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

    May 28, 2021

    To All Members of the Campus Community:

    Here are the main updates at-a-glance:

    • COVID-19 cases related to campus remain very low. Cases in the surrounding community have decreased significantly over the past several weeks, with average daily rates now below the response metric threshold.
    • We are continuing to evaluate the U-M face covering policy and our distancing guidelines in response to the latest Michigan Department of Human Health and Services guidance and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards, which are set to expire July 1.
    • Vaccination is the key factor in our ability to resume more in-person activities on our campus and in the community. It’s the best way we can protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. Our Campus Maize and Blueprint vaccine page will continue to have information on how to get a vaccine. If you’re vaccinated, you’re safe.
    • More than 14,000 students have reported their vaccination information via Wolverine Access. Please continue to report your vaccine status. Fully vaccinated students will be granted an exemption from mandatory testing requirements for spring/summer terms as well as during the upcoming fall semester. A system that would allow employees to self-report vaccine status should be available within the coming weeks.
    • Campus canopy locations can be reserved for U-M department or student organization meetings on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. beginning June 1. We’re continuing to make canopies available for drop-in use by students and the campus community from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

    Campus COVID-19 Update

    COVID-19 cases related to campus remain very low. Cases in the surrounding community have decreased significantly over the past several weeks, with average daily rates now below the response metric threshold.

    We are continuing to evaluate the U-M face covering policy and our distancing guidelines in response to the latest Michigan Department of Human Health and Services guidance and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) standards, which are set to expire July 1. We will announce changes soon.

    Michigan Medicine has updated its visitor policy for hospitals and health centers to allow more visitors for patients. Please note that face coverings are still required for all staff, patients and visitors while inside Michigan Medicine facilities and the courtyard of the main medical campus, regardless of vaccination status.

    Vaccination Update

    Washtenaw County is reporting vaccination numbers, with weekly updates, as we pursue the 70 percent vaccination goal established by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly two-thirds of Washtenaw County residents have had their first dose of vaccine, and 55 percent are fully vaccinated. This is amongst the highest levels in the state.

    Vaccination is the key factor in our ability to resume more in-person activities on our campus and in the community. It’s the best way we can protect ourselves and others from COVID-19.

    Our Campus Maize and Blueprint vaccine page will continue to have information on how to get a vaccine.

    More than 14,000 students have reported their vaccination information via Wolverine Access. Please continue to report your vaccine status. Fully vaccinated students will be granted an exemption from mandatory testing requirements for spring/summer terms, as well as the fall semester.

    A system that would allow employees to self-report vaccine status should be available within the coming weeks.

    Michigan Medicine family physician and immunization expert Pamela Rockwell and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital pediatrician Sharon Kileny have answered questions about COVID-19 vaccines for adolescents during a live stream and in a blog post titled, “COVID Vaccines and Kids: 20 Things to Know.”

    Additional Updates

    • Understandably, changing mask guidelines in many communities in Michigan and beyond have the potential to cause anxiety and uncertainty, as we have grown accustomed to public health measures over the past several months. Experts at Michigan Medicine discussed “Coping with Anxiety as Mask Mandates Lift” in a blog post this week. Clinical Assistant Professor Tyler Grove, who specializes in anxiety, said, “we were told to avoid others and gatherings to prevent illness, so it will take time for people to ‘dial down’ the precautions that we have adapted to over the last year. If it gets to be too overwhelming, patience is important. If it’s a slow process for someone, that’s perfectly acceptable. We all need to respect and support each other.”
    • Campus canopy locations can be reserved for U-M departmental or student organization meetings on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. beginning June 1. We’re continuing to make canopies available for drop-in use by students and the campus community from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
    • Michigan Medicine’s The Wrap employee podcast discusses the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials that took place at Michigan Medicine.

    Though this is the final scheduled weekly COVID-19 update, I’ll continue to send information to everyone as needed in the future. 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