Vaccination policy enforcement, campus testing and other information (students)

August 24, 2021

Dear Students, 

BLUF - Bottom Line Up Front

  • The student vaccination rate (39%) is very low. Unless this improves significantly, this could impact class delivery methods and may result in pivoting the fall semester online.
  • Fully online/remote students will be exempt from the vaccination mandate with a signed attestation form.
  • In-person/hybrid students not in compliance with vaccination policy will be moved to online courses if available, or disenrolled from face-to-face courses beginning September 17.
  • Faculty and staff not in compliance with the vaccination policy face tiered discipline approach.
  • Campus testing and vaccination clinics will be available starting Monday, August 30.
  • The student vaccination enforcement policy is supported by the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and Student Government.

Please continue reading for additional details. 
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We continue to prepare for the fall semester with hope and optimism. Earlier this month the university’s chief health officer, Dr. Preeti Malani, affirmed returning to campus this fall is safe because of the university’s vaccination and face covering policies, a reduced campus density and other health and safety measures planned for implementation on campus. 

Since the mandatory vaccination policy was announced on July 30, there have been many questions regarding the enforcement of the policy for students, faculty and staff. The university has made great progress in establishing enforcement policies that are fair and equitable yet tailored to each campus’s individual needs. 

Also included in this communication are answers to questions not addressed during a faculty and staff town hall held earlier this month. 

Current campus vaccination rates (as of Tuesday, August 24)

  • Faculty - 82% vaccinated
  • Staff - 77% vaccinated
  • Students - 39% vaccinated 

We have work to do on getting our student vaccination rate much higher. 

Please note: due to the inclusion of new vaccination categories the vaccination campus dashboard will be updated later this week with the most accurate data. Vaccination rates can be reviewed on the COVID-19 data page.

Student Vaccination and Enforcement Policies 

The student vaccination and enforcement policy below has been developed in order to minimize health risks to the campus, provide additional flexibility for students that will remain remote this semester and allow all students the ability to progress to the completion of their degree. 

On campus students

All students with in-person classes must obtain compliance with the vaccination policy by Monday, August 30. Students can obtain compliance by doing one of the following: registering their vaccination record; registering a partial vaccination record, or receiving a religious or medical exemption. Please note, students who are partially vaccinated or have been issued an exemption must complete weekly COVID testing. Information about campus testing procedures can be found below.

Remote only students

Fully remote UM-Dearborn students, regardless of location (international, out of state or local), have the option of either obtaining compliance with the policy (see above), or signing an attestation form stating they will not come to campus during the Fall 2021 semester. If a remote student opts to sign the attestation form, they will not be required to comply with the policy nor participate in weekly testing for the fall 2021 semester. Please note, this may change for the winter 2022 semester. 

Student M-cards will be deactivated for those students who opt for the attestation, however students will still have full access to online library resources. Students who violate this policy will be charged with a non-academic conduct violation.

What happens if I am not in compliance?

  • On September 1, door screeners will check vaccination policy compliance at all building designated entrances. Students not in compliance will be asked to proceed to the campus testing location for testing. 
  • Between September 1 and 17, all non-compliant students will be required to be tested daily, when on campus, and upload their negative test results in ResponsiBLUE, while working to become compliant with the policy. 
  • On Friday, September 17, all students enrolled in in-person/hybrid classes that are not in compliance with the policy, will be moved to an online section of the class, if available. If online class options are not available, students will be administratively withdrawn from the course and will be reimbursed for the tuition for this class.
  • If the campus does not achieve a student vaccination rate deemed safe to maintain campus health and safety or if a significant outbreak occurs, the university reserves the right to pivot all classes online at any point during the semester. We are in consultation with Dr. Preeti Malani, U-M Chief Health Officer, Dr. Robert Ernst, Executive Director of University Health Services and Dr. Emily Martin, Epidemiologist U-M School of Public Health to help inform this decision. 

Please note receiving an administrative withdrawal from a class will add to the length of time to complete the degree, could impact financial aid and may have an impact on post undergraduate aspirations such as graduate, law or medical school admissions. 

The student vaccination enforcement policy is supported by the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and Student Government. 

Testing and campus vaccination clinics

The university will provide testing and vaccination clinics on campus August 30 - October 1 for those required to submit a daily (if on campus) or weekly negative COVID test and for those faculty, staff and students pending exemption approval. 

Students not in compliance will be asked by a health screener, at a building entrance, to proceed to the campus location for testing. Students, faculty and staff will also have the option for vaccination at the testing site. Negative test results will need to be uploaded at the conclusion of the test. This service will be available on August 30 and August 31 (Wolverine Welcome Day) between 9 am and 5 pm. All other days the service is available Monday - Friday between 7:30 am and 6:30 pm. The service closes on Fridays at 5 pm. The location of the testing/vaccination site has not been determined. 

Beginning October 4 - through the end of the fall term, only testing services will be available. Details will be provided at a later date. Please plan for extra time during testing days. 

Face covering enforcement policy

Face coverings are required inside all UM-Dearborn buildings and on campus transportation for all faculty, staff, students and guests. Face coverings may be removed when actively eating or drinking or when in an office by yourself with the door closed. 

Violators to this policy will be subject to the non-academic code of conduct policy (students) or human resources discipline (faculty and staff). If you have a personal medical condition that does not allow you to wear a face covering, please seek the appropriate office to explore an accommodation request (Disability and Accessibility Services for students; Human Resources for faculty and staff).

Disposable  face coverings will be provided at screening stations and other gathering places on campus prior to the start of the semester. 

We are happy to report there were no issues reported regarding wearing face coverings in classrooms and labs during the 2020-21 academic year. Let’s work together to keep this streak going! 

Face coverings do not need to be worn outdoors. 

Miscellaneous information

  • The campus’s COVID Support Team (313-593-5056 or DearbornCOVIDSupport@umich.edu) will continue to track and inform faculty and students of any on-campus COVID cases that require classroom quarantines.
  • Campus buildings will remain locked except for one entrance where screeners will verify that entrants have a green check on their ResponsiBLUE health screening. Building screening times and entry locations can be found here.
  • Event policies remain unchanged from the July 23 communication. External guests do not have to show proof vaccination, the organizing unit must compile a guest registration and face coverings must be worn indoors and on campus transportation.
  • Based on current health and safety guidelines, N95 masks, plexiglass barriers and six foot social distancing are not required at this time. Those with medical or religious exemptions should try to maintain a six foot distance when possible.

It has been a long journey to get to this point. There is more work to be done. By working together, following policies to keep the campus community safe and looking out for one another, we are confident we will have a safe and productive fall semester. 

Thank you all for what you have done to help make our fall semester return possible. 

Go Blue - Go Dearborn - Go Safe!

Sincerely, 

Domenico Grasso 
Chancellor 

Gabriella Scarlatta
Interim Provost 

Bryan Dadey
Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs

Amy Finley
Dean of Students 

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