Messages & News

January 24, 2021

COVID-19 Variant B.1.1.7.

The University of Michigan is working closely with Washtenaw County Health Department and Michigan Department of Human Health Services to take proactive and additional mitigation measures to address COVID-19 - and the presence of the B.1.1.7. variant - in the campus community. There are many unknowns that remain under investigation by U-M, local and state health officials.

WCHD “Stay In Place” Recommendation

The Washtenaw County Health Department is recommending that all U-M students living on or near the Ann Arbor campus “stay in place” at their campus-area addresses through Feb. 7 to help contain the spread of the virus.

The recommendation applies to all students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) living on or off campus in Washtenaw County.

Under the “stay in place” recommendation, all students are expected to remain in their current residence and avoid gatherings with individuals outside of their household. Students are permitted to leave their residences for the following purposes with strict adherence to preventive measures and U-M mandatory testing requirements as they apply:

  • Attend in-person class, instructional labs or other essential educational activities.
  • Obtain food, essential supplies, medicine, medical care or for COVID-19 testing or vaccination.
  • Attend work, or conduct research, only if the work cannot be done remotely.
  • Physical activity outdoors in groups of no more than two.
  • Attend clinical rotations, student teaching or other off-campus experiential learning assignments with approval from the college dean (or designee) and appropriate disclosures.
  • Religious practice activities.
  • For volunteering in approved vaccination and testing efforts.

U-M students are encouraged to get tested weekly through U-M’s Community Sampling and Tracking Program.

Related links:

Mitigation Measures

Additional mitigation actions being taken to address B.1.1.7 include:

  • Pausing the option for students who are close contacts to discontinue quarantine at day 10 with testing and additional monitoring. Until further notice, all students with a confirmed COVID-19 exposure (whether or not it is B.1.1.7) are expected to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Sequencing COVID-positive specimens from across the campus community in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. This includes specimens from University Health Service, Occupational Health Service, Michigan Medicine, Athletics and the Community Sampling and Tracking Program.
  • Enhanced monitoring for those in isolation or quarantine due to B.1.1.7.
  • The university is working to implement state recommendations regarding Varsity Athletics.
  • Students are encouraged to get tested within 72 hours after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel in accordance with latest travel guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

The entire U-M community is urged to be extra careful and follow public health best practices, including:

  • Avoid in-person gatherings at this time, and instead connect with friends, colleagues and family via zoom or other technologies.
  • Wear a mask when around anyone outside your immediate household.
  • Practice social distancing indoors and outdoors (at least 6 feet apart from others).
  • Get tested for COVID-19 weekly. Sign up for testing here.
  • Watch for symptoms, and isolate and seek medical care immediately if symptoms develop.
  • Follow isolation or quarantine guidance if ill, exposed, or waiting on test results.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Use the ResponsiBLUE app daily.
  • Get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available to you.

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