1. Campus COVID-19 Update: Mask policy extended, briefing video available

    January 14, 2022

    To All Members of the Campus Community:

    The number of cases of COVID-19 remains very high, but there is no evidence of a continued rise in the rate of new cases. Cases and testing levels remain high in Washtenaw County, and Omicron is surging in most areas of the country.

    If you test positive or are exposed to someone with COVID-19, it’s very important to follow updated guidance for quarantine and isolation and to seek care if you need it. Our campus quarantine and isolation housing is at 19.7 percent occupancy.

    Please remember to complete the ResponsiBLUE screening check daily before coming to campus or entering any buildings.

    Get boosted and report your info: U-M’s Feb. 4 vaccine booster reporting deadline is approaching. About 36,500 community members across our three campuses have submitted their information. Information on booster appointments and how to report is here. We’ve also posted a chart to address questions of when to get a booster and which shot to get.

    Current mask policy extended: At this time, masks will be required while indoors in common spaces of the residence halls and in Recreational Sports facilities, and the university will reassess this requirement when COVID-19 activity decreases on campus. This is in addition to our existing face covering policy which requires masking while indoors and while on U-M transportation. Remember, the most important factor is using your mask correctly and consistently. Masks should fit snugly against your face and have multiple layers. The use of surgical masks, such as KN95s and N95s, may offer a higher level of protection. Wearing a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask is also an acceptable way to help get a better fit.

    Campus COVID-19 Briefing: The video of this morning’s briefing is now available on my website, where we’ve included time stamps linking to the topics and questions we addressed. Campus leaders and I discussed issues ranging from what to make of the latest numbers, yesterday’s Supreme Court rulings, misinformation about quarantine and isolation housing, and why we’re continuing with in-person classes.

    Dashboard update: Data regarding case counts in the residence halls for the winter term have been added back to the housing portion of the COVID-19 Data dashboard.

    Testing available: Appointments for asymptomatic testing are available through our Community Sampling and Tracking Program. As a reminder, the North University Court Building has the largest capacity of our seven on-campus sites. Please note that registration to use CSTP must be completed once each semester, and before your first appointment.

    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