WSU to reduce number of people on campus, citing increased COVID numbers

Casey Harrison
The Detroit News

Wayne State University said Saturday it is planning to reimpose restrictions to reduce the number of people on campus, citing increased coronavirus cases across the state.

Starting Wednesday, the following measures will be taken unless case numbers fall within an "acceptable range," according to an email from President M. Roy Wilson to the WSU community. 

  • Face-to-face instruction on campus will be canceled with the only exception being clinical rotations in licensed health professions.
  • All athletics practices and competitions will be suspended. Teams may resume practice after 10 days if 80% or more of team personnel have received their full COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Laboratory research units must take steps to reduce current time-on-site activity for authorized personnel by 25% effective Wednesday. They must also prepare a contingency plan for an additional reduction of time-on-site as the situation evolves. The reduced level does not apply to fully vaccinated individuals currently involved with authorized on-site research activities. 
  • Guest access to student housing will be restricted. Students currently living in campus housing are permitted to continue doing so and must continue to follow campus health and safety guidelines.
  • Towers Cafe will move to takeout only.
  • Campus libraries will remain open but may be subject to increased restrictions.
  • The Student Center Building is closed except for individuals attending the vaccine clinic.
  • The W Food Pantry will remain open and will facilitate technology loans to students in need.
  • With the exception of critical infrastructure employees, those who can work from home should do so.
Roy M. Wilson

Metrics on campus, in the region and across Michigan will be reevaluated in 10 days, according to Wilson. If the situation has improved, Wayne State will reinstate the suspended activities. If the numbers still remain high, the period of limited on-campus activities will be extended accordingly, he said. 

Students and faculty are asked to monitor their communications and check the Wayne State coronavirus website for follow-up information or to contact a supervisor with specific questions.

Michigan reported 8,413 new cases of COVID-19 and 57 deaths on Saturday, marking the sixth-consecutive week of increased cases, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. 

This week, the state added 39,637 cases and 192 deaths from the virus. The deaths announced Saturday included 51 identified during a vital records review. It was the highest weekly case total since Nov. 29 Dec. 5, when 45,015 new cases were reported.

On Tuesday, Michigan had 361.5 new cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, ranking second behind only New York City at 366.5 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of April 5, all Michigan adults 16 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. Wayne State has not mandated the vaccine but all members of the campus community are encouraged to receive the shot, according to the email.

Twitter: @Casey_Harrison1