ANN ARBOR, Mich. – An emergency stay-in-place order has been issued for University of Michigan students due to COVID-19 outbreaks, requiring everyone to stay at their residences with these 11 specific exceptions.
Here are the only reasons students are allowed to leave their residences during the two-week stay-in-place order:
- To go to class or instructional labs.
- To go to off-site clinical rotations or experiential learning assignments -- only with approval from the college dean and the organization or site of the activity.
- To go to work if the job can’t be done remotely -- only with approval from an employer.
- To pick up food -- must return home to eat it.
- To pick up medications or go to medical appointments.
- To attend religious practice activities.
- To vote.
- To get tested for COVID-19.
- To exercise outside -- no more than two people can exercise together.
- To participate in University of Michigan varsity sports.
- To leave campus and go home -- only if they follow University of Michigan testing and checkout procedures.
Additional details about exceptions
Students can go to work on or off campus only if jobs can’t be done remotely.
The campus recreation buildings -- the CCRB, NCRB and IM Building -- cannot be used because only outdoor physical activity is allowed during the stay-in-place order.
No more than two people should gather for physical activity, which means no pick-up basketball games or similar activities.
U of M will not allow tailgating, parties or any other similar social gathering.
Students are encouraged to stay at their current address, but they can return home if they follow school testing and checkout procedures. Students who return to their permanent address should undergo COVID-19 testing beforehand and stay stay in place for the rest of the order.
Voting is still allowed, even in person.
Mary Markley quarantine
Residents at Mary Markley are still under a 14-day quarantine, meaning they must perform enhanced social distancing. They cannot attend in-person class for 14 days.
After the quarantine has ended, Mary Markley residents will follow the stay-in-place order.
Stay-in-place order details
The order is effective immediately and will continue through 7 a.m. Nov. 3, according to the Washtenaw County Health Department.
Under the order, undergraduate students must stay in their residence unless they’re attending class, accessing dining services or carrying out approved work that can’t be done remotely.
“Even though the risk of classroom transmission remains low -- and the increasing COVID-19 transmission we are seeing is not due to our classrooms and labs -- we are issuing new guidelines for undergraduate course delivery to go into effect (Wednesday) and continue for the remainder of the semester,” U of M President Mark Schlissel said.. For undergraduate students, all classes that are substantially enhanced by in-person instruction due to the nature of the instruction or space or equipment needs will continue to be taught in person. Most other undergraduate classes will be taught fully remotely."
Students who wish to return to their primary residence can do so only if they have completed the university’s procedures for leaving campus safely, health officials said.
“The situation locally has become critical, and this order is necessary to reverse the current increase in cases,” said Jimena Loveluck, health officer for Washtenaw County. “We must continue to do what we can to minimize the impact on the broader community and to ensure we have the public health capacity to fully investigate cases and prevent additional spread of illness.”
The order is intended to limit socializing among students and slow down the spread of COVID-19, officials said. U of M represents more than 60% of local cases, according to experts.
Under existing state orders, everyone has to keep at least six feet of distance from others who don’t live in their household and wear a face covering when out in public or in common areas.
Not a quarantine
A stay-in-place order is not the same as quarantine. During the stay-in-place order, official and essential activities are allowable when carried out using COVID-19 prevention measures including wearing face coverings, social distancing and frequent hand cleaning.
While this order allows students to work and participate in official activities with preventive measures in place, it also limits the impact of exposures on businesses, workers and community members, officials said.
The university will provide choices for students and instructors, including moving more undergraduate courses to fully remote instruction for the remainder of the fall semester.
“The university has been working closely with the health department all along in response to the pandemic and supports this decision to issue this stay at home order,” said Robert Ernst, executive director of the U of M University Health Service and associate vice president for Student Life. “This action is intended to reduce the strain on our capacities for contact tracing and quarantine and isolation housing. Many individuals and off-campus residences are cooperating fully, and we hope this additional guidance on limiting social activities reverses the trend of increased cases related to social gatherings.”
Violations of the local order are subject to the citations and penalties outlined in the Michigan Public Health Code.
Washtenaw County has reported a total of 4,229 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Oct 19. More than 600 confirmed and probable cases have been reported in Washtenaw County in the past week (since Oct 12), and 61% are connected to University of Michigan students living on or off campus, many in congregate or group settings.
All students who have been identified as testing positive or as a close contact as determined through case investigation are offered the opportunity to move into university quarantine and isolation housing and utilize other school resources.