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

    March 5, 2021

    To All Members of the Campus Community:

    Here are the main updates at-a-glance:

    • COVID-19 cases related to students continue to decrease. Thank you to the many who have helped our health and safety efforts. We urge everyone’s continued diligence.
    • Washtenaw County is following new state guidelines for gathering sizes, and we’ve posted a guide for socializing safely on the Campus Maize and Blueprint site, which includes an array of options provided by our campus.
    • Michigan Medicine received enough COVID-19 vaccine supply this week to open some first-dose appointments, in addition to second-dose appointments. The state allocates vaccine based on a formula, and we administer 100 percent of the doses we receive. Michigan Medicine has provided updated information on resources for finding vaccines in your area. We expect supplies to increase significantly in the weeks ahead.
    • Michigan Medicine will again support a vaccination clinic tomorrow for local school districts’ educators and education support staff at Michigan Stadium in partnership with the Washtenaw County Health Department.

    More details, links and additional information are provided below.

    Campus COVID-19 Update

    COVID-19 cases related to students continue to decrease and earlier this week represented approximately 27 percent of the total cases in Washtenaw County. Thank you for doing your best to follow public health guidance and stay safe.

    After a pause due to the cluster of B.1.1.7 variant infections in January, we are now following the new shorter CDC-recommended quarantine timelines of ten days for students who are close contacts and meet certain specific criteria.

    Washtenaw County and U-M are following new state guidelines for gathering sizes. We’ve also posted a guide for socializing safely on the Campus Maize and Blueprint site, which includes an array of options provided by our campus.

    Our asymptomatic testing program has added a site at the North Campus Recreation Building to enhance access to COVID-19 tests. It opens tomorrow.

    Please continue to get tested regularly through U-M resources; choose to gather virtually, outdoors or in small groups; wear face coverings; and practice social distancing. All evidence suggests that spread is occurring under social circumstances where public health guidance is not being followed. Individuals who are symptomatic should get tested through University Health Services or Occupational Health Services.

    Vaccination Update

    Michigan Medicine has posted updated information on vaccination supply and the state’s upcoming expansion of eligibility.

    The state allocates vaccine based on a formula, and we administer 100 percent of the doses we receive. We believe that supplies of vaccine will increase significantly in the weeks ahead, and the state is broadening its eligibility guidelines.

    Michigan Medicine has also provided updated information on resources for finding vaccines, along with regular updates on the number of appointments we’re able to schedule. The Washtenaw County Health Department is posting vaccination information from different providers in the county, as well.

    Michigan Medicine is honored to be partnering with the Washtenaw County Health Department to vaccinate local school districts’ educators and education support staff. The health department has been partnering with Washtenaw County school districts to offer vaccination using the county’s vaccine supply through a number of vaccine clinics, including one administered by Michigan Medicine at Michigan Stadium last Saturday, and again this Saturday. We look forward to continuing to support our county partners in whatever capacity we can to vaccinate our communities quickly and safely.

    Michigan Medicine Town Halls and Campus COVID-19 Briefings

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

    Next Friday, we will schedule our usual biweekly 1 p.m. [time changed to 2 p.m. on 3/12] 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.

    Additional Updates

    • As we work to make our virtual ceremonies as meaningful as possible, we have invited the members of the Class of 2021 to walk through the Michigan Stadium tunnel and have their photo taken on the field. This will be done safely through scheduled appointments, and it will not interfere with the vaccine clinic at Michigan Stadium.
    • With so much information about vaccinations, I appreciate the Michigan Medicine team for their work to share their knowledge with the public and bring clarity to what can be a confusing issue. In a recent faculty Q&A, Kristin Klein, a clinical professor in pharmacy and clinical pharmacy specialist in pediatric infectious diseases, and Jason Pogue, a clinical professor of pharmacy, define basic vaccine terms, and how these relate to the COVID-19 virus and vaccines.
    • Mcard access to non-residential campus buildings has been deactivated for 375 undergraduate students, due to their failure to comply after multiple notices over several weeks with mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing requirements set forth by the university earlier this term.

    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.

    Sincerely,

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