COVID Weekly Update 4/30/21

April 30, 2021

This week brought the end of the winter 2021 academic semester.

Dear Colleagues,

This week brought the end of the winter 2021 academic semester. We made it! Working together, prioritizing health and safety, we fulfilled our mission, providing our students with an excellent educational experience, even during this challenging time. 

The celebration began yesterday, as we welcomed the first group of alumni from the class of 2020 back to campus for a small in-person commencement ceremony. While there was more rain in the sky than we had hoped for, our 2020 alumni finally got the public recognition they deserved, and their families were able to cheer them on as they crossed the stage. We look forward to the rest of the ceremonies continuing throughout the weekend and into next week. 

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer shared four vaccination milestones that will directly influence the lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions. We join Governor Whitmer in encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Let's all work together to make 70% a reality. Please get vaccinated! There are vaccination clinics throughout the region

As we move into the start of the summer term, there are several COVID-19 related updates to share with you. 

Health and Safety Guidelines 

This week, the CDC released interim health and safety guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. The university is currently working to adjust our campus health and safety policies based on the new guidance. Additional details on that will be shared next week. In the meantime, as a reminder, everyone coming to campus, even those fully immunized, must follow our campus guidelines. The guidelines include the required COVID-19 safety training, the ResponsiBlue daily health screening, wearing a face covering and following all posted signage. 

COVID-19 Crisis in India 

We continue to receive heartbreaking news regarding the unfolding health care catastrophe in India. We join U-M President Schlissel in expressing our deepest empathy to all colleagues, students and alumni affected by the crisis. And we join in urging immediate, meaningful and compassionate action by Washington. We know many of you with family or friends in India are suffering. Please remember that the university provides support resources during these difficult times. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to all students, and the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (FASCCO) is available for faculty and staff. 

Summer Term Update 

Next Wednesday, May 4, Summer 1 classes begin. This summer we expect less than 7% of classes will be held on campus. These classes continue to be those that require a high-level of student interaction or special equipment. 

In order to keep the campus community safe and contain the spread of COVID-19, testing is recommended for students, faculty, staff and graduate student instructors that will be working or taking classes on campus this summer. Free PCR COVID-19 testing can be found by calling 888-535-6136, press 2 or visiting free COVID-19 testing locations

At this time, those employees that can work remotely should continue to do so. As has been previously shared, we will begin a phased return to campus later this summer. More details on the fall semester plan will be shared in the coming weeks. 

If you will be on campus during the summer term, here’s what to expect. 

  • Students and instructional faculty will continue to enter their buildings through the designated screening entrance where they will show the green screen on their ResponsiBLUE app and have their temperatures checked.
  • Faculty and researchers may access their offices and labs through designated screening stations during limited hours, listed here
  • Staff access to buildings across campus remains limited at this time, with building access requested through one of two processes — the One-Time Access Process for single visits lasting less than one hour or the MCard Access Process for single visits greater than one hour or for multiple visits. 
  • Faculty and staff that need a space to work in on-campus can reserve office space
  • Faculty can complete recordings on campus to support classroom instruction in the Digital Education Recording Room and the PEC. Appointments are required.
  • Faculty that are interested in planning in-person academic activities (field studies, academic trips, etc) this summer are encouraged to email Mitch Sollenberger with details and for guidance on health and safety requirements. 
  • Please encourage students that need any assistance during this challenging time to email or call 313-593-5056.
  • The Mardigian Library will continue to offer students reservable individual study spaces and will offer a pick-up/return service. 
  • Food Service will not be available on campus. The Bookstore and Credit Union will operate remotely. 
  • The Student Food Pantry will continue to be available by appointment.
  • The university shuttle will continue to operate on a reduced capacity. 

During the Town Hall with the campus community this week President Schlissel shared a few comments regarding the UM-Dearborn community that we wanted to be sure to echo today. He was very happy and praised our campus community for handling the pandemic as well as any regional university. President Schlissel said that faculty and staff had, “risen to the moment and carried out the mission of the university with great integrity and high class.” We echo this sentiment. As we move into summer we should be proud of all that we have accomplished throughout a challenging year. 

Take some time to exhale.  Thank you for all you have done to make this past year possible. 

Be Safe - Go Blue - Go Dearborn!

Domenico Grasso 

Sue Alcock

Bryan Dadey 
Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs 

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