Dear campus community,
In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases across the region and state have remained at high levels, and positivity rates in Detroit have continued to climb. Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported that the weekly average positivity rate in the Detroit area is more than 16%.
As part of our commitment to prioritizing campus health and using the latest data to inform our pandemic response, Wayne State established several trigger metrics last year. Campus cases and positivity rates are growing and remain at the “heightened alert” level. In addition, the seven-day positivity rate in the city has exceeded our trigger metric of 15%, bringing us to the point where we must now take measures to temporarily reduce the number of people on campus.
We will continue to watch these metrics closely, including new data we expect tomorrow, to determine if the concerning numbers represent an ongoing trend that warrants further action. In the meantime, we will be cautious and take the following intermediate steps to reduce our campus population and keep our community safe:
To minimize disruption to students during this critical point in the semester, libraries will remain open, and in-person classes and final exams will continue. Where appropriate, individual classes may be moved online. Your specific school, college or department may provide additional direction; please monitor your communications carefully and look for any messages in Canvas or emails from your instructors.
We are only a few weeks away from this semester’s commencement ceremonies, which are currently scheduled to take place Dec. 13 and 14. We understand that many members of the Warrior community are excited to return to an in-person event and are making plans to celebrate with family and friends. We will continue to monitor the data, but have high hopes that we will be able to hold this event in person, although perhaps with additional safeguards.
I understand this news might be inconvenient or disheartening for some of you. While we are eager for a full return to normalcy, and are confident we will achieve it eventually, health and safety remain our top priority. Our trigger metrics — which were established by a panel of some of our best medical experts — allow us to continue to prioritize campus health and make informed decisions based on data rather than impulse.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to receive your COVID-19 vaccine or booster if you have not already. The Campus Health Center will offer booster clinics on Dec. 14, 15 and 16 as previously scheduled.
We will continue to monitor the data and communicate any further decisions to you as soon as that information is available. The Campus Health Committee will host a virtual campus health town hall at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, which will provide the latest information about the situation in our state and region.
Thank you for helping us stay Warrior safe.
M. Roy Wilson