MDHHS: College students taking in-person classes should be tested

Guidelines released as universities begin new semester
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Posted at 3:21 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 15:21:57-05

MICHIGAN — New guidance by state health officials calls for all college students living near campus to be tested for COVID-19.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says community spread of the coronavirus may be accelerated by university students. According to studies by the CDC, transmission of COVID-19 most often happens at college in settings outside the classroom.

The guidelines include:

  • Requiring all undergrad students living on or near campus to be tested
  • Enact random testing for the campus community if resources are limited
  • Use community spread measurements, like wastewater testing, to determine mandatory testing

READ: Interim Guidance for Higher Education COVID-19 Testing

“We know there have been outbreaks of COVID-19 on college campuses across the country, and it has an impact on disease spread beyond the campus community,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Colleges have stepped up throughout this pandemic to slow disease spread through testing and quarantine protocols. With the arrival of the new variant in Michigan and risk of virus spread both on- and off-campus, it is best practice to implement robust testing protocols in these settings. Colleges and universities have an important role to play in ending this pandemic.”