As you prepare for the coming academic year and, for many of you, a return to campus, we are certain that you have many questions about what campus activities will look like, new protocols for your health and safety - and what will be expected of you – and what you can expect from the university.
In this email you will find important information to know as you begin the start of the fall semester.
We are counting on you to do your part to ensure our in-person campus experience is possible, by following the Wolverine Culture of Care, to keep everyone safe, healthy and enjoying this fall semester by preventing the spread of COVID-19. You can learn more about the Wolverine Culture of Care by listening to this video and hearing about what is expected of you as a U-M student.
We’ve got this Wolverines! Go Blue!
Dr. Martino Harmon, Vice President, Student Life
Check in daily with ResponsiBLUE
Each day, all members of our campus community who will enter campus buildings will be required to check themselves for COVID-19 symptoms by answering a brief set of questions using our daily symptom checker tool. The tool offers advice on where to seek care if you are not well. We also encourage you to use this tool daily, even when not coming to campus.
We will be rolling out new features of this tool – now called ResponsiBLUE – in the coming days, including making it available as an Apple or Android smartphone app.
Additionally, U-M has created a dashboard to provide regular updates to the community about the state of COVID-19 on campus.
More details can be found on the Maize & Blueprint.
Please note new gathering limits
As you return to the Ann Arbor area, please note that the Washtenaw County Health Department issued a new public health emergency order to limit the size of social gatherings or events in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. County officials are not allowing more than 25 people to gather at outdoor events. The local order enhances existing state orders and further restricts social gathering in areas at increased risk for COVID-19 outbreaks as the student population returns to local universities. Per the Addendum to the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, all members of the student community are expected to adhere to gathering limitations adopted by the University and established by state mandate, local law/ordinance, or University policy.
The order took effect at 5 p.m. August 20 and will remain in effect until amended or rescinded.
Please remember, if you do participate in a gathering, to wear your face covering, practice physical distancing, and maintain a list of attendees at your gathering as required under the ordinance. Also, avoiding crowded areas, both indoors and outdoors is an important recommendation to reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus.
You can find details at the Maize & Blueprint.
Ongoing Testing Plans
The University of Michigan COVID-19 testing plan was designed based on detailed input from dozens of experts including several faculty members from the School of Public Health that are also advising Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Currently, any student who is symptomatic will be tested through the University Health Service (UHS). Any student exhibiting symptoms suggestive of COVID (e.g fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc) should contact UHS for an assessment. Also, as part of the case investigation and contact tracing activities associated with confirmed cases of COVID, some students determined to be close contacts may be tested, especially if staying in a communal living arrangement.
More than five thousand students have already been tested as part of a pre-arrival program before entering our residence halls. It is expected that over the next couple of weeks we will extend upon arrival testing to others in communal living arrangements as well. Finally, under the direction of our Public Health advisory team there are plans for a risk adjusted campus surveillance program. After ramping up during the semester it is expected that this will allow for ongoing targeted testing of students, faculty, and staff wanting to participate.
For more information on testing visit the Maize & Blueprint.
Plans for Quarantine & Isolation
Isolation and quarantine help protect you, and the university community, by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
We have set aside 600 single rooms in University Housing for isolation or quarantine for students, if needed. In close collaboration with the Washtenaw County Health Department and the campus Environment, Health and Safety Department, the University is also training a team of public health and other graduate students who will serve as contact tracers, under professional guidance, for our campus community.
Please contact University Health Service at 734-764-8320 if you develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive.
Ambassador Program/Address Registry
Student Life has launched the Michigan Ambassadors Program, a student centered health initiative designed to promote COVID-19 safety protocols. The program promotes new public health-informed practices and guidelines put in place by state and county officials, as well as the university.
Small teams composed of students, professional staff, local volunteers, and community engagement officers will complete a series of training modules related to COVID-19; better preparing them to canvas traditionally high-traffic areas on and off campus to remind students of the new COVID-19 safety protocols that are required of both U-M community members and visitors on campus.
In addition, all students living off-campus also were asked to opt-in to a voluntary address registry, providing the university with their name, address, and cell contact information.
By signing up for the opt-in registry, students receive updates from the ambassador program if a concern about their address surfaces; giving them the opportunity to address the situation without police involvement as the first response.
Being able to text or call a responsible student as an initial level of peer outreach may prevent the need for law enforcement interactions.
You Can Make A Difference: Prevention Tips
The best way to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 – for yourselves and others – is to practice effective prevention measures. These include:
- wearing a face covering
- practicing social distancing and avoiding large gatherings
- washing your hands frequently
- staying homewhen you are sick and seek treatment from UHS
These tips are the latest safety measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Michigan, and the guidance of U-M experts from public health, education, medicine, engineering and others across our campus community. You can help keep yourself and others safe via prevention.
Transportation, Bus Protocols
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the University of Michigan's upcoming public health-informed fall semester, major changes are coming to the campus bus system. The changes, announced by Logistics, Transportation & Parking, will take effect Aug. 24 and were developed in collaboration with experts at Michigan Engineering. LTP expects the adjustments will allow campus buses to meet essential travel needs and peak demand, while also addressing passenger safety. You can read more at the Maize & Blueprint.