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

    March 19, 2021

    To All Members of the Campus Community:

    Here are the main updates at-a-glance:

    • Student COVID-19 case counts remain low and represent only 12 percent of the cases in Washtenaw County. Thank you again for your diligence.
    • To give all Michiganders access to vaccines within a 20-minute drive, the state is sending most of its vaccine supply to local health departments and retail pharmacies. Michigan Medicine has not received adequate supplies of vaccines as yet but will contact patients when supply is available. We strongly encourage everyone not to wait, but rather to explore additional opportunities to be vaccinated through a variety of local options as soon as you can.
    • Fall and spring breaks are included in our current plans for future semesters.
    • Most study abroad programs will remain on pause for the summer, and it’s too soon to have any specific direction about fall programs.

    More details, links and additional information are provided below.

    Campus COVID-19 Update

    Student COVID-19 case counts remain low and represent 12 percent of the cases in Washtenaw County. Thank you again for your diligence.

    With many social events and activities occurring in the days and weeks ahead, everyone in our community is reminded to continue to follow prevention measures for socializing safely. We are seeing increases in cases and hospitalizations in the state and county, so please help us protect our communities.

    As noted last week, we will continue to share more information about our fall plans as details are finalized. We’re continuing to update the FAQs on the fall term page of the Campus Maize and Blueprint site.

    Instructional breaks are included in our current planning for future semesters. The approved academic calendar for the coming year includes fall and spring breaks. We anticipate moving forward with that approved calendar, but there still could be changes if needed, depending on the trajectory of the pandemic.

    Many in our community have asked about study abroad. Most study abroad programs will remain on pause for the summer, and it’s too soon to have any specific direction about fall programs. Study abroad is an important component of the U-M academic experience for our students, and we’ll share more direction when we’re better able to understand the many health and safety factors that inform international travel and education.

    Vaccination Update

    To give all Michiganders access to vaccines within a 20-minute drive, the state is sending most of its vaccine supply to local health departments and retail pharmacies. Michigan Medicine has not received adequate supplies of vaccines as yet but will contact patients when supply is available. We strongly encourage everyone not to wait, but rather to explore additional opportunities to be vaccinated through a variety of local options as soon as you can.

    Both Michigan Medicine and the state of Michigan have posted information on finding vaccine appointments near you.

    Michigan Medicine opened 4,400 first-dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments this week and continues to provide first-dose and required second-dose vaccination by appointment only at our vaccine clinics at Michigan Stadium and Brighton Health Center.

    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. 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

    • Vice President for Research Rebecca Cunningham has announced further expansion of our research and scholarship activities, effective April 1. These include expanded capacity within our labs and the reactivation of Tier 3 human research studies. The research environment has been demonstrated to be safe and not a source of virus transmission when face coverings and social distancing guidelines are followed.
    • A U-M team, known as Communities Conquering COVID (C3), received a $1.4 million grant last fall from the National Institutes of Health to support work to promote COVID-19 research and inclusivity among African American and Latinx populations. C3 was launched by Michigan Medicine, the Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research and our School of Public Health. A Health Lab blog post includes insights into this important work from Prof. Erica Marsh.

    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