University of Michigan responds to rise in COVID-19 cases and housing availability

Posted at 10:30 PM, Oct 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-18 22:30:27-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — A troubling trend on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor shows the number of positive COVID-19 cases on campus continuing to rise. In just the last two weeks, university officials say more than 120 students have tested positive for the virus.

“Yes, it’s something I’m concerned about and I’m taking all the necessary precautions” said Keion Harris, a U-M junior who is from Livonia. “I’m worried about what happens if they run out of housing options for those who get the virus.”

The university said by no means have they exhausted housing resources, and they’ve also increased their testing capacity.

“We are currently at 51 percent occupancy for our isolated housing, which are individual apartments for students who have tested positive” said Rick Fitzgerald, a spokesman for U-M. “We also have more testing offered by now using saliva swabs for testing."

The university tells 7 Action News they are also providing buses for shuttle service to help students move from their regular housing to alternative residence areas. Students are still being encouraged to avoid crowded areas, as the numbers continue to rise, at a rate the school feels concern over.

In addition, Fitzgerald said the school is having regular meetings with the county healthy department, to help plan their next steps going forward.

“We are always looking at additional options to better address the situation moving forward” said Fitzgerald.