ANN ARBOR, Mich. – With Thanksgiving approaching in two weeks, college students must decided if it is worthwhile to visit home for the holiday -- and risk potentially spreading COVID-19 to their families.
At the University of Michigan, students living on campus are being required to take a COVID-19 test before leaving campus.
University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald says students are being asked to get tested within the seven days before going home to their families. He says it takes about two to three days to receive test results.
Students living off campus are also being encouraged to get tested to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the holiday, though they are not required.
In fact, the university says it has no enforcement mechanism in place for the required COVID testing. Officials are just expecting students to follow the rules -- and so far, they have been.
U-M doesn’t expect much opposition from students in general. Students interviewing with Local 4 have said they don’t mind being tested to help protect their loved ones from the virus.
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College campuses have been identified as “hotspots” for coronavirus outbreaks this fall -- especially in Michigan. Both Washtenaw and Ingham counties have had to issue and adjust emergency health orders in an effort to contain outbreaks at U-M’s and Michigan State University’s campuses.
Coronavirus spread has been increasing throughout the state of Michigan, and not just in college towns. The state has reported record-breaking daily increases of COVID-19 cases multiple times in recent weeks.
The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan has risen to 229,285 as of Wednesday, including 7,766 deaths, state officials report. Wednesday’s update represents 6,008 new cases and 42 additional deaths. On Tuesday, the state reported 223,277 total cases and 7,724 deaths.