What can students expect campus to look like after Nov. 20?

Friday, November 20, 2020 - 8:38pm


Illustration by Shannon Stocking

Some students heading home for Thanksgiving break will remain there until winter semester begins in mid-January. For students who choose to stay in off-campus apartments or houses through the break, they can expect some University of Michigan facilities to stay open, according to University spokesperson Kim Broekhuizen. 

Campus quarantine and isolation housing has operated throughout the semester to ensure that students are able to safely isolate themselves if they were exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19. While campus will be closed for Thanksgiving break, students can still expect quarantine and isolation housing to be available as long as it is needed, Broekhuizen wrote in an email to The Michigan Daily. 

According to the University’s COVID-19 dashboard, quarantine and isolation housing is currently at 9.8% capacity.

According to Broekhuizen, in addition to campus health services being available over the extended break, students remaining on campus through the end of the semester can expect campus buildings to be available for use. Most recreational sports facilities and study spaces will remain open through the end of the semester. 

Due to the three-week “epidemic order” issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, indoor dining at restaurants and many other indoor activities are prohibited. However, according to a Nov. 16 letter from University President Mark Schlissel, students will be able to use campus exercise and testing facilities, as well as individual study spaces that were opened earlier this semester. 

“The order allows us to continue providing individual access to study spaces, libraries, museums and exercise at our recreation facilities (CCRB, IMSB, NCRB),” the letter reads. “We have stringent health and safety measures in place for these facilities already, and will continue to operate them in compliance with the order. Students, faculty and staff may still come to campus to receive medical care, including COVID-19 testing.” 

While students are encouraged to spend the rest of the semester at home, some have chosen to remain on campus for the break. The University is asking that all students returning home receive a negative COVID-19 test from University Health Service before departing.

LSA freshman Emma Dwoskin said her experience with departure testing went smoothly.

“I had a great experience with my exit testing,” said Dwoskin. “I was in and out in no time and got my results back about two days later. The saliva testing makes it very easy and much more enjoyable than the nasal swab. I went and got the saliva test a few times since it was so easy to do. If I was staying on campus I would feel comfortable visiting the campus buildings, especially because they would be less populated with so many students home.” 

Daily Staff Reporter Kaitlyn Luckoff can be reached at kluckoff@umich.edu

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