COVID-19 Virus Transmission and Health and Safety Measures
SARS-CoV-2 (the cause of COVID-19) is considered a novel (new) coronavirus, that is, one to which humans had never previously been exposed, so it is different from other corona viruses that display mild symptoms like the common cold. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid...), the virus is spread mainly from person to person and mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. It is also thought to spread easily through “community spread”, which is where the virus is transmitted from person to person in an area and may be transmitted by those who are asymptomatic and are unsure how or where they became infected. This document describes the health and safety measures that units can put in place to minimize COVID-19 health and safety risks in campus operations, but we are also relying on individuals to protect themselves and others by:
- Wearing face coverings as required per U-M face covering Policy
- Getting a COVID-19 vaccine
- Practicing good hand hygiene through frequent, thorough handwashing
- Observing posted signs with specific guidance on infection control requirements
For more information on the latest information about COVID-19, visit the CDC web site at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Vaccination Requirements The University of Michigan’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement is an important and effective step to protect our community from COVID-19. All U-M faculty, staff, and students – including Michigan Medicine – are required to remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, which includes receiving all series of a vaccine and any additional boosters when eligible. There are limited exemptions to the policy. This policy is subject to change as the pandemic and public health guidance continue to evolve. It will be regularly reviewed as public health guidance dictates.
As stated, the policy only applies to U-M faculty, staff and students and therefore does not apply to visitors, or third party vendors. Michigan Medicine has additional policies for the Health System. Units are only expected to notify non U-M entities of the requirement to fill out ResponsiBLUE Guest on a daily basis. If units want to require vaccination status for affiliated groups of programs not covered by the current policy, they should contact the Office of the General Counsel who will provide information and support about the approval process. There is not a centralized process for tracking non- U-M individuals. See the gatherings section for more information as it pertains to vaccination status.
University of Michigan Face Covering Policy for COVID-19
MASK POLICY UPDATE AT MICHIGAN MEDICINE
Effective Monday, May 2, U-M will be relaxing some of its masking policies on the Ann Arbor campus. The changes that apply to Michigan Medicine include:
- Optional masking on U-M buses and People’s Express shuttles
- Optional masking in classrooms and instructional areas within the medical school
Please note that Michigan Medicine is not changing any of the masking policies for clinical areas, which require masks in any areas where patients may be present, for their care or other billing and administrative purposes.
Therefore, if you work in a clinical building, masks are still required at all times. This includes on the main medical campus, all ambulatory care clinics and other remote facilities that patients may visit.
If you work off the main medical campus in a building that does not receive any patient traffic, the new mask policy will apply.
For the latest information and updates related to COVID-19, please visit the Campus Maize and Blueprint at: https://campusblueprint.umich.edu/.
Effective March 14, masks will be optional for indoor spaces on the University of Michigan campuses with the exception that masks remain required in all classrooms and instructional spaces during class time, patient care areas (e.g Michigan Medicine, University Health Service and the Dental School clinical areas), U-M Covid-19 testing sites and U-M buses. The masking requirement in these settings will remain in place for at least the duration of the current term.
Mask use is still suggested as an effective strategy for enhanced personal protection, especially for those with compromised immune status, those who are not vaccinated or up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, and anyone with a perceived increased situational risk.
This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff and visitors – regardless of vaccination status – on the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses as well as U-M controlled properties off campus. Certain units, such as University of Michigan – Health and the UM Children’s Centers, may issue local level policies that supersede this policy and must be followed as applicable.
NOTE: Positive or exposed individuals are still required to mask through Day 10 of their isolation or quarantine period.
As exceptions to the requirement stated above, instances where an individual is not required to wear a face covering are when that individual is:
- under the age of 2 years old;
- someone who is unable to remove a face covering without assistance;
- required to wear assigned respiratory protection for the job tasks they are performing;
- granted a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)1;
- involved in an activity, including certain types of instruction, where wearing a face covering may present an impediment to instruction or present a safety hazard provided that a risk assessment is performed and reviewed by U-M EHS; If approved for this exception, instructors must continue to maintain a physical distance of twelve feet from others.
- communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication (in such circumstances, alternatives such as clear face coverings and other accommodations must also be explored);
- receiving a service for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;
- removing a face covering for brief periods to allow for photography-When utilizing this exception distancing from others remains strongly recommended.
- asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes.
1For information on requesting such accommodations, please contact the Equity Civil Rights and Title IX Office.