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UM to returning students: Social distance at home for 14 days

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

University of Michigan students planning to return for the fall semester must commit themselves for 14 days of "enhanced social distance at home" before returning to the Ann Arbor campus to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Students returning to the University of Michigan are being asked to stay home as much as possible for at least 14 days before arriving on campus.

Those living in the residence halls and apartments will also have to take and pass a COVID-19 test.

The quarantine guidelines, released Monday, apply to all students and include things such as not going to work or social gatherings, and taking their temperature twice a day and monitoring for fever. They were emailed to students and also posted on UM's Student Life website 

"It is an important part of our strategy to minimize risk and keep COVID-19 out of our community," said the guidelines, outlined by Martino Harmon, vice president for student life, and Dr. Robert Ernst, executive director of the University Health Service.

Fall classes at UM begin Aug. 31. That means students will have to stop working, if they have jobs, not later than Aug. 17 to comply with the enhanced social distancing guidelines.

"During this 14-day period, you need to monitor your health, reduce your contact with others and follow guidance consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," they guidelines say.

Among the additional guidelines the university outlined for students:

►Stay home and avoid contact with others outside of their home. The university is asking students not to go to work, school or social gatherings.

►Watch for cough, breathing troubles or other COVID-19 symptoms.

►Avoid public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.

►Keep a physical distance of 6 feet from others.

►Wear a face covering when in public settings or while interacting with others outside of the home.

"Also during this time, you will be asked to complete an online learning module that serves as an overview of COVID-19: what it is, its symptoms, and best practices for staying safe. More details on how to access the module will be available soon," the guidelines say.

As of Monday, the state has recorded 83,386 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6,212 deaths, according to tracking by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Nationally, the federal Centers for Disease Control reported nearly 4.65 million confirmed cases and 154,471 deaths.

In fall 2019, nearly 47% of undergraduates at UM's Ann Arbor campus came from outside Michigan.