23 cases of COVID-19 variant now in the University of Michigan community, health officials say

ANN ARBOR, MI – Twenty-three cases of B.1.1.7 variant COVID-19, all associated with the University of Michigan, have now been identified by the Washtenaw County Department of Health.

The initial case of the most contagious variant was identified on January 16 in the UM community, according to health officials, but not all of the following cases are linked to the first case.

The Michigan Department of Health, University, and Department of Health and Human Services are working to implement additional containment strategies to slow the spread of the variant, according to a press release from the Department of Health. health.

As part of the response, the health department and local partners have offered free testing every weekend since the variant was identified in Washtenaw County. Positive COVID-19 tests of these events are being sequenced for the variant, officials said, adding that no cases of the variant were identified among the positive results from the Jan. 24 testing event.

The next toll-free test event will be from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 6 at Pioneer High School, 601 W. Stadium Blvd.

Free drive-through COVID-19 test available at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School

“We remain concerned about the identification of the B.1.1.7 variant locally,” said Juan Luis Marquez, medical director of the Washtenaw County health department. “We are working to contain the known cluster of cases, and we call on everyone to step up their use of effective prevention strategies and to request testing if necessary.”

UM students are currently the subject of a stay-in-place recommendation by the health service due to the spread of the variant. Students are urged to stay in their residences on campus until February 7, but stricter measures may be needed if the outbreak continues to grow and additional clusters of variants are identified, department officials previously said. of health.

University of Michigan students must stay home as cases of viral variants rise

The health department is still learning about the variant, but current vaccinations are believed to be effective, officials said. Prevention strategies are more important than ever, health officials said, adding that the public should do the following:

  • Wear a face mask around others. Cloth masks with multiple layers of cloth are always recommended.
  • Keep at least six feet away from others
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid crowded areas or gatherings
  • Ventilate interior spaces if there are other people
  • Get tested if you are sick, exposed or after a trip
  • Follow isolation or quarantine guidelines for illness, exposure, or waiting for test results
  • Get vaccinated when the vaccine is available


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