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

    January 8, 2021

    To All Members of the Campus Community:

    Welcome, everyone, to another year at the University of Michigan. I hope all of you had the opportunity to connect safely with loved ones over the holidays.

    Vaccination rollout and planning for the winter term continue at full speed.

    Michigan Medicine is completing vaccinations of those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in priority group Phase 1A. I thank the many professionals at U-M who have contributed to this complex effort.

    On Wednesday, Gov. Whitmer announced that our state is moving to Phase 1B. This group includes frontline essential workers who support critical infrastructure in addition to people 65 and older. More U-M employees will be offered the vaccine in Phase 1B, as well.

    All U-M faculty, staff and students who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through Michigan Medicine can receive it when they become eligible according to state guidelines and as supply allows. We get additional vaccine shipped to us weekly under direction from the state. To make this possible, we ask everyone to:

    • Fill out the Blue Queue questionnaire
    • Establish a medical record number (MRN) if you do not have one. This can be done by calling (734) 936-4990 and pressing option 1.
    • Create a MyUofMHealth account (if you do not already have one)

    Even if you don’t receive health care from Michigan Medicine, we are asking you to establish a MyUofMHealth account to receive the vaccine. This platform allows us to quickly and efficiently schedule and record each dose of vaccine administered. Out of concern for your privacy, the team that administers your vaccination will not access your medical record (at Michigan Medicine or elsewhere) outside the vaccination platform.

    We are currently administering the vaccine produced by Pfizer but may have other types of COVID-19 vaccines available later in the year. All of these vaccines have been rigorously tested and proven both safe and effective. I am anxious to be vaccinated when it’s my turn and strongly recommend vaccination to all members of our community. It is a critical component of our efforts to stop the pandemic and get campus life back to normal.

    More information is available on Michigan Medicine’s Vaccine FAQ page and our Campus Maize and Blueprint vaccine page. Michigan Medicine’s page will also include updates on the number of vaccinations administered.

    All students approved to move into University Housing were sent pre-arrival COVID-19 testing information. In addition, weekly testing will be required this semester for all undergraduates living in our residence halls as well as those attending in person classes, working on campus, or using campus facilities. Our Community Sampling and Tracking program is also providing COVID-19 testing to our community. The schedule and locations are included in the link in the prior sentence and a description of our COVID-19 testing plans for winter semester can be found here.

    Michigan Medicine Town Halls and Campus COVID-19 Briefings

    Michigan Medicine and Ann Arbor campus leaders will provide live updates to our community on Fridays this semester. Our current plan is to alternate each week between Michigan Medicine Town Halls and the Campus COVID-19 Briefing.

    Michigan Medicine’s first town hall of the year will be today at 2 p.m. Information on joining is available here.

    Next week, we will resume the COVID-19 Briefings with Provost Susan M. Collins, Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon, Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani and me. We’ll send out the invitation next week, which will include the form to submit questions.

    Additional updates

    • Michigan Medicine is engaging in a robust community outreach and education effort regarding vaccination, including a significant focus on reaching communities of color. Leading this effort is Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer for University of Michigan Health System.
    • I also want to share an important post from the U-M health blog. It is titled “Not Sure About the COVID-19 Vaccine? Get the Facts, Then Decide,” and it addresses rumors, claims, myths and worries about the COVID-19 vaccines, with information from Michigan Medicine experts and links to learn more.

    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.

    Once again, Happy New Year, welcome back and have a great (healthy) semester!


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