University of Michigan: COVID cases rise, now represent one-third of total Washtenaw County cases

Days of coronavirus: An empty Stadium Blvd. in Ann Arbor near The Big House. (Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – Cases of COVID-19 have increased at the University of Michigan, now making up for 34% of total cases in Washtenaw County, university officials reported on Tuesday.

In the update, officials also shared that 11 off-campus residences are now under quarantine due to positive cases or in-person gatherings that took place during the school’s stay-in-place recommendation, which expires at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 7. This includes undergraduate, graduate and professional students living on and off campus.

The recommendation was urged by the Washtenaw County Health Department as several new cases of the new, highly contagious B117 COVID-19 variant were reported on campus. All sports at U-M have been paused since Jan. 23 due to outbreaks of the variant in the department.

Read: University of Michigan students asked to stay home to curb virus spread

The number of residences placed under quarantine has doubled since Saturday due to new positive cases and potential exposures.

Those in quarantine are receiving pop-up tests on day five of their 14 day isolation, and all students are encouraged to get tested for the virus each week, even if they are asymptomatic.

Read: University of Michigan identifies virus outbreaks at off-campus houses

According to U-M’s COVID Dashboard, the university has reported 438 positive cases in the past 14 days, and 36,065 tests had been administered in the same time period. According to preliminary data, the positivity rate jumped the week starting Jan. 31 to 14.3%, compared to 1.3% the week prior.

Starting Feb. 3, U-M will be offering free saliva-based COVID-19 testing for Ann Arbor residents who live near campus.

For more information on when and where testing for city residents will be taking place, click here.

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About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.