New county/U-M public health recommendations

Dear LSA Community,
I am writing to follow-up on President Schlissel’s message about the new Washtenaw County public health recommendations issued yesterday, in conjunction with U-M, and currently in place through February 7. I know that many in our community are concerned about the new COVID-19 varant and the increase of local cases, and I want to share with you our path forward here in LSA for the next couple of weeks

As you have seen, the new stay-in-place recommendations apply broadly to all U-M Ann Arbor students living in the county, not just undergraduates. I hope we can all continue to provide flexibility and kindness to each other, as these recommendations place temporary constraints on some campus activities for members of our community. The measures are designed to help us, as a community, quickly control the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant in addition to the COVID-19 strain circulating for much of the past year. Thank you in advance for pulling together in this effort at this moment.

Research labs: Research labs can continue as they currently are, including graduate and undergraduate participation, except for a pause on close-proximity training (per UMOR guidelines) through February 7.

In-person classes and labs: The recommendations specifically allow in-person instruction to continue as planned. All instructors teaching in-person have the choice about how they want to proceed with classes during the stay-in-place recommendations. We understand that some instructors may wish to pause in-person meetings for a time, and we will continue to honor and support all instructor preferences. For those who are teaching in-person sections as part of a larger course, we have asked that they consult with the instructor of record as they consider shifts from in-person to remote. 

Study spaces: The recommendations allow us to continue making single-person study spaces available to students. Our reservable study spaces will remain open for this purpose, and limited single-person study tables will remain available in the buildings that are already accessible to students. Students will also continue to have access to the educational technology they may need (e.g., printing, internet access).

I want to end by underscoring that the county and the university believe that our current safety protocols continue to make our classrooms, labs, and buildings safe spaces to teach, learn, and work. We need to continue to be extremely vigilant, though, with our protocols, as we have seen how effective they can be. I also want to take this moment to thank in the most heartfelt way our teams in LSA Facilities and Operations and in LSA Technology Services who continue to be on campus supporting the LSA community and our mission as a college. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. And take good care.

With appreciation,