To All Members of the Campus Community:
Here are the main updates at-a-glance:
- We’re seeing greater spread of COVID-19 among students and urge all students to continue following the county Stay in Place recommendations through the weekend and get tested each week using U-M resources.
- Graduate and professional students who live on campus or come to campus will now undergo mandatory weekly U-M COVID-19 testing beginning Feb. 16.
- COVID-19 cases associated with U-M have increased and now represent 34 percent of the total cases in Washtenaw County.
- Vaccine supply continues to be very limited nationwide. Michigan Medicine is providing as many vaccination appointments as possible given the limited supply.
More details, links and additional information are provided below.
Campus COVID-19 Update
As you can see this week on our COVID-19 dashboard, COVID-19 cases associated with the university have increased significantly, now representing 34 percent of the total cases in Washtenaw County. Eleven off-campus group living residences are under house-wide quarantine due to multiple cases among residents or in-person gatherings during the Stay in Place recommendation.
The cases include some caused by the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus.
As part of our response, we have arranged pop-up testing for those in quarantine to test on day five of their 14-day quarantine period. Additionally, for a limited time, we are offering testing to residents of the Ann Arbor community who live immediately adjacent to the campus.
We’re asking all students to be tested using the testing programs U-M has in place, and will now be requiring graduate and professional students in addition to undergraduates living on or coming to campus to complete weekly COVID-19 testing through the university. We are taking this additional step at the recommendation of our campus health leaders to help diminish spread of COVID-19 in and beyond our community.
As published in the University Record, Michigan Medicine has administered more than 51,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses since mid-December while navigating vaccine shortages and changing prioritization guidance from the federal and state government.
We have heard many questions about when members of our community can be scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccine, and the Record article shares additional information about the different state priority groups, and how they apply on our campuses.
The Michigan Medicine FAQ page for all U-M students, faculty and staff is updated frequently and also includes vaccination progress data.
Michigan Medicine Town Halls and Campus COVID-19 Briefings
Michigan Medicine’s next town hall will be today at 2-3 p.m. Information on joining is available here.
Next Friday, we will schedule our usual biweekly 1 p.m. COVID-19 briefing with Provost Susan M. Collins, Vice President for Student Life Martino Harmon, and Chief Health Officer Preeti Malani. We’ll send out the invitation next week, which will include a form to submit questions. Previous briefings are posted here.
- Renuka Tipirneni, a U-M primary care physician and health services researcher, is the senior author of a national study that shows social inequality’s role in the uneven spread of COVID-19.
- U-M Athletics yesterday began resuming injury-prevention activities and sports-specific training for many of our student-athletes. This safe and phased re-acclimatization schedule was developed in collaboration with the state, county and U-M medical experts to prepare for a return to organized practices in anticipation of resuming competition on a sport-by-sport basis next week. Under a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) decision made Saturday, Jan. 23, the University of Michigan Athletic Department immediately paused athletic activities in all sports, including games, team and individual training sessions, until further notice and for up to 14 days.
- The University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus will conduct a virtual 2021 Spring Commencement due to ongoing health and safety concerns from the global COVID-19 pandemic.
During the semester, I will continue to provide weekly COVID-19 updates to help keep everyone informed and address concerns and respond to feedback and questions from our community. You may also read the University Record for the latest stories and the Campus Maize and Blueprint site for updates. Stay safe and be healthy.
Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D.