1. Campus COVID-19 Update: Fewer cases, surplus testing capacity

    October 1, 2021

    To All Members of the Campus Community:

    The weekly number of COVID-19 cases among students, faculty and staff is decreasing, continuing the trend since nearly the beginning of the semester. This same pattern is being seen at a number of peer institutions that, like ours, have been able to achieve a very high level of vaccination. This decreasing trend is also true for positivity rates in both our symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing.

    We have surplus testing capacity at the University Health Service and through the Community Sampling and Tracking Program. With the CSTP especially, it’s much easier to find an open slot by scheduling a day or more in advance, or checking in the morning for same-day slots.

    Here are some additional updates at a glance:

    • New CSTP testing site: To enhance convenience, we will begin providing CSTP (asymptomatic) testing at the Central Campus Dance Building on Monday, Oct. 4. This is near the Central Campus Recreation Building. The new test site will add 4,200 tests per week, bringing the overall CSTP capacity up to more than 11,500 tests per week. Wellness resources such as N-95 and clear masks will be available for free at the site with additional resources added later.
    • UHS test scheduling: The University Health Service offers COVID-19 testing Monday through Saturday. There is no out-of-pocket cost to students. Same-day testing appointments remain available, but scheduling a test in advance will reduce possible wait times. Self-scheduling a COVID-19 test is easy through the patient portal, emailing (uhs-apptschd@med.umich.edu), or calling UHS (734-764-8320). COVID-19 testing is available at UHS for students who are symptomatic or who want a test. Additionally, many of the available weekday time slots between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. currently are not being utilized.
    • Briefing: Provost Susan M. Collins and I will hold a Campus COVID-19 Briefing on Friday, Oct. 8 from 10 to 11 a.m. We’ll share the latest information and answer questions from the community. I’ll send an invitation next week.
    • COVID-19 Faculty Council: Provost Collins and I have met with the new members of the COVID-19 Faculty Council. SACUA appointed the committee at our request to bring forward ideas, discuss concerns and offer suggestions about the university’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • DEI Summit: I encourage everyone to attend our upcoming Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit, which focuses on the theme: “Parallel Pandemics: Addressing Structural Racism in the Age of COVID-19.” The summit will explore the interwoven nature of COVID-19 and structural racism and how their interconnectedness underscores the necessity that to solve either of the issues, both must be addressed. Additional information is available in the University Record.

    I will continue to provide COVID-19 updates when needed to help keep everyone informed, address concerns and respond to feedback and questions from our community. You also may read the University Record for the latest stories and the Campus Maize and Blueprint site for updates.

    Sincerely,

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