COVID cases spike on University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus as classes resume

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - MARCH 24: The Burton Memorial Tower stands on the central campus March 24, 2015 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Built in 1936, the 120' tower is named for University President Marion Leroy Burton, who served from 1920-1925. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images) (Robert Nickelsberg, 2015 Robert Nickelsberg)

ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan reported a sharp rise in COVID cases as students returned to classrooms on Wednesday.

A total of 641 cases were reported during the week ending Jan. 1, up from 355 positive cases reported the week ending Dec. 25. Of the 641 new cases, 361 were students and 280 were non-students.

This is the highest number of cases the school has experienced during the 2021-22 academic year.

The percent positivity rate for U-M’s Community Sampling and Tracking Program from Dec. 25 to Jan. 1 also increased, from 2% to 5.9%. Testing via U-M’s Community Sampling and Tracking Program during the week ending Jan. 1 was 2,325, compared to 4,592 the week prior.

The University Health Service reported a positivity rate of 26.3% during the week ending Jan. 1.

Read: University of Michigan: COVID-19 booster required for students, faculty, staff

Occupancy of the school’s Quarantine and Isolation Housing has also increased, from 2% the week ending Dec. 25 to 5% the week ending Jan. 1.

On Monday, President Mark Schlissel and Provost Susan M. Collins sent an email to the school community announcing enhanced health and safety measures as students prepared to resume in-person instruction.

This includes wearing face coverings in all common areas of sports facilities and residence halls through Jan. 17, reporting booster shots no later than Feb. 4 and showing proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test to attend indoor sporting events.

Read: University of Michigan: Guests age 12 and up must show proof of COVID vaccination, negative test to attend athletic events

“Our goal remains to prioritize our educational, research and service missions, including providing the best possible educational experiences for our students, largely in person, while doing so as safely as we can for all members of the community,” wrote Schlissel and Collins. “We need everyone’s help to make this happen.”

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.