COVID-19 Weekly Update 4/23/21

April 23, 2021

Throughout the pandemic, the university has fulfilled its mission of educating our students while prioritizing the health and safety of our campus community.

Dear Colleagues,

Throughout the pandemic, the university has fulfilled its mission of educating our students while prioritizing the health and safety of our campus community. As we move into the summer and plan for our transitional fall semester, we will continue to be guided by key tenets of health and safety, academic excellence and equity across our community. 

While Michigan leads the nation in the number of new cases per day, there are positive signs ahead as the availability of two highly effective vaccines (Pfizer 95% and Moderna 94%, both are 100% effective in preventing COVID-related deaths) is improving through our region. For comparison, the annual flu vaccine is only about 50% effective. The current COVID-19 vaccination rate in the state is 46%. We strongly encourage all members of the campus community to make a vaccination appointment as soon as possible. Getting vaccinated will help us all get back to the activities we love more quickly. 

COVID-19 Testing or Vaccine Requirement 

Because we are a fully commuter campus and as we transition to a more “on campus” fall 2021 semester. with increased in-person activities, effective September 1, 2021, those coming to campus for any reason (work, class, studying, participating in events or extracurricular activities, etc.) will be required to provide one of the following: 

1. Documentation of a weekly negative PCR COVID-19 test

a.  Free PCR COVID-19 testing can be found by:

i.  Calling 888-535-6136, press 2 or

ii.  Go to Free COVID Testing Locations 

or

2.  Documentation of being fully immunized with a vaccine that has received FDA Emergency Use Authorization (Pfizer-BioNTechModernaJohnson & Johnson's Janssen - for your convenience, each is linked to the respective CDC Vaccine Overview and Safety documentation.)

Students, faculty and staff who are fully remote (working or taking courses in a remote capacity and not coming to campus for any reason) will not need to meet this requirement. 

The leadership of Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and Student Government have all endorsed this plan. 

Additional details, regarding how this process will be implemented and how this information will be collected and maintained, will be shared in the coming weeks. There will also be guidance ahead regarding how this policy applies to campus partners, visitors and events.  

Additional Information for Students 

  • Students will be able to register for classes without meeting one of the two return to campus requirements.  HOWEVER, documentation will be required to begin in-person classes in the fall.  
  • International students who have received a vaccine other than one for which the FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization; currently, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

Vaccine Availability and Release Time 

There are many clinics throughout the region offering appointments and walk-in opportunities to receive the vaccine when it is convenient for you. U-M has available clinics, open to UM-Dearborn faculty, staff and students, in the Ann Arbor area, the city of Dearborn has an ongoing clinic for Wayne County residents, and there are numerous other clinics offering appointments. The university is providing an employee with up to two hours of paid release time per vaccine dose so that you can register for vaccine appointments during work hours. More details and coding time code information is available on the U-M HR website

COVID Positive Reporting Reminder 

As a reminder, all student employees, faculty and staff, whether working on campus or in a remote capacity, must report the following to their supervisor as quickly as possible: 

  • A positive COVID-19 test
  • Feeling ill with COVID-19 symptoms 
  • Having close contact or living with someone who has recently tested positive with COVID-19

Supervisors play a critical role in ensuring that appropriate personnel are notified to assist the student employee, faculty or staff member with timely contact tracing and quarantining guidance. Details on reporting can be found on the COVID-19 reporting page of the website

Summer Classes 

With the upcoming start of the summer term please remember that current health and safety measures, including, the wearing of face coverings and the completion of the ResponsiBlue daily health screening will remain in place for all. We will have a limited number of courses taught on campus, with courses prioritized that require a high-level of student interaction or special equipment. We recognize that as we move through the summer and fall, guidance may change and will adjust campus policy as necessary. 

Fall Planning 

As we continue our work on planning for our transitional fall semester, guided by health and safety, with more classes taught fully in person or in hybrid fashion and a return of on-campus student support services, co-curricular activities, campus services, etc. This week, department leaders across campus have begun completing a COVID-19: Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) for a Safe Return to Campus document for their unit. The completed document is due on Tuesday, May 4 and provides guidance to campus leaders regarding workplace health and safety requirements and considerations. Department leaders with questions about the SOP's are reminded to contact Tom Perez, director of environmental health and safety. 

Town Hall with U-M President Schlissel 

UM-Dearborn faculty and staff are invited to a Town Hall with President Mark Schlissel on Wednesday, April 28 from 4-5 p.m. President Schlissel will share information about university initiatives and answer questions from the UM-Dearborn campus community. Register today and submit your questions

Next week is a momentous week, with the close of the semester and the Commencement celebrations, for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 on campus. Our small in-person ceremonies, guided by health and safety measures, will bring alumni and many students back to campus for the first time in over a year. We again would like to thank you for all of your hard work throughout the year. To say this year has been a challenge is an understatement. But in true UM-Dearborn fashion, we joined together to provide the best experience possible for our students. The resilience, adaptability and perseverance you, and our students, have demonstrated is something which will inspire us for years to come. 

Be Safe - Go Blue - Go Dearborn!

Domenico Grasso 
Chancellor 

Sue Alcock 
Provost 

Bryan Dadey 
Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs 

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