Dear campus community,
As we prepare for winter break, the omicron variant is rapidly spreading across the nation, with case numbers in some areas doubling every three days. The variant has been identified in Michigan, and case numbers across the state and region continue to rise. After a brief decrease, positivity rates in Detroit have begun to climb again.
We are concerned about the omicron variant and, as we have since the beginning of the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the latest data and respond in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of our campus community. We know that omicron is more transmissible than previous variants. However, available data demonstrates that vaccines and boosters continue to be effective in preventing serious illness and further spread.
To be sure that our campus community remains fully vaccinated, we will institute a booster requirement for students, faculty and staff for the winter 2022 semester. The booster requirement will apply to every member of the Wayne State community, except for those with approved exemptions and students who will learn 100% remotely with no need to be on campus or access campus resources.
Beginning Jan. 3, to be compliant with this mandate you are required to receive and upload proof of your booster at the time you are eligible, which is six months past the second dose for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two months past the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Please get your booster as soon as it’s available to you and upload photographic proof. The Campus Daily Screener will be updated accordingly, and those who are unvaccinated or past their due date for a booster will not be permitted on campus unless they have an approved waiver. The Campus Health Center is currently offering all vaccines and boosters, and has several booster clinics scheduled, including new dates on Jan. 4, 13 and 14 that you can register for now.
While we will continue to monitor the data, we anticipate a potential increase in cases and positivity rates in the coming weeks. These increases may make it necessary to transition all classes to a remote format for a limited time period at the beginning of the winter semester. We will send an additional communication to you regarding this by close of business Thursday, Dec. 23. If we must make this transition, it will be temporary, and classes will move to their originally planned delivery method when this period is over. If we need to move to this step, further information regarding housing, libraries and other campus services will be provided to keep students informed of next steps.
We have proven that, as a campus community, we can weather this together. Our students, faculty and staff have shown incredible cooperation in getting vaccinated and following safety measures, and we have been able to continue the mission of our university while protecting our Warriors. This will continue in 2022. We encourage you to register for winter classes if you have not already and continue to keep showing the world what Warrior Strong looks like.
Thank you, as always, for your commitment to campus health and safety, and have a wonderful break.
Laurie M. Lauzon Clabo, PhD, RN, FAAN