COVID Weekly Update 1/14/22

January 14, 2022

With the start of the winter semester, we are also restarting the weekly COVID updates. These updates provide important COVID news, related guidance, and reminders.

Dear Colleagues and Students,

With the start of the winter semester, we are also restarting the weekly COVID updates. These updates provide important COVID news, related guidance, and reminders. As always, our highest priority is keeping the UM-Dearborn community safe while continuing to offer our exceptional education. 

A Successful Start of the Semester

UM-Dearborn's protocols and policies to mitigate the spread of COVID on campus have been effective. Our vaccination rate is high. The required indoor masking policy has been followed with great care and perseverance. We have moved some classes into larger rooms as an added precaution. Even with a higher number of in-person/hybrid classes this semester, density on campus is still low; at no time do we have more than 1,250 of our 8,000 students scheduled to be on campus. COVID reporting and quarantine procedures have also worked to minimize transmission and spread on campus. Hence, we remain at a relatively low level of active cases on campus. Because of these effective mitigation measures and trusting in the integrity of our community members, we have moved to an honor system and are no longer posting screeners at building entrances across campus. 

This does not mean there haven't been disruptions on campus. We have experienced higher than normal levels of absenteeism among students, faculty, and staff. Members of our community are dealing with sick children, family issues, and disrupted schedules. Given the heterogeneity of our geographical region and community, this is not unexpected. We ask that you continue to be flexible and accommodate your students and colleagues as they experience strains on their personal lives. 

As a reminder, you can track weekly COVID data on the university dashboard

Recap: Town Hall with Preeti Malani, MD, MSJ, U-M Chief Health Officer

Yesterday, we had an engaging and informative conversation with U-M Chief Health Officer Dr. Preeti Malani. She provided professional and useful guidance around health and safety protocols and university policies. Look for some key takeaways from the Town Hall and a recording of the session in next Tuesday’s Reporter

Available Boosters, Testing and Masks at the University Center

To be considered fully vaccinated and compliant with the vaccination policy, booster shots will be required for all faculty, staff, and students by February 4, or as soon as eligible thereafter. This will provide an added layer of protection for our campus community. Booster shots are available free of charge at the clinic in the University Center. 

Please upload your booster information using the booster upload form in Wolverine Access as soon as possible. Please note, if you already have an approved vaccination exemption you do not have to request a booster exemption.  

As a reminder, COVID tests are also available, free of charge, to all students, faculty, and staff during testing hours regardless of your vaccination or exemption status. Please note, if you believe you have COVID or if you are experiencing any COVID-related symptoms, please do not come to campus. Please find an off-site testing center. 

Next week, the testing and booster clinic will be open Tuesday - Thursday from 7:30 am - 6:30 pm. Thursday is being added for the week of January 17 only. Clinic days and hours will be adjusted based on demand and will be shared in next week’s COVID communication. 

KN95 and surgical masks are available, free of charge, at the testing clinic and information desk at the University Center. Surgical masks are also available at the following locations across campus: Human Resources, CSS Reception Desk, CASL Advising Office, and College Deans' Offices. A recent JAMA article has shown that both types of masks were equally effective at protecting against flu viruses, a useful surrogate.

New policy for attending athletic events

Beginning January 11, proof of COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test is required to attend an on-campus indoor athletic varsity event. Upon entry to an indoor venue, the following will be required:

  • An official ID Card with the guest's name must be shown at the door.
  • An official, government-issued vaccination card - or a photo or digital version of such card - listing the guest's name and dates the last dose was administered.
  • Or, for UM-Dearborn faculty/staff, displaying the ResponsiBLUE app to confirm compliance with the UM-Dearborn COVID vaccination requirement.
  • A printed or digital negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test administered by a healthcare professional within 72 hours of the event that includes the guest's name and date the last test was administered. Over-the-counter or home testing kit results are not accepted.

Individuals who cannot provide proof of vaccination or a valid negative COVID test according to the conditions outlined above will be denied entry to all UM-Dearborn indoor, on-campus athletic contests.

Reporting of positive COVID results

Students should report positive COVID illness to DearbornCOVIDsupport@umich.edu or call 313-593-5056.

Faculty or staff who test positive for COVID, are required to contact the Office of Human Resources at 313-593-5190 or humanresourcesdearborn@umich.edu.

As we navigate the surge caused by the Omicron variant together, it is important that everyone remain flexible. We ask that instructors be flexible in accommodating students who are ill or quarantining and miss class during this semester. We also encourage supervisors to work to accommodate staff that may be facing family issues or need additional flexibility. This is the right thing to do, it is consistent with our campus culture and with our guidance over the last two years. 

Our next COVID update will be January 21 or sooner if conditions warrant.

Be Kind - Be Safe - Go Blue - Go Dearborn!

Domenico Grasso
Chancellor 

Gabriella Scarlatta
Interim Provost 

Bryan Dadey 
Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs 

Amy Finley 
Dean of Students