Read this email on the Web

Division of Research - Wayne State University

UPDATE: Potential limitation of on-site campus activities

April 5, 2021

April 3, 2021 - Message from the Office of the President  - Potential limitation of on-site campus activities

The number of COVID-19 cases and the testing positivity rate have steadily increased in the region and state for the last three weeks.

As indicated in the President’s communication on Saturday, April 3rd, the positivity rate in the Detroit City area has exceeded 15%, which is one of the tipping point metrics for reducing the footprint on campus (see the “Tipping Point Metrics” table as you scroll to the bottom of this posted link

Unless the regional case numbers fall within the acceptable range according to our metrics by tomorrow, we will initiate a reduction of on-campus activities, effective Wednesday, April 7, 2021, and continuing for the next 10 days.

Corresponding adjustment of on-campus research activities include the following:

  • Laboratory research units must take steps to reduce current on-campus activity for authorized personnel by ~25% effective April 7th, 2021 and prepare a contingency plan for an additional reduction of time on campus, if necessary, as the current situation evolves this coming week. 
  • This reduced level of current time on-site does not apply to fully vaccinated individuals currently involved with authorized on-site research activities.   
  • All on-site research activity during this pause requires continued compliance with all operational parameters (6-ft distancing, face masks, sanitizing, etc.) as established for laboratory activities on campus during the pandemic. 
  • Laboratories should focus on critical ongoing experimental activities that cannot be disrupted at this time and be prepared to take further steps to minimize on-campus activities and involve only critical infrastructure/essential personnel as necessary with the evolving situation.
  • All aspects of lab-related activity that can be done remotely should shift to remote during this period.   
  • No new personnel will be authorized for on-site activities during this 10-day period.
  • Research equipment servicing and site visitors will be restricted to emergency issues through the established approval platform and any scheduled visits should be delayed or adjusted as possible.  
  • The VPR will also implement structured scheduling and operations involving specific on-site research support resources and specific activities through direct communications with groups involved as needed and through posting of information on the relevant link at
  • Note that there will likely be a reduction and adjustment in overall on-campus operations that will impact daily services to varying degrees and we will all need to adjust accordingly during this period.

Note that while many on campus have already received both vaccine doses, as of April 5 all Michigan adults are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While the vaccine is not mandated at present, we encourage all members of the campus community to be vaccinated through the various options available in their area and through the campus health center.


While we remain in a fragile period with the pandemic, we all recognize that we are in much better position than many months ago given the operational parameters established, the testing platforms in place and the access to the vaccine.  

With the exception of a bump up for the week of March 20-27, the number of cases and positivity rate on campus has been low ( and these data will update each Monday at noon.

The research community has been operationally stable throughout the pandemic without any on site transmission. There have been isolated positive tests that have popped up intermittently in some research facilities across campus over the past year and this is not unexpected and in each situation that I am aware of, reflect exposure of an individual from an off-campus interaction.

As always, thank you for taking responsibility for your area, for your engagement and guidance during this period. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me or the VPR team if you have any additional questions.



Be sure to regularly check the following links for updates and awareness of university initiatives and operations:

WSU Covid-19 web site                                            

Research operations at Wayne and coronavirus 

Campus Health Center     

Health and Safety Guidelines for Campus Activities  

Wayne State University COVID-19 Dashboard

Contact Information for Questions and Additional Information

Operational logistics:  Timothy Stemmler, Ph.D., Assistant VP for Integrative Biosciences,, Office: (313) 577-5712, Cell: (248) 860-7244         

General questions:  Julie O'Connor, Director of Research Communications, Office of the Vice President for Research,, Office: (313) 577-8845, Cell: (734) 748-4207

Direct line for concerns regarding safety and operational health: Research Integrity and Safety Office – Phil Cunningham, Ph.D., Associate VP for Research Integrity,, Phone:  (313) 577-9064, FAX:  (313) 577-0384

Campus Health Center: (313) 577-5041 (accessible around the clock). Information on COVID-19 infection and symptoms may be found at