Campus leaders share updates to COVID policy, encourage vaccines and self-reporting


University of Michigan faculty and staff members are being reminded to submit COVID-19 vaccination information, continue to wear masks indoors unless fully vaccinated and their status reported, and to use the daily symptom tracker on ResponsiBLUE. Michigan Medicine employees should continue to follow unit-specific guidelines and policies, including guidance on the use of face coverings.

In an email to all faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor campus June 25, Preeti Malani, U-M chief health officer, and Robert D. Ernst, associate vice president of Student Life and director of Campus COVID Response, outlined updates to the university’s COVID policies while providing timely reminders as U-M gears up for a more traditional fall semester.

A similar email was also sent to students encouraging them to become vaccinated and share their status with the university, or sign up for weekly covid testing for the fall.

The most important step faculty and staff can take to ensure a safe fall term, Malani and Ernst said, is to get vaccinated and report their status through Wolverine Access. Weekly, monthly and grand prizes will be awarded to those who submit proof of vaccination. Prizes offered this summer to self-reporting faculty and staff include a gold parking pass, tickets to attend an upcoming U-M football game in a suite and cash prizes of up to $5,000.

“Studies show that the vaccines are safe and extremely effective at protecting you against COVID-19,” the email read.

On June 29, the university hosted its first of many weekly, monthly and grand prize drawings for faculty and staff this summer who submit proof of vaccination, awarding five $100 cash prizes. Future prizes include a gold parking pass, tickets to attend an upcoming U-M football game in a suite and cash will prizes of up to $5,000.

The university also is hosting weekly, monthly and grand prize drawings for students and kicked off with a “grand prize” drawing Tuesday for all students who had self-reported their proof of vaccination since April. Those prizes included $500 travel vouchers and $500 gift cards to the U-M Tech Shop and Barnes & Noble Bookstore. U-M will host a second drawing for both groups on July 5.

While face coverings are required indoors, vaccinated faculty and staff  who self-report their information to the university largely will be exempt from those requirements. Face coverings remain required — regardless of vaccination status — in classrooms, on campus transportation, and in health care areas where patients may be present.

U-M is designing classrooms at pre-pandemic capacities, and because they likely will have a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, face coverings will be required to reduce potential spread of COVID-19 between unvaccinated individuals.

“The university will continue to reevaluate its approach for classrooms later this summer with the goal to scale back the masking requirement for vaccinated individuals when the self-reported vaccination rates and measures of community spread support doing so,” the email read. Malani and Ernst also encouraged continued use of the daily COVID-19 symptom-checker app through ResponsiBLUE for all students, faculty and staff who access buildings.

— Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version to reflect that a vaccination clinic scheduled by the Washtenaw County Health Department for June 29 was canceled due to inclement weather and to reflect the first drawing of the summer has taken place.


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