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

    April 16, 2021

    To All Members of the Campus Community:

    Here are the main updates at-a-glance:

    • To help assess public health conditions, aid in future decision-making and exempt vaccinated students from some requirements, we are urging students from all three campuses to report when they receive their final COVID-19 vaccine dose.
    • The number of new COVID-19 student cases is decreasing, and students now represent 8 percent of the cases in the county. Social gatherings continue to be a significant factor associated with transmission. Positive cases and hospitalizations in our state remain high.
    • We’re continuing to seek additional supplies of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for our community. More doses from Kroger and Meijer will be administered April 21-23. As we can schedule more clinics, we’ll post them on the Campus Maize and Blueprint vaccine page.

    Campus COVID-19 Update

    The number of new COVID-19 student cases is decreasing, with students now representing 8 percent of the cases in the county. Social gatherings continue to be a significant factor associated with transmission. Positive cases and hospitalizations in our state remain high.

    Anyone who tests positive needs to isolate immediately to reduce the possibility of additional close contact exposures. The only Campus Response Metric currently being met is more than 70 new cases per million in Washtenaw County.

    Vaccination Update

    I applaud the many members of our community and the partners who helped us administer thousands of vaccinations to students, faculty, staff and patients this week. Clinics provided by Michigan Medicine, Kroger and Meijer scheduled and gave shots to people in our community despite needing to change quickly due to the federally recommended pause on the administration of the Johnson and Johnson/Janssen vaccine.

    We’re continuing to seek supplies of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for our community. There is no out-of-pocket cost to anyone receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at our clinics. We’ve now scheduled additional clinics with our partners for all students, faculty and staff including:

    • On April 21, more Pfizer vaccine doses from Kroger will be administered at the Michigan Athletics Indoor Training Facility at 1150 South State St. Registration and a consent form are required.
    • On April 22 and 23, Meijer Pharmacy at 3145 Ann Arbor-Saline Road will provide 1,170 appointments each day for inoculation with the Pfizer vaccine. To register, Text “GoBlue” to 75049 or visit clinic.meijer.com/register/CL0064.

    As we are able to schedule more clinics, we’ll post notices on the Campus Maize and Blueprint vaccine page. Michigan Medicine this week passed the 100,000 mark for number of vaccine doses administered.

    Geoffrey Barnes, a cardiologist and vascular medicine specialist at our Frankel Cardiovascular Center, discussed the pause on the J&J vaccine in a post shared by Michigan Medicine. He notes that the blood clotting identified after the J&J vaccine is quite rare and shares advice on what to do if you’ve already received this vaccine.

    We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated, which will help our university return to a more traditional fall semester and beyond. Michigan Medicine has posted tools to help find vaccines in your area. University Human Resources has created a COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and availability page with resources to help everyone get an appointment through a clinic, pharmacy, health department or Michigan Medicine.

    Student Vaccination Reporting Tool

    To help assess public health conditions, aid in decision-making and exempt vaccinated students from some requirements, we are urging students from all three campuses to report when they receive their final COVID-19 vaccine dose.

    We’ll use the information to make decisions in relation to student experiences on campus and within the residence halls, as well as aid in granting exemptions from testing and quarantine requirements for vaccinated students.

    I urge all students to report this information via Wolverine Access. It will help our physicians and public health experts better understand campus health and safety, while also allowing Student Life to provide more in-person experiences on campus.

    Campus COVID-19 Briefings and Michigan Medicine Town Halls

    Next Friday, we will host 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.

    Michigan Medicine leaders have scheduled virtual town halls once per month for the remainder of the calendar year.

    Additional Updates

    • Workplace restrictions extended by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are not likely to affect current on-site campus work or plans to gradually resume on-site work in the coming months. Some employees currently working from home may end up doing so longer than previously planned – mid-summer for Ann Arbor campus staff and Sept. 13 for Michigan Medicine – depending on health conditions, government restrictions or other factors. Employees will continue to be notified by their supervisor or department leader regarding specific requirements for work. This includes any modifications to previously announced plans for their unit. They will give all employees as much advance notice as possible. More information is available in the University Record.
    • U-M researchers from the Schools of Public Health and Information have worked with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to develop and update the MI Safe Start Map, which tracks and displays the current COVID-19 risk level of Michigan regions and counties. The map also now allows searches for the number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths by race, ethnicity, age and gender.
    • Mcard access to non-residential campus buildings has been deactivated for a second wave of students, due to lack of compliance with mandatory 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, 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