To All Members of the Campus Community:
I want to wish all members of our community a safe Thanksgiving recess and express my appreciation to everyone who is helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing, avoiding social gatherings, and being diligent in wearing face coverings.
These are not the circumstances any of us were hoping for as the holiday season begins, but I hope you are able to safely spend time with loved ones during the coming weeks, either virtually or with precautions in person. Please be safe and mindful about taking care of yourselves and others.
On campus, COVID-19 testing of students continues to increase as we provide more opportunities for departure testing. Undergraduate students living in Michigan Housing are expected to get tested prior to departure. All graduate students and undergraduate students living off campus are strongly encouraged to be tested before departing. Additionally, the information we’ve shared for off-campus students in different COVID-related scenarios still applies.
We also urge everyone to follow our safe travel guidelines, CDC Thanksgiving recommendations, and our University Human Resources celebrate safely guidance. Cases are increasing rapidly in our region and across the nation. Please also check any travel restrictions in areas you may be traveling to, and seriously consider spending Thanksgiving at home this year.
Campus Weekly COVID-19 Briefing
The video for this week’s Campus Weekly COVID-19 Briefing is available here. We are continuing to post videos of previous briefings and answers to some of the questions we weren’t able to get to on the same page.
At today’s briefing:
- Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani provided an update on campus conditions.
- Provost Susan M. Collins discussed staff challenges, working situations, the university budget and wellness.
- Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon discussed staff collaboration, commitment and concerns about the future as the pandemic continues.
- Associate Vice President for Human Resources Rich Holcomb provided information and updates affecting our staff, including reiterating the guidance that all campus employees should continue working remotely through April where possible.
- Jennie McAlpine, director of Work Life Programs, discussed resources for child care and announced a family-to-family bulletin board we are developing.
- Kelcey Stratton, clinical psychologist and the program manager for resiliency and well-being services, discussed resources available to employees for support and wellness.
- Ravi Anupindi, professor of technology and operations at our Ross School of Business, discussed the stresses on the global health supply chains with Michigan News. Prof. Anupindi co-chaired this week’s Global Health Supply Chain Summit, which examined important questions and concerns about the supply chain and its effect on health services around the world. Another source to learn about our many U-M faculty who are working to combat the pandemic is the Michigan Minds podcast series.
- In the weeks ahead, we will begin discussing planning that is underway for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines that may be approved soon. Executive Vice President Marschall Runge is spearheading our vaccination planning efforts. More to follow soon.
During the semester, I am providing weekly COVID-19 updates to help keep everyone informed and address concerns and respond to feedback and questions from our community. You may also view the University Record for the latest stories and the Campus Maize and Blueprint site for updates.
Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D.