Dear U-M graduate and professional students,
In our ongoing effort to protect the campus community from the spread of COVID-19, graduate and professional students who live on or come to campus, will be required to complete weekly COVID-19 testing through the University of Michigan. We must take additional steps to assure increased testing among students who are living, learning, working or visiting the Ann Arbor campus.
Regular testing of the U-M community – including you as a student – is an important part of the multilayered strategy to help identify COVID-19 in the community and reduce potential further spread by quickly moving infected individuals and all of their identified close contacts into isolation.
While vaccination distribution is underway to some of our U-M community, the process of getting everyone vaccinated is expected to take several months. Public health experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide in real-world conditions before making decisions about when current recommendations can be changed.
Required Weekly COVID-19 Testing
Today we announce that all students – including graduate and professional students – who live on or come to campus will be required to be tested weekly through the U-M Community Sampling and Tracking Program starting Feb. 16. This step will bring graduate and professional students in line with the existing requirements for undergraduate students. Register and sign up for CSTP testing through a two-step process here. Testing through University Health Service, Occupational Health Services or the Michigan Athletics program also meets the weekly testing requirement.
The expansion of the weekly testing requirement has become necessary as the case management and contact tracing efforts on campus have consistently demonstrated that social gatherings among graduate and undergraduate students alike continue to fuel the spread of COVID-19 within our community.
It is important to note that in-person education and teaching will continue, along with research and other important work. Because of your careful attention to the safeguards in place, there is no indication that COVID-19 is spreading through these essential activities.
Weekly COVID-19 testing through the university is required for all students living on or coming to campus, including students who are:
- Living in Michigan Housing.
- Registered for or teaching any in-person courses that meet on campus, regardless of how frequently the course meets in-person.
- Employed in a position that requires you to come to campus.
- Conducting research in an on-campus facility/building.
- Coming to campus to use facilities (e.g. libraries, unions, Rec Sports, dining).
If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19, you are excluded from testing for a 90-day period from the date of your test. If you were tested by the U-M Community Sampling and Tracking Program, University Health Service or Occupational Health Services, your result will automatically be captured. If you were tested elsewhere, please submit your positive results here – this has a 2 to 3-day delay to get into ResponsiBLUE.
You are probably already using ResponsiBLUE as a convenient tool to help support campus health and safety by providing a quick daily symptom check for COVID-19. If you are coming to campus for any reason, use of this tool is required. Beginning Feb. 8, all graduate and professional students will see the weekly COVID-19 testing status box in your ResponsiBLUE app. If you are up-to-date with testing through U-M, your last test date will display. For others, your screen will default to a test status of “Completed” with an expiration date of Feb. 16. You will have until Feb. 16 to get into compliance with the weekly COVID-19 testing expectation.
It’s important that you download or update the App for the latest version from the App store and visit ResponsiBLUE for more details including FAQs.
COVID-19 Safety Expectations
We share this reminder that all students are responsible for understanding the COVID-19 related expectations and their responsibilities. You are expected to follow public health best practices and expectations – including daily symptom tracking through ResponsiBLUE, required testing, and quarantine and isolation if needed – to support the health of the campus community.
- Continue to wear a face covering, social distance, avoid gatherings and stay home when sick.
- Participate in regular COVID-19 testing through U-M testing programs; weekly testing is required for all students coming to campus.
- Use ResponsiBLUE daily. All students are responsible for ensuring they have the green checks for symptom checking and COVID-19 testing verification to be on campus.
Thank you for your vigilance to help protect each other from the potential spread of COVID-19 as we move through this academic term.
Robert D. Ernst, M.D.
Associate Vice President of Student Life for Health and Wellness
Executive Director of University Health Service
Preeti Malani, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Chief Health Officer