University of Michigan: COVID-19 cases increasing as school year nears end

University of Michigan 'block M' flag seen through trees on campus.

ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan officials sent out a campuswide email on Friday warning of an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

In the email, associate vice president of student life and director of campus COVID response Robert D. Ernst and chief health officer Preeti Malani urged the school’s community members to commit to prevention strategies to curb the spread of the virus one month before classes end.

“Now is the time for our community to finish the winter semester strong,” they wrote.

Ernst and Malani said many of the new cases were linked to unmasked social gatherings and noted that the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron now represents the majority of cases in the Midwest. This, they said, was cause for concern since BA.2 appears to be more easily transmitted than BA.1.

They advised students, faculty and staff to take the following measures over the next month:

  • Monitor for symptoms by using the ResponsiBLUE tool each day. If you have any symptoms, mask up and get tested right away.
  • Pick up a free box of at-home antigen tests at any central or north campus CSTP site beginning Monday, April 4. Be sure to bring your M-Card.
  • Traveling? Get tested for COVID-19 before you go and when you return.
  • Consider wearing a mask for large indoor gatherings, or move your gathering outdoors.
  • Remember to cover your coughs and sneezes, and to wash your hands frequently.

To read the full email, click here.

The new increase of cases comes after weeks of decline on campus.

As of March 30, cases among U-M students accounted for 26% of the total COVID cases in Washtenaw County.

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.