The following was originally published in my Oct 3, 2020 Newsletter in the “Additional Thoughts” section
COVID-19 Local Updates
In just the last few days, we are reading a lot of news stories about the spread of COVID-19 among national leaders. Locally, infection rates have prompted more stories worth reading.
The presidents of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University discussed the likelihood that they will be online for winter semester, with students not returning to the classroom until next fall:
Just this week, Infection rates have triggered review of campus operations at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The UM had previously stated plans to re-evaluate based on local metrics, if there were more than 70 new cases per million, sustained test positivity rates of 10% or 3 consecutive days of a more than 10% case increase:
Additionally, the Washtenaw County Health department has issued new guidelines just this week (10/2/20), prohibiting any “outdoor social gathering or outdoor organized event” of over 25 people at a private residence. These standards apply specifically in the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti and are stricter than guidelines issued by the State of Michigan.
From that County order:
With thousands of students returning to two large universities in Washtenaw County, many from states with high rates of COVID-19, living in congregate settings, and traditionally disposed toward socializing in large groups, further restrictions need to be put in place to prevent outbreaks related to large social gatherings and organized events. Large social gatherings have demonstrated an increased public health risk with potential for further outbreaks, including super-spreading events.
At our last regular Council meeting, we approved a resolution to initiate conversation with University of Michigan leadership about the use of campus housing during this pandemic. I remain hopeful that by partnering more intentionally with the University, we can better prepare for a resurgence of the virus.