Dear U-M community,

As we finish the first week of classes, and as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes COVID-19 cases are rising nationally, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with prevention measures and resources related to respiratory illness. As always, if you feel sick, you should stay home, wear a mask around others and seek testing.

U-M Health Response remains our community’s go-to resource for COVID-19 guidance. Highlights are below. Have a safe and healthy Labor Day.


Robert D. Ernst, M.D.
Chief Health Officer
Associate Vice President of Student Life
Executive Director of University Health Service


  • FOR STUDENTS: If you have symptoms, you can get tested through University Health Service.
  • Options for all community members include testing with at-home rapid antigen tests (available for purchase at the UHS pharmacy and retail pharmacies), through your primary care physician, or through a community resource.

Preparation and Prevention

  • Masking remains an effective strategy for personal protection against transmission of many respiratory illnesses, especially in crowded indoor spaces.
    • Keep a mask handy in case you start to feel unwell or learn you had an exposure.
    • Free masks are available at locations across campus, including University Unions, while supplies last. 
  • We look forward to an updated COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks.
    • Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if you should receive the current COVID-19 vaccine now.
    • Widespread flu vaccine clinics begin soon across campus.
  • Make an isolation plan.
    • FOR STUDENTS: This could include relocating to your permanent residence, staying with a nearby relative or friend, or finding a hotel space. Students in Michigan Housing must leave their residence halls during isolation, even if they are in a single room.
    • Most isolation periods are five days long.
    • Having a plan ahead of time can provide peace of mind.

Care & Isolation

If you test positive for COVID-19:

  • Report your positive test result, unless you tested through UHS, which automatically reports results to the U-M Department of Environment, Health & Safety (EHS).
    • EHS will contact students and campus employees, generally within 24 hours, to discuss your care and isolation options.
    • You should notify your close contacts, including anyone you were within six feet of for 15 minutes or longer during your infectious period.
    • Michigan Medicine employees will be contacted by Occupational Health Services.
  • Activate your isolation plan.
  • FOR STUDENTS: Contact the Dean of Students Office or your academic deans’ office to discuss plans for missed classes, coursework, or other academic concerns.
  • Reach out to your healthcare provider for treatment options if needed.
  • Take care and rest – even with mild symptoms, being sick can be overwhelming, especially at the start of a school year.