Dear Wolverine Families,
As you are likely already aware, thanks to routine university testing measures, the spread of the more contagious B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant was identified within the campus community. The Washtenaw County Health Department, in collaboration with the university, released a Stay in Place Recommendation to mitigate further spread. You can read more about it here.
With a de-densified campus and the lessons learned from last year, we were able to pivot with remarkable speed for the Stay in Place for all U-M Ann Arbor undergraduate, graduate and professional students enrolled in Winter 2021 and living in Washtenaw County. This recommendation urges students to stay in place and remain in their current designated residence through February 7. There are exceptions to this, including leaving home to access COVID-19 testing, pick up food or medications, and other specific circumstances, which are outlined here.
This necessary “circuit breaker” is a key tool in the fight against the spread of more contagious variants, and student compliance with mandatory weekly testing and other protocols continues to be instrumental. I am deeply appreciative of the efforts students have made already this term, especially in spite of COVID fatigue.
It remains important during and after this Stay in Place period that U-M students find community and make connections, which is why I am very pleased to see so many of them taking advantage of Student Life’s Find Community page. Since the first day of class (January 19), this page alone has seen hundreds of unique visitors spending quality time perusing its links and resources. It’s hard to believe that the first month of 2021 is already over, but fortunately, there are many upcoming and ongoing opportunities for your students to engage with peers and events throughout February and beyond — and a great place for them to get started is on that page.
Please read on for updates and resources for your student — including COVID-19 testing details, virtual learning tips from current U-M students, and even cooking livestreams with the Maize and Blue Cupboard. The Campus Blueprint website remains a great resource for the lastest COVID-19 information for every community member, and, if you missed it, you can view a recording of last week’s live briefing there, too.
If you still have questions after exploring this edition of Family Matters, you can reach out to Assist-Me@umich.edu to be routed to the best office to help you.
Dr. Martino Harmon, Vice President for Student Life