Megan Ocelnik/Daily. Buy this photo.

COVID-19 cases at the University of Michigan are continuing to decrease, with only a 0.8% positivity rate this week. This decrease follows a drastic initial increase in cases at the beginning of the semester as students returned to campus.

Despite the decrease, the University accounts for 11.1% of COVID-19 cases in Washtenaw County. The county is currently under high transmission levels based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s criteria. 

Students can currently get free COVID-19 testing through the University’s Community Sampling and Tracking Program and the University Health System’s symptomatic testing. The CSTP program performed more than 7,000 tests last week while UHS performed 850.

Quarantine and isolation housing occupancy has also declined over the past three weeks and now stands at 6.3%. Three weeks ago, during the week of Sept. 9, the occupancy rate was nearly 40%. 

The University announced in July that vaccines would be mandatory for all students and staff, barring religious exemptions. Currently, 96% of students and 86% of all employees are fully vaccinated. 

The University wrote in the Sept. 28 dashboard update that the majority of COVID-19 cases are linked to “off-campus social gatherings without masks.”

The COVID-19 dashboard is updated daily and can be found here.

Daily staff reporter Shannon Stocking can be reached at