U of M students prepare to return to class amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 12:00 AM, Aug 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-29 00:00:25-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Classes are set to resume at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Monday as more college campuses grapple with spikes of COVID-19.

The final Friday before classes is typically a big party night as the university welcomes students back.

There are some encouraging signs actually. We were on the southeast side of The Diag on South University near Good Time Charley’s and nearly everyone walking in the area was doing so with a mask on.

But students and parents alike are weary of the potential for the virus to spread here.

The University of Michigan campus is alive again this weekend and with it - some excitement.

But the semester starting Monday will be an unprecedented one in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, with options for in-person, online, or hybrid learning.

“Looks like we are going to like 200 person lecture halls with like 20-30 people. You’re going to be distanced there’s hand sanitizer, you’re all wearing a mask,” says sophomore Jared Pavlick.

The efforts, including separate housing for anyone needing to quarantine, are an attempt to prevent what other campuses are already seeing.

At CMU - over 100 COVID-19 cases are connected to the return of students in Mount Pleasant.

And the Washington Post is reporting that the University of Arizona halted a spread early by testing poop, detecting the virus in a dorm’s wastewater, and finding 2 asymptomatic students.

Parents are hopeful the virus will remain contained in Ann Arbor.

But college-age adults have a reputation for feeling invincible - with college life, infamous for being social.

“I give it about like two months before they send us home because you can’t make anybody do what they don’t want to do, so if students want to party they’re going to party they're going to find a way to party,” says freshman Kamaldeen Akorede.

We are learning of two unrelated COVID-19 positive cases at the West Quad Residence Hall. The students were notified Thursday and are both at home in isolation and recovering.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

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