Following the University of Michigan’s deadline to submit COVID-19 booster information on Feb. 4, 68% students have reported receiving a booster shot, according to a Feb. 18 update to the University’s COVID-19 dashboard. Another 14% of students are waiting to be verified, and 11% have not reported a COVID-19 booster shot, despite being eligible for over 30 days.
The dashboard also reports 71% of faculty and 72% of staff are verified as having received their COVID-19 booster shot.
Before the start of the new year, former University President Mark Schlissel announced the University would require all U-M faculty, staff and students, as well as all Michigan Medicine employees covered by the U-M vaccination policy, to receive a booster shot for COVID-19 by Feb. 4, or as soon as they are eligible to receive an additional dose.
Members of the campus community who received the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccines have the option to choose any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States as a booster shot.
The University’s decision to require boosters shots came amid increasing concern around the omicron variant, which was first detected in a student living off campus in December 2021.
COVID-19 cases were at a high of 1,910 positive cases on Jan. 8 following students’ return from Winter Break. A month later, the University community saw a steep decline in cases, with 167 positive cases reported on Feb. 12, according to the dashboard. Currently, occupancy of on-campus Quarantine and Isolation housing is 3.5%. At the peak of the omicron surge on Jan. 7, Q&I housing was at an all-time high of 42%.
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to get a COVID-19 test before and after travel for Spring Break — which is from Feb. 26 to March 6. Students living in on-campus housing will have access to rapid antigen tests provided by the University.
The University’s face-covering requirement remains in effect — campus public health officials will reassess COVID-19 policies following Spring Break. The Washtenaw County Health Department announced indoor masking in K-12 schools will no longer be required in the county , effective Feb. 28, but Ann Arbor Public Schools announced they will continue to require masking in classrooms and on school buses until further notice.
Although COVID-19 cases have been decreasing on campus since the beginning of the semester, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention criteria still classifies the current COVID-19 activity in the Ann Arbor area as having a “high” transmission rate.
Clarification: This article has been updated to clarify 11% of students have not reported a COVID-19 booster shot. This article has also been updated to clarify 71% of faculty and 72% of staff have reported their COVID-19 booster shot.
Daily Staff Reporter Anna Fifelski can be reached at email@example.com.