COVID-19 cases at the University of Michigan have increased over the past two weeks, according to an email sent to the campus community from University President Mark Schlissel Friday. The increase in cases can be attributed to social gatherings and household exposures, Schlissel wrote.
According to the U-M COVID-19 Dashboard, the recorded number of cases jumped from 68 the week of Oct. 17 to 104 cases the week of Oct. 24. Of these cases, just over two-thirds of them can be traced to the student population.
The positivity rate on campus also rose from 1.3% the week of Oct. 24 to 2.4% the week of Oct. 31.
The University identified two clusters this past week, which are believed to have contributed to the rising numbers. The clusters involved a total of 40 students from two different academic programs. All positive cases are now isolating.
Schlissel wrote that the cluster cases are linked to gatherings over the Halloween weekend and travel during Fall Break rather than in-person classes.
“As changes in weather have driven more activities indoors, it is very important to wear a face covering, make good decisions when interacting and stay home if you’re sick,” Schlissel wrote.
The University has also implemented “enhanced surveillance measures” to isolate any additional cases that might stem from these clusters, according to the dashboard.
The campus community is also experiencing a rise in influenza cases, Schlissel wrote. The University Health Service saw flu cases increase from 13 to 154 this past week. UHS said the majority of flu cases are in individuals who have not received the flu vaccine. In his email, Schlissel urged community members to get their flu shot as soon as possible.
“As we’ve said before, the flu is likely to be a larger concern this year after several months of fewer in-person interactions,” Schlissel wrote. “Please get a flu shot.”
Daily Staff Reporter Justine Ra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.