A cooler sits on a table with a sign that instructs people to leave their COVID-19 test samples in the cooler on their way out.
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The University of Michigan updated the COVID-19 policies for the 2022-2023 academic term. Robert Ernst, associate vice president of student life, and Preeti Malani, U-M Chief Health Officer, announced the update in an email to the U-M community Tuesday. The plans for the Dearborn and Flint campuses will be shared at a later date. 

“The guidance from the Campus Health Response Committee (CHRC) for the Ann Arbor campus for fall is based on current conditions, and may change depending upon the evolution of the pandemic or emerging guidance from the public health community,” the email reads.

Recommendations for masking in most indoor spaces and instructional spaces will be based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 community level for Washtenaw county. The COVID-19 community level for Washtenaw county is “Medium,” and it is recommended masking decisions be based on an individual’s personal risk. 

The email said students should continue to stay home if they experience any symptoms, or feel sick.

“Individuals are expected to stay home if they are sick with support from their peers, supervisors and instructors,” the email reads. “This helps reduce the likelihood of spreading a range of infections including COVID-19, influenza and other illnesses.”

Ernst and Malani also wrote that they are planning for a vibrant campus experience due to the high vaccination rate of the campus community. 

“Our local data show that the majority of COVID-19 infections among our community this past academic year presented with either mild symptoms or no symptoms at all,” the email reads. “This is consistent with the growing evidence that vaccination offers excellent protection against severe illness.”

The email also announced that isolation housing will remain available and will be prioritized for use by students with a residence hall contract.

All U-M faculty, staff and students are required to update their vaccinations by completing their primary COVID-19 vaccination series and one booster, with limited exemptions as outlined in the U-M Vaccination Policy. The deadline for incoming students to submit their vaccination information prior to the fall term is July 15.

The email also said that testing for asymptomatic COVID-19 will remain available through the Community Sampling and Tracking Program for those who are required to test weekly or who are interested in testing. Those who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations are required to test weekly.

Ernst and Malani also wrote that a new epidemiology and infection prevention unit is currently being established to oversee the core infectious disease response-related functions previously handled by the CHRC. More details about this new unit are included in the University Record.

For the latest information related to COVID-19, please visit the U-M COVID-19 response website at: https://campusblueprint.umich.edu/.

Summer News Editor Sejal Patil can be reached at sejpatil@umich.edu.