1. Weekly U-M Ann Arbor COVID-19 Update

    December 18, 2020

    To All Members of the Campus Community:

    The year is quickly coming to a close, and I hope all of you will be able to enjoy winter break and connect safely with friends and loved ones. I join you in the optimism that 2021 will include a return towards normalcy in our personal and professional lives.

    I also again want to share my deep thanks with you. This year had a seemingly endless array of challenges, and we were asked to be resilient, innovative, and patient – often all at the same time. It is a major accomplishment that the University of Michigan has continued to deliver on our mission during the pandemic.

    That is a credit to all of you. In a year marked by turmoil and tragedy, you reminded those we serve why we are a premier public university. Our students made progress to earning their degrees. Our instructors found new ways to teach effectively. Our hospitals and clinics provided life-saving care to millions. Our researchers created knowledge, inventions and greater levels of understanding, including hundreds of insights into COVID-19 and its impacts.

    Your input, ideas and criticisms have made us a better university during the pandemic, as well. We’ve learned a tremendous amount from our community, and I appreciate your continued engagement on behalf of U-M.

    Thank you so much.

    Vaccination update

    The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine arrived on campus this week, and we have begun vaccinating health care workers.

    Our planning continues to eventually vaccinate everyone in the U-M community who wants to be vaccinated. To facilitate this process, all faculty, staff and students from all three campuses and Michigan Medicine should complete our Blue Queue questionnaire.

    Blue Queue is the official tool for all U-M faculty, staff and students to indicate they would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the university. Even if you are unsure whether you want to be vaccinated, please fill out this online questionnaire to help us plan accordingly.  So far, more than 40,000 members of our community have filled out the questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to you this past week from the email address BlueQueue@med.umich.edu.

    I know that you have many questions, and we are updating our FAQs frequently. To help members of our community understand during which phase they may be eligible to receive a vaccine, our COVID-19 Vaccine & Therapeutics Taskforce has created an informational resource.

    Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs Marschall Runge is also providing regular updates on our vaccination efforts.

    Michigan Medicine virtual town hall

    Though we are not having the Campus Weekly COVID-19 Briefing this week, I’ll be joining Michigan Medicine’s virtual town hall to share information about vaccination and other updates.

    The town hall will be today from 2 to 3 p.m. Information on viewing is available here. The video will be posted on the Michigan Medicine YouTube Channel when the recording of the event is ready.

    This will be my final weekly COVID-19 update until January. You may also view the University Record for the latest stories and the Campus Maize and Blueprint site for updates.

    I wish everyone a restful, safe and healthy winter break. Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and GO BLUE!


    Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D.