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Wayne State to temporarily suspend on-campus activities due to COVID-19

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Wayne State University is suspending in-person instruction, spring sports and other facets of campus life for 10 days beginning Wednesday due to rising coronavirus infection rates.

WSU President M. Roy Wilson on Tuesday sent a letter to the campus community about the changes and also urged the college community to get the vaccine.

"Unfortunately, the regional coronavirus infection rate has continued to increase, so Wayne State University must move forward with the plan to depopulate campus starting tomorrow," Wilson wrote.

Wayne State's move comes as Michigan exceeded 700,000 confirmed coronavirus infections Monday and leads the nation in new cases. The state's positivity rate for COVID-19 tests is among the highest it has been since the pandemic began.

Wayne State developed a plan in August with benchmarks of when it would take action to contain any potential spread of the virus. 

WSU spokesman Matt Lockwood said cases on campus are low, an average of 1.33 new cases over the last three days.

"One of our trigger points (for depopulating the campus) is if the percentage of positive tests in the city exceeds 15%, we will take action," Lockwood said. "It was at 17% (as of Monday), so we are taking action."

As of Wednesday, the following guidelines apply:

► Face-to-face instruction on campus is suspended. Exceptions include students in clinical rotations in the pharmacy, health sciences, nursing and medicine professions. 

► The 1,300 students living on campus can stay but they cannot have guests for the next 10 days.

► In addition to the temporary suspension of spring sports, fall/winter sports are canceled for the remainder of the term. 

► The university will temporarily close the university bookstore, fitness center and student center. Students can access the student center to go to the vaccine clinic.

► WSU libraries and the food pantry will remain open.

Twitter: @kimberkoz