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The University of Michigan will offer more in-person classes this fall than previously expected as student vaccination rates climb and public health restrictions expire. 93% of undergraduate classes are expected to be fully in person, 5% hybrid and 2% fully remote, according to a Tuesday morning email from U-M President Mark Schlissel to the campus community. Previously, the University had planned for large lectures to be fully remote by default.
If the student body hits a 75% self-reported COVID-19 vaccination rate and COVID-19 cases on campus remain low, the University will lift the current face-covering requirement for vaccinated students in classrooms. 55% of students have self-reported their full COVID-19 vaccination status, according to a new dashboard on the UM COVID-19 data website. Additionally, initial data on the dashboard shows zero new COVID-19 cases on campus out of over 600 tests in the past week, a first since the pandemic began.
On the heels of this milestone, the University is strongly encouraging students to continue self-reporting their vaccination status as soon as they can. Students planning to live in U-M Housing have until July 16 to upload their vaccination status or request an exemption. So far, 27,330 students and 16,700 faculty and staff have uploaded validated vaccination info.
The University is offering incentives for students and faculty to report their vaccination status, with prizes being awarded to randomly selected fully vaccinated students. Student prizes include U-M sporting event tickets, a Barnes & Noble textbook scholarship, farmers market tokens and Blue Bucks, Schlissel wrote in his email.
“I thank everyone in our community who has reported their vaccination information to the university,” Schlissel wrote. “This information is helping us hone our fall plans for an in-person experience, and the more people who share their information, the better we can plan.”
The University is looking forward to a positive and mostly in-person fall semester, with dorms and dining halls at nearly full capacity. Schlissel also added that the University will continue to monitor the Delta COVID-19 variant during the fall semester, but said Michigan Medicine research indicates that currently approved COVID-19 vaccines protect against new variants.
Daily Staff Reporter Kaitlyn Luckoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.