COVID Weekly Update 3/19/21

March 19, 2021

Please find below updates on various COVID-related items of importance this week.


Dear Colleagues,

Please find below updates on various COVID-related items of importance this week. 

Vaccinations

There continues to be good news on the vaccination front. FEMA and the state of Michigan announced a mass-vaccination site at Ford Field, in Detroit, this week. Registration is now open.

There are three options to register for a vaccine: 

  • Go to the Meijer registration page.
  • Text "COVID" TO 75049.
  • Michigan residents who don’t have access to the internet or who need assistance navigating the vaccine registration process can call the MDHHS COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

After you complete the registration process, you will receive an invitation either by voice or text when it's your turn to schedule the appointment. Vaccine appointments will be scheduled a few days in advance of the actual appointment. 

The city of Dearborn added more appointments at their vaccination site through Sunday, March 21  for those 50 and older with qualifying conditions, and those 65 and older, living in seven cities around Dearborn. The Ford Community & Performing Arts Center will serve as the vaccination site. Appointments are required and must be made online

All faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated prior to the start of the fall semester. 

If you are interested in receiving your vaccination through Michigan Medicine you must complete the BlueQueue questionnaire. Those interested in receiving the vaccine are strongly encouraged to also sign up with your local health department and retail pharmacies, information and helpful links for that are on the COVID website. You are encouraged to seek the best and most convenient option and to accept the vaccine type that is available.

Campus Contract Tracing

When someone in the UM-Dearborn community tests positive for COVID and there is one (or more) close contact(s) on campus, the contact tracers engage the person who tested positive, the individual’s supervisor, if appropriate, and the close contact(s). The team then makes determinations regarding the appropriate actions for isolation and quarantine for the impacted individuals. The contact tracing team utilizes best practices to keep the campus community safe. UM-Dearborn defines a close contact as an individual who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, starting from 48-hours before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic persons, 48-hours prior to positive specimen collection).

Once the contact tracers learn that someone is positive, they: 

  • Contact the individual and gather information about the timeline of the illness. 
  • Determine if isolation is warranted and if so, determine the date of the individual's return to campus. 
  • Ask about the individual's concerns. 
  • Find out who the individual may have had close contact with among the campus community. 
  • Describe the ways in which the contact tracing team can provide support and provide what is desired.  For employees or student employees, this may include a discussion about a safe and appropriate work plan and the possibilities for working remotely with the employee and supervisor. 

After learning who the close contacts are, the contact tracers will: 

  • Reach out to each one to learn more about the contact. 
  • Determine if quarantine is warranted, and if so, determine the date of the individual's return to campus. 
  • Ask about their concerns. 
  • Describe the ways in which the contact tracing team can provide support and provide what is desired.  For employees and student employees, this may include a discussion about a safe and appropriate work plan and the possibilities for working remotely with the employee and supervisor. 

Students who test positive, or believe they have been in close contact, should call 313-593-5056 or email DearbornCOVIDsupport@umich.edu. Employees who test positive, or believe they have had a close contact should notify their supervisor and contact Human Resources by calling 313-593-5190 or emailing HumanResources@umich.edu. They should also notify U-M’s COVID-19 Hotline 734-764-8021, (Option 1).

As more UM-Dearborn employees begin to return to campus, it is now more important than ever to support the public-health-based efforts of the contact tracers and abide by their guidance for isolation and quarantine. If a supervisor or unit leadership disagrees with the contact tracing team’s quarantine guidance, the unit leadership should work with Human Resources to ensure that potential personnel implications are addressed

All members of the campus community are reminded to follow our campus health and safety guidelines to ensure a safe campus environment for our students, faculty and staff. 

There is a dedicated and qualified team of people across campus that work together to ensure the health and safety of the campus community. It is imperative that we adhere to the policy outlined above. 

Researcher Screening Procedure Change

Beginning Monday, researchers who have been approved to return to campus may enter their labs, without signing up in advance, during the extended weekday hours listed here. All campus buildings will remain locked but faculty may enter through designated screening stations during these limited hours.  Building entrants must use their MCard to swipe in at the screening stations and show the green check on their completed ResponsiBLUE app to the screener.  Face coverings and 6-feet social distancing continue to be required everywhere on campus.

Fall Return to Campus

Last week it was shared that the members of the campus community should be prepared for a return to on-campus classes, activities and work this fall. A faculty and staff team is currently working on a phased return to campus plan with the intent of having a final plan to share with university leadership and then the campus community by May. The team is working on various scenarios while navigating the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic and the nation’s recovery. Please do not make departmental or unit-level decisions about return to campus matters until this guidance is provided and a framework established, since we must be consistent and equitable in our approach to this complex issue.

Faculty and staff should prepare to continue their current work arrangements through June. The return to campus will be phased throughout the summer and into the fall. The university will adhere to the latest health and safety guidelines, will monitor the progress of vaccinations around the region and make decisions based on what is best for our campus community – students, faculty and staff. 

Faculty Office Policy

We had hoped to share an updated faculty office policy this week. The policy is currently being finalized and it will be shared early next week. We apologize for the delay. 

Enjoy the weekend and stay safe. 

Go Safe! Go Blue Go Dearborn!

Domenico Grasso 
Chancellor 

Sue Alcock 
Provost 

Bryan Dadey 
Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs

External Relations

1161 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5140
Fax: 313-593-5403