Ann Arbor Campus Students, Faculty and Staff:
As the fall semester gets underway, campus is buzzing with excitement and interactions through orientation activities and social gatherings—activities that contribute to a rewarding Michigan experience for students. The CDC risk level for Washtenaw County is currently “Medium,” and not surprisingly, with the repopulation of campus, we are seeing transmission of COVID-19 within our community.
Fortunately, most cases are associated with mild illness, but the need to isolate when feeling sick or after testing positive can be disruptive.
Given the rise in COVID-19 cases and the limited capacity we have within our isolation spaces for prioritized populations, the U-M Public Health Response team is recommending that
individuals take the following steps to minimize the disruption of an otherwise exciting semester.
- Stay home when sick: Anyone who is experiencing symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g. new cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, fever, fatigue), even mild symptoms, should avoid gatherings and seek testing. If you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19, students, faculty and staff should stay home.
- Get tested: It is recommended that everyone maintain a supply of home antigen tests, but testing is also available through a range of campus resources. Any U-M student, faculty or employee can obtain free testing if asymptomatic at the U-M COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking Program (CSTP) locations on campus. Students, if asymptomatic or symptomatic, can also self-schedule or call for an evaluation/test at UHS.
- Isolate if you have COVID-19: Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is expected to isolate for at least 5 days, and should wear a mask when around others for a full 10 days after diagnosis, even as symptoms improve. All students should have individual plans for isolation in the event they have a positive COVID-19 test. Isolation spaces have been set aside for students living in university housing, but at this time the space is being actively filled and nearing capacity. While additional spaces are being identified, and especially with the upcoming Labor Day holiday, students who reside within a drivable distance should expect to relocate to their permanent residence instead of requesting isolation space on campus.
- Wear a mask: Masking is strongly recommended in indoor spaces where maintaining social distancing is difficult, regardless of vaccination status. High filtration masks are available for free at CSTP sites and at community centers within the residence halls.
- Get Vaccinated: Through partnerships with local retail pharmacies, vaccines are being offered at multiple campus locations, including convenient, walk-in clinics that do not require registration. These walk-in clinics currently offer flu shots and will offer updated COVID-19 booster shots when available.
For the latest information and updates related to COVID-19, please visit the U-M Health Response website at: https://healthresponse.umich.edu/.
Robert D. Ernst, MD
Chief Health Officer
Associate Vice President of Student Life