an update on the timeline for vaccinations for employees and students? (34:38​)
  • If I am vaccinated and I flew internationally, would I have to self-quarantine for 7 days after travel? (36:38)
  • The fraction of the University population that has been vaccinated against Covid-19 is increasing, particularly in medical and related school settings. Will vaccination rates be included in future planning for relaxing density requirements in these labs? And what is the status of volunteers in labs? (39:25​)
  • Can you start to give staff who have been working offsite an idea of when you expect many/most staff will return to onsite work and when decisions will be made about who will remain offsite? (42:01)
  • Will indoor study spaces be open during the Spring and Summer terms? (45:11​)
  • Why can multiple people who are vaccinated not be together without masks at work? (46:31​)
  • What advice do you have for staff to guide students in making registration decisions in the coming weeks when it is unlikely U-M will know what social distancing or other public health measures will need to be taken for Fall classes? (48:35​)
  • How can we help students gather safely outdoors? (49:56)
  • The current rate of vaccinations in the US suggests that the majority of Faculty and Students will not be vaccinated by Fall 2021. How is this being considered in planning for Fall 2021? (52:17)
  • What do you attribute the steep drop in cases to, locally and nationwide? (54:10​)

Feb. 12, 2021 briefing

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani gave an update on campus conditions. (Time stamp: 01:15)

(05:40​) Rob Ernst, associate vice president for student life and chair of the Campus Health Response Committee, addressed:

  • What do we know about the impact of the county Stay in Place recommendation?
  • Do graduate students need to be tested for COVID-19 during the weeks when we are not going to the campus and self-quarantining at home?
  • Is U-M considering a double-mask requirement considering the recent CDC study on medical mask efficiency?
  • Why are clinical students (medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, etc) who are rotating in the hospital and largely vaccinated required to be tested while other medical professionals are not?

(14:20​) Provost Susan M. Collins addressed:

  • Will there be changes to the grading policy for the spring and summer terms?
  • What insights did we gain from the fall course evaluations?

(19:40​) Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon addressed:

  • What will University Housing look like in the fall?
  • Can you specify what is being done to address large social gatherings off campus?

(25:53) Dana Habers, chief department administrator in Radiology and a co-lead of Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Therapeutics Task Force, addressed:

  • The status of vaccinations at Michigan Medicine and the state?
  • How will Michigan Medicine and U-M be coordinating with and supporting the Washtenaw County Health Department now that Michigan Medicine is recommending that eligible staff and patients request vaccination there?
  • Given the recent news Dr. Fauci shared about an increase in vaccine supply (and the general public possibly receiving the vaccine in April), does this change the timeline of vaccination for undergrad students?

(34:30​) Rich Holcomb, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, addressed:

  • Highlights from the staff survey
  • Highlights from the WISE committee report
  • The future of in-person work

The leaders addressed:

  • Can you share the rationale behind the decision to do a virtual commencement? Some are pointing out that other campuses are doing ceremonies in person. (43:33​)
  • How is the hospital situation for Covid cases in Ann Arbor and around Michigan currently? I would also be interested to hear if we have protocols for treating Covid now and if lives are able to be saved now that might not have been last year? (46:15​)
  • Will vaccination status ever replace the need for weekly COVID testing? I understand that vaccinated people may still be carriers, but will they also need to quarantine if testing positive? (48:05​)
  • When will we know more about the University’s financial situation, especially as it relates to hiring, and merit or promotion raises at the end of FY21 / beginning of FY22? (49:45​)
  • How is compliance with the new testing mandate for all students being managed and what happens when students don’t complete their testing requirements? (51:45​)
  • Can you share how MM prioritized employees for the vaccine? (54:45)

Jan. 29, 2021 briefing

 

 

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani discussed the difficulties the rapidly changing pandemic continues to impose on our community members. (Timestamp: 1:11)

Rob Ernst, associate vice president for student life and chair of the Campus Health Response Committee, addressed:

  • Can you provide an update on the B.1.1.7 variant in the U-M community?
  • How is U-M addressing the new clusters, including the variant?
  • Can you discuss the county recommendations and what we need to achieve? (3:22)

Provost Susan M. Collins (10:05) addressed:

  • Are libraries and study spaces available to students under the county recommendations?
  • Will the university consider allowing certain positions to remain remote, post-pandemic?
  • Do you anticipate permitting faculty to travel for conferences this summer/fall?
  • Will we be offering in person tours for admitted/prospective students and families? If so, what are the guidelines that need to be followed?

Vice President Martino Harmon (15:27) addressed:

  • What are you doing to help first-year students struggling to meet new friends right now?
  • How does the county recommendation affect Student Life services and facilities?

Sandro Cinti, physician and co-lead of the Vaccination Safety and Effectiveness team of the Michigan Medicine task force, (22:10) addressed:

  • Can you provide an update on how many people Michigan Medicine has vaccinated?
  • Will employees whose work requires them to be on campus and in contact with students be given priority over employees who are able to work entirely remote?
  • Which group/phase do instructors teaching in-person lab classes fall in for vaccination?
  • What is UM’s strategy for the overall distribution of vaccines, especially the second dose? I am worried that there will not be sufficient supply for a timely second vaccine if I go in now.
  • Can the University state whether they prioritize by age and health status or invite randomly?
  • Are there any suggestions for persons with MS or other immunosuppression disorders for the administration of the COVID 19 vaccination?

Adam Lauring, a Michigan Medicine physician specializing in infectious diseases, (30:38) addressed:

  • How is the new COVID strain more contagious? Please explain what that means.
  • Does the B.1.1.7 variant transmit better through surfaces (like groceries that people have been breathing on) than the prominent strain?
  • Does the vaccine work against the new strain of Covid?
  • Do the more communicable variants of the virus require changes in how we protect others and ourselves, such as increased attention to spread through surface contamination, or greater than 6 feet of distance?

The leaders answered the following questions from the community:

  • Can you address the state recommendations regarding Athletics? (37:41)
  • Would it be possible for you to send out an email or link to a webpage or something summarizing the contents of the zoom meeting? (40:57)
  • Would you recommend Staff and Faculty members to continue getting tested via the CSTP program after the second dose of vaccination should be in ‘full effect’? If you’re an undergraduate, will an outside positive test be linked to the ResponsiBLUE app? (41:59)
  • For the Community Sampling and Tracking Program, is your goal to have people come every week regardless of exposure and symptoms? Or are you simply making testing available on an as-needed basis. (44:18)
  • I’ll be 65 in April. Should I resubmit the Blue Queue after my birthday? (46:01) [EDIT: After further examination of our process and technologies, individuals do not need to resubmit the Blue Queue questionnaire after a birthday.]
  • Is there a recommendation to pause in-class teaching if the class can be delivered via Zoom? (46:32)
  • What are the latest data about vaccine efficacy? (47:53)
  • Lots of questions about the prioritization of Michigan Medicine employees who don’t interact with patients. Can you talk about how the state guidelines applied? (51:28)
  • Can students who do not feel comfortable going to in person classes attend online without penalty? (53:48)
  • How can people find out which vaccination group they are in? (54:44)
  • It’s my understanding that the stay in place recommendation did not address faculty and staff. Should faculty and staff also be following the recommendation? Why were they not included? (55:28)

Answers to additional questions submitted for the briefing.


Jan. 15, 2021 briefing

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani provided an update on COVID-19 in our state and nation and discussed updates to the ResponsiBLUE app and asymptomatic testing program. She also emphasized the importance of continued diligence with face covering, limiting gathering sizes, and other public health practices. (Timestamp: 1:14)

Provost Susan M. Collins (5:45) addressed:

  • Given that Ann Arbor Schools are still all online and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act has not been extended by the federal government, how will the University step in to fill this gap in support?
  • How are we looking ahead to address public health concerns in planning for Fall 2021?

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon (11:47) addressed:

  • How can I get involved with on-campus events if I’m living out-of-state this semester?
  • I was involved as a volunteer poll worker helping other students vote in the election last semester, and I want to stay engaged even though my winter semester will be 100% virtual. I’m interested more than ever in how to get involved given recent events in D.C.—what can I do?
  • At what % capacity are the residence halls on campus being occupied (ie, what is the estimated percentage of undergraduates who will be on campus during the Winter term)?

Rob Ernst, chair of the Campus Health Response Committee, (21:12 ) addressed:

  • Can you provide an update on arrival testing positivity rates and how many students have completed them?
  • How do off-campus students sign up for the mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing?
  • Will research faculty be required to track or document that UGs are participating in the testing program?
  • Questions about what to do if you tested positive for COVID-19 previously.

Sandro Cinti, co-lead of the Vaccination Safety and Effectiveness team of the Michigan Medicine task force, (33:56) discussed:

  • Can you provide an update on how many people Michigan Medicine has vaccinated?
  • Can you discuss how decisions are being made about when community members can get the vaccine?
  • When can students without underlying health conditions expect to get the vaccine?
  • How will graduate students (teaching assistants, research assistants, and those on fellowship) be classified? Are we considered “faculty” or students? What vaccination phase group will graduate students fall under?
  • Are less-vulnerable community members being prioritized for the vaccine?
  • When will the vaccine be available to staff in student service roles who will be having direct contact/interaction with students?
  • Why do they classify all of Michigan Medicine employees in 1A when not all of the employees are essential/frontline workers?
  • Should seniors and those planning to graduate in 2021 still plan on signing up for the vaccine?
  • Where do librarians who have weekly interactions with students fall in the phased plan for vaccine rollout?
  • Will non-university spouses will be provided the vaccine?

Dec. 11, 2020 briefing

President Schlissel announced that today’s briefing is the final weekly briefing of December. We will resume Jan. 15. He also noted that Dr. Sandro Cinti, an infectious disease physician and one of the co-leads of Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutics Task Force, provided a livestreamed update on vaccination plans. That recording will be available here. He also mentioned Michigan Medicine’s vaccination information page, and that U-M will be distributing a survey next week to students and employees on all three campuses that will help us determine the number of people who will be getting vaccines.  It is very important for our planning efforts to complete the survey even if you do not want the vaccine.  The state is working on finalizing the initial priority groups based on risk of contracting the disease, and we will share that information as soon as it is available. (Timestamp: :03)

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani provided an update on campus conditions. (2:56)

Vice President Martino Harmon provided a housing update and compliance guidelines for Winter 2021 and discussed resources and support for students during exams. (5:59)

Provost Susan M. Collins discussed the staff survey, child care resources for faculty and staff, and the extension of the due date for grades for the Ann Arbor campus. (12:25)

Academic leaders engaged in a discussion on teaching, including lessons learned from the fall, ideas for engaging students, and classroom innovations and challenges. (17:45)

They also discussed resources for instructors to enhance teaching during the pandemic. The participants were:

  • James Hilton, vice provost for academic innovation, university librarian and dean of libraries
  • Timothy A. McKay, associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Joanna Mirecki Millunchick, associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Engineering
  • Matt Kaplan, executive director, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

The leaders answered the following questions from the community:

  • If my grandmother is recovered from COVID with some symptoms, can I hug her at Christmas? I don’t know what to tell the people in my family that have had COVID and have recovered, are they safe to be around? (48:56)
  • How will the all-virtual classes in winter 2021 affect international students who are planning to enroll in Winter 2021 term? (50:58)
  • What are plans for continuing banks of paid time off for dependent care or illness after December 31? (52:23)
  • Have any COVID cases been tied to the use of on campus gym recreation facilities? (53:49)
  • Dr. Collins said the campus survey was sent out Wednesday, but I have searched my email, with multiple approaches and strategies, and I have not received a copy. Is there a place I can reach out for assistance? [the email address she mentioned isuhr-survey-feedback@umich.edu for assistance.] (55:39)
  • What suggestions do you have for students whose professors are not following the best practices that Tim McKay and Joanna Millunchick mentioned? (56:17)

Dec. 4, 2020 briefing

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani gave an update on campus conditions. (Timestamp: 1:28)

Provost Susan M. Collins discussed a new tool to improve the use of Zoom for teaching that Information and Technology Services is bringing to campus, highlighted our College of Engineering “Skunkworks” team and Musical Theatre department’s Ghostlight series, and noted the change in parking availability made by Logistics, Transportation & Parking for graduate students. (3:19)

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon provided an update on housing, discussed Student Life programs and resources as we head into finals season and the end of the semester, and highlighted some recent student and staff efforts and achievements. (10:28)

Rob Ernst, chair of the Campus Health Response Committee, discussed virus testing for the campus community in December and plans for the winter term. (15:54)

Sandro Cinti, an infectious disease physician and one of the co-leads of Michigan Medicine’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Therapeutics Task Force, provided an update on U-M’s planning for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines when they become available. Also joining were co-leads Stan Kent, Michigan Medicine’s chief pharmacy officer, and Dana Habers, chief department administrator in Radiology. (25:58)

The leaders answered the following questions from the community:

  • Could we please discuss in more details how we know the vaccines are safe? What are the known short term, acute, complications and how often do they occur? What are the anticipated long-term complications from a vaccine like this? (37:29)
  • What is the universities plans for getting students vaccinated when available and making sure as many people are as possible before Fall 2021? (40:26)
  • What does leadership see the campus community looking like once a vaccine is rolled out and longer into the future post pandemic status? Will the university offer students more choices on how they want to take their classes in the future? Will we remain primarily a residential university? Do you see a need for staff to have a physical presence onsite in a post pandemic era? (42:17)
  • Does U-M plan to require the vaccine for our community? (45:20)
  • Can you discuss how we will track vaccination in our community? (48:13)
  • There are students, myself included, who cannot get into classes for winter semester that they must take to stay on track to graduate on time, even though these classes are online and have a capacity of 800 students. How are you going to support students like myself? No student should be locked out of a class required by their major, especially when the class is online. (49:50)
  • U-M extended certain Mcards that expired this year until Jan 5, 2021 due to COVID and Card centers being closed. How can those with expiring cards properly support the State of Michigan’s pause of non-essential trips to any college campus? (52:15)
  • Can non-faculty who work in learning support join the classedu endeavor? (53:52)
  • I’ve heard the vaccine makes people sick – do folks who get it need to quarantine after they get the vaccine? (54:18)
  • What do we know about the effectiveness period of the vaccines? (55:24)
  • If someone already had COVID-19, will they need a vaccine? (55:58)

Answers to additional questions submitted for the briefing.


Nov. 20, 2020 briefing

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani gave an update on campus conditions and shared health and well-being resources available through MHealthy. (Timestamp: 2:20)

  • MHealthy’s Alcohol and Tobacco programs offer tobacco treatment options for faculty and staff, as well as confidential programs to help manage mild to moderate alcohol problems
    • MHealthy’s Tobacco Consultation Service has Virtual Quit kits to help you quit and stay quit.
    • MHealthy’s Alcohol Management Program is currently offering Holiday Stop and Swap. Sign up to receive weekly emails to help practice more mindful drinking and reduce alcohol consumption or practice abstaining from alcohol all together.
    • Both programs are offering free virtual sessions for U-M faculty and staff.
  • The Resource Coach program supports U-M faculty and staff experiencing a financial crisis or other personal hardship and connects them to the right resources. Confidential support comes in the form of:
    • Referrals and connections to community and local resources;
    • Assistance finding the right resource for each unique situation;
    • In some cases, small grants are available to cover an urgent financial need.
  • The Exercise and Relaxation classes on Workplace has free weekly classes available online for faculty and staff. Participate in live classes, or view recorded sessions.
  • The Well-being Resource Guide is intended to provide employees and supervisors with resources and information to help them adapt and thrive in times of change.

Provost Susan M. Collins discussed staff challenges, working situations, the university budget, and faculty and staff wellness. (5:52)

Vice President Harmon expressed appreciation for staff collaboration and commitment throughout a challenging semester and addressed staff concerns about the future as the pandemic continues. (12:07)

Associated Vice President for Human Resources Rich Holcomb discussed resources and engagement with U-M staff and announced a staff survey that will be launched this semester. (19:44)

Jennie McAlpine, director of Work Life Programs, discussed options for dependent care and announced that a Family to Family Bulletin Board is being developed to help employees find care options. (30:44) The contact email that she mentioned is: worklife@umich.edu

Kelcey Stratton, clinical psychologist and program manager for resiliency and well-being services, discussed resources available for employees. Information on the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (FASCCO), Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience, Department of Psychiatry and U-M Depression Center resources she highlighted is available here. (38:58)

The leaders answered the following questions from the community:

  • Does the fact that many students who were living in dorms this semester may now simply look at off campus housing opportunities worry you? What measures will be in place to account for any greater numbers of students who live off campus? (46:11)
  • Will the saliva surveillance testing continue to be available? (48:37)
  • What will you do for students that live in the dorms who test positive before they leave? (51:03)
  • Can you please provide guidance to graduate students who are traveling for the holiday and then returning to work in labs? (52:38)
  • What should staff do if they see someone in their on-campus building who is clearly sick? (54:36)

Answers to additional questions submitted for the briefing.


Nov. 13, 2020 briefing

President Schlissel shared that that next week’s briefing will cover staff concerns, as we’ve been working on a number of fronts and will have more information to share next Friday. He also noted that there will be no Weekly Briefing scheduled for Thanksgiving week. (Timestamp: :01)

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani gave an update on campus conditions and shared safety guidance for students, faculty and staff as holidays approach. (2:49)

Provost Susan M. Collins discussed changes to undergraduate grading, course evaluation information, and reiterate that she asked faculty to be flexible where they can to account for the disruptions at the end of the term. (7:51)

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon discussed the importance of de-densifying residence halls for safety, logistics and timeline for housing and students heading back to permanent residences, and safe in-person and virtual engagement opportunities. (15:24)

Washtenaw County Health Officer Jimena Loveluck discussed the current situation in the county. (21:29)

Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs Marschall Runge discussed the COVID outlook for hospitals nationwide and for Michigan Medicine and provided an update on vaccine trials and new treatments. (29:11)

The leaders answer questions from the community:

  • Are we starting to look at addressing the visitor situation with patients coming into the hospital due to the amount of cases going up? (35:56)
  • If a student meets criteria and is provided housing for winter 2021, will they be charged the higher single-occupancy rates even though single-occupancy is the only option available? (37:21)
  • Will Study Spaces be available in the winter semester? (38:00)
  • The people I want to meet up with for Thanksgiving have already had COVID within in the last month, but I haven’t, is it safe to gather with them? (39:59)
  • Many first-year courses have a policy stating that lack of internet connection is not an excuse for turning in homework late. For the upcoming Winter semester, will the University of Michigan implement any policy to help these students disproportionally affected by the internet connection policies in many first-year classes? This reflects a concern that access to an internet connection may result in no credit for assignments. (41:12)
  • What steps will the university take to ensure students off campus are abiding by appropriate COVID protocols? (44:14)
  • Can you please clarify the testing options for people who are in Michigan Medicine who want testing due to concern for possible high-risk exposure? (49:41)
  • Is there any additional guidance or information that can be shared with international students? (51:13)
  • I have been a custodian here for thirteen years. When the virus first started, we were instructed to start using a Spartan chemical for disinfection. Now that we have run out of it we were told to go back to the chemical that we used before this all started. Why are we going back to that product, especially now that the pandemic is spiking? (52:37)

Answers to additional questions submitted for the briefing.


Nov. 6, 2020 briefing

President Mark Schlissel discussed the Ann Arbor campus plans for the winter term, engagement with the community, and key elements of the plans. (Timestamp :48)

School of Public Health Dean F. Dubois Bowman discussed public health considerations that were part of our planning.  (7:12)

College of Engineering Dean Alec Gallimore discussed the findings of the student, faculty and staff surveys U-M conducted, along with conclusions and recommendations based on the survey data. (16:30)

Provost Susan M. Collins discussed the winter term instructional plan and break days. (25:17)

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon discussed housing, dining and enforcement of public health measures during the winter term. (31:34)

Associate Professor of Epidemiology Emily Martin discussed our winter term testing regimen. (39:13)

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani discussed important mental health and well-being efforts. (42:20)

The leaders answered questions from the community:

  • How will the winter term policy that “Only courses that must be taught in person will be delivered that way, as determined by instructors and program leaders” affect the F-1 visa status of international students? We have been told that international students need to take at least one in-person class or they risk losing their F-1’s. (46:31)
  • When will we know the format of classes? (47:44)
  • Is there data to suggest that there has been significant transmission from undergrads to the greater university community (graduate students, faculty, instructors) or the Ann Arbor community? (48:04)
  • What plans will there be to engage students socially yet safely? How will we help students who are feeling isolated during the winter months? How is the university assisting first-year students in building connections? (50:35)
  • How would a vaccine to COVID-19 impact the decisions made for the Winter semester? (53:31)

Answers to additional questions submitted for the briefing.


Oct. 30, 2020 briefing

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani gave an update on campus conditions. (Timestamp: 1:26)

Provost Susan M. Collins discussed guidance on research expenditures, our new COVID-19 Faculty Council, winter term planning and technology and final exam issues. The resource she mentioned for exams is available here. (8:35)

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon discussed expectations of students to successfully complete the Stay in Place period and make it to Thanksgiving break, the top things students can do between now and the election on Tuesday, and the planning and decision-making process for Winter 2021 from the student life perspective. (15:31)

Dean Michael Barr of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy discussed voting and upcoming Democracy & Debate activities, reinforcing the message that we might not know the outcome of the election right away. (23:09)

Dean of Students Laura Blake Jones discussed Halloween and football engagement and health and safety measures. She also shared virtual events and online tips and resources for students to stay safe and stay connected. (30:07)

Nicole Banks, associate dean of students and interim director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, discussed the unit’s See Something Say, Something efforts. (37:57)

The leaders answered questions from the community:

  • What message would you like students to know going into this pivotal time for our campus, and for our nation as a whole? (42:33)
  • Students have asked a lot of questions about grading. Provost Collins, can you discuss this? (45:08)
  • We’ve received several questions about housing refunds. Can you share the latest information for our students who live on campus? (46:00)
  • Have you been able to tell at all if the stay at home order for undergrads helped to slow the spread on campus? (47:37)
  • Related to safety, can you discuss the planning that has been done for this important weekend? (49:38)
  • Will students be accommodated if they test positive just before the Nov. 20 end of in-person semester or will they be made to quarantine in their permanent residence? (53:48)
  • What are the lessons learned for having a hybrid semester during this fluid COVID-19 environment? How can these lessons be applied to Winter term to instill student, faculty, and staff confidence and ensure a more successful and complete semester? (54:58)

Answers to additional questions submitted for the briefing.


Oct. 20, 2020 briefing

President Mark S. Schlissel noted the Washtenaw County Health Department Stay in Place order and U-M’s update to class formats. (Timestamp: 1:00)

Washtenaw County Health Officer Jimena Loveluck discussed the county’s order and collaboration with university health leaders. (1:52)

U-M Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani discussed the campus conditions that led to the decisions. (9:04)

Dr. Rob Ernst, chair of the Campus Health Response Committee, discussed the campus response metrics and the university’s actions. (14:43)

Provost Susan M. Collins discusses details about the new guidance on class formats, library services, research labs, undergraduate on-campus jobs, and winter semester surveys and planning. (21:00)

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon discussed Student Life outside the classroom during “Stay in Place,” choices for leaving campus, winter semester considerations, voting, and urged everyone to help curb the spread and finish the semester strong. (33:14)

President Schlissel thanked the many members of our community who have been following PH guidelines or working to make our community safer, and discsused how today’s changes provide choices to students and instructors. (33:14)

The leaders answered questions from the community:

  • We’ve been asked a lot about plans to enforce compliance with public health guidelines in recent weeks. Now there’s a county order to consider as well. Can you discuss enforcement measures? (37:56)
  • Can you share more about U-M testing for students who want to leave campus? (44:33)
  • Why do the county order and U-M’s changes to class formats affect undergraduate students only? (49:15)
  • Is there a possibility that this order will be extended after its initial expiration? Can you confirm that this order will indeed only be for two weeks? (50:24)
  • Can you address why athletics is continuing? (51:40)
  • May I stay in my classroom and teach even though my students will all be remote? It is easier for me to teach at school than at home. (56:10)
  • Can you address what you’ve done to deal with clusters in places like Markley and Greek Life houses? (56:45)

Answers to additional questions submitted for the briefing.


Oct. 16, 2020 briefing

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani shared an update on campus conditions. (Timestamp: 1:17)

Provost Susan M. Collins discussed surveys of the community on winter semester planning, challenges that are affecting members of our community, and our Democracy and Debate Theme Semester. (7:50)

Vice President for Student Life Harmon discussed the possibility of offering safe dining-in options for students, health & wellness information, and civic engagement opportunities. (13:35)

President Schlissel discussed the importance of cooperating with U-M’s case investigators and contact tracers and thanked the professionals at Environment, Health and Safety for their tremendous work. He also emphasized the importance of getting a flu shot. (19:24)

Dr. Malani discussed testing options for members of the campus community and the new Community Sampling and Tracking Program testing schedule in residence halls. (20:58)

Dean of Students Laura Blake Jones discussed the Wolverine Culture of Care campaign, and provided updates on ongoing planning around football safety, alternative engagement for students, Halloween and the election. (27:37)

The leaders answered questions from the community:

  • What accommodations are being made for students who have technical difficulties while submitting exams? Is there a University wide policy on how to deal with this? (35:19)
  • What should we do when we are in class and our teachers are not following the social distancing guidelines that have been emailed to us by our advisors? For example, requiring us to move around the move and/or pass projects around for critique. (36:39)
  • Why are students getting sent back to their in-person classes when multiple students receive an email saying someone in their in-person class has COVID, that class being their only in-person class? (38:13)
  • With the holidays approaching will the university shut down activities/non-essential buildings and such earlier than the normal late December timeline? (39:32)
  • Can you talk about how you’re handling the increase in the number of persons in quarantine and isolation housing? (41:12)
  • If you have a negative COVID test after 5 or 7 days of exposure, can you return to work/school?  Rather than waiting the 14 days. (46:10)
  • What is someone supposed to do if they test positive? UHS takes up to 24 hours to respond, so what is someone supposed to do during that time if they have roommates, live in a dorm, etc.? (47:08)
  • Can you discuss where the planning for winter term stands right now? (49:41)
  • What are the staff infection numbers that are directly tied to working on campus? (52:14)
  • Will COVID-19 vaccination be mandatory for faculty and staff? (54:24)
  • President Schlissel responded to questions about working with local K-12 schools. (57:41)

Oct. 9, 2020 briefing

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani shared an update on campus conditions.

Provost Susan M. Collins discussed midterms, increasing study spaces for students, and support resources during these stressful times. She also reiterated that junior faculty who are dealing with research disruptions are encouraged to request a clock extension using our existing policies.

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon discussed socialization and engagement opportunities for students to combat isolation and loneliness, football safety and alternative activities for students not interested in fall sports and compliance with safety measures in University Housing.

Associate Professor of Epidemiology Emily Martin and Director of COVID-19 Campus Health Response Dr. Rob Ernst discussed our status in the context of our campus response metrics, as well as the actions we are taking to prevent spread of the virus.

I spoke about our COVID in the Classroom chart and the new COVID-19 hotline (734-936-7000)

The leaders answered questions from the community:

  • Please address the recent Michigan Supreme Court decision over Governor Whitmer’s use of emergency powers. If the executive orders are left to expire, what will the university do to keep students, faculty, and staff safe?
  • This question applies more broadly to our layered approach. A question submitted in advance asks “People tested positive on every floor in Alice Lloyd so I was just wondering, why didn’t the whole building get tested?”
  • Can you discuss any actions you’re thinking about taking as students prepare to leave in November?
  • What do you think will be the best way that U-M can work together to ensure that we will have a smooth transition into the winter semester? Are there plans to have a fully remote semester for Winter 2021?
  • What will the options be for students who are unable to return “home” given their situation?

Answers to additional questions submitted for the briefing.


Oct. 2, 2020 briefing

Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani shared an update on campus conditions.

Provost Susan M. Collins discussed the university budget and winter term planning.

Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon discussed safety measures for Student Life employees, our Rec Sports reopening, student safety, and student engagement.

Associate Professor of Epidemiology Emily Martin discussed the campus health response metrics.

President Schlissel spoke about the updates to U-M’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The leaders answered questions from the community:

  • What was involved in getting this list of response metrics?
  • What’s the difference between March (when U-M moved to remote instruction) and now?
  • Why are we doing a semester with some in-person instruction?
  • I’m teaching an in-person lab course and I’m inundated with students concerning possible exposures and how to react. For instance a roommate has been exposed and is being tested. Is it safe for them to attend? Or should they quarantine until the test results come in?
  • Why won’t you give us free weekly testing like many other college campuses are doing? Can you talk about our levels of asymptomatic testing?
  • What other things are we learning from exposures?

Answers to additional questions submitted for the briefing.