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University of Michigan asks most undergrads to study from home winter semester

The University of Michigan Diag
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan is telling undergrad students who don't need to live on campus to study online from home for the winter semester.

Given the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the county, as well as hospitalizations, that's the right call, according to Susan Ringler-Cerniglia of the Washtenaw County Health Department.

"In the dorm settings or some of these off campus houses where many students live together, it's very, very difficult to have good distance or more separation," says Ringler-Cerniglia.

The health department recently issued a two week stay home order for U of M undergraduate students. That brought the number of COVID-19 cases in the county attributed to students down from about 60% percent to about 30%, but Ringler-Cerniglia says that's still a high number.

Meanwhile, Michigan State University, which taught most of its undergraduate classes online only in the fall, says it will be adding some in-person classes in the winter, especially classes necessary for students to meet graduation requirements, and classes where hands-on learning is required, such as lab courses.

MSU is also canceling spring break for the winter semester.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.