U-M reduces masking and distancing requirements, launches vaccination self-report incentives

June 17, 2021
Written By:
Dana Elger

Two girls talking on umich campus. Image credit: campusblueprint.umich.eduFully vaccinated individuals who self-report their vaccine information to the University of Michigan will no longer be required to wear a mask or social distance for most areas on U-M campuses under the university’s updated policy.

Those who are not vaccinated or decline to submit vaccination information must continue wearing a face covering indoors and physically distance from others. The policy change is effective June 21 and applies to students, faculty, staff and guests on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses.

At this time, U-M will continue to require face coverings regardless of vaccination status in classrooms, on campus transportation​ ​and in health care areas where patients may be present​. As the university better assesses vaccination rates among the U-M community, it may modify its approach for classrooms.

Michigan Medicine will be following its own policies, and its employees will be updated within the next couple of weeks. Additionally, all U-M researchers are expected to continue wearing a face covering when interacting with study participants, regardless of whether the in-person activity is health related or occurs in a health care setting.

“We are pleased to see the progress of our community throughout this pandemic, and the lifting of masking and distancing for fully vaccinated individuals while indoors is one more important milestone as we resume more traditional activities,” President Mark Schlissel said.

“Vaccines work and are safe. All members of the U-M community are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and self-report their vaccination information as soon as possible to inform the university’s COVID-19 management plan for the upcoming fall term.”

Members of the U-M community are asked to self-report their vaccination information via Wolverine Access as soon as possible.

An individual is considered fully vaccinated at least two weeks after their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

Students, faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor campus who submit their vaccination information will be eligible to win various prizes through weekly and monthly drawings beginning later this month. Students planning to live in campus housing are required to self-report their vaccination information by July 16.

The policy update aligns with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and meets the COVID-19 requirements of employers as outlined by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Appointments to get vaccinated remain available through Michigan Medicine as well as the University Health Service.

Students who are unvaccinated, including those housing students who have received an exemption, and those students who choose not to share their vaccination information with the university will be required to complete weekly COVID-19 testing on campus in the fall. These students are asked to register, or update their previous registration and address, for testing through the Community Sampling and Tracking Program as soon as possible.

While not required of employees, weekly asymptomatic testing remains available through CSTP for faculty and staff.

All vaccination data self-reported by U-M community members will be managed centrally and will be available upon request to unit supervisors for policy compliance and follow-up in the near future. For the time being, employees are encouraged to share their record verification email from U-M with their supervisors to verify they are vaccinated.


ResponsiBLUE, the daily COVID-19 symptom-checker app, continues to be required for all students, faculty and staff who access campus buildings. A vaccination record status box is being added to ResponsiBLUE and will be available later this month through the Apple or Google app stores or by updating the app on users’ phones.

Prior to accessing campus buildings, campus guests are expected to complete ResponsiBLUE Guest, which now includes information on the U-M face-covering policy and a vaccination-status question to inform users on their eligibility to go without a mask while indoors on campus.

Self-reporting vaccination

Faculty and staff are asked to self-report their vaccination information via Wolverine Access using the same tool launched in April to collect student vaccination information. As of June 16, more than 21,435 U-M student vaccination information records for the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses have been verified by the university.

Within five business days of submitting their vaccination information, individuals will receive an email alerting them to whether their information was verified and accepted or rejected. For the purpose of meeting U-M COVID-19 policies and quarantine and isolation requirements, the university recognizes vaccines that are authorized for use in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.

Employees are encouraged to share their verification email with their supervisors. Common reasons for rejected records include no name on the vaccination card, vaccination card was not legible or missing information.

Student and employee incentives

Students, faculty and staff on the Ann Arbor campus who get vaccinated and submit their vaccination information will be eligible for prize drawings scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.

Employees at Michigan Medicine, UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint should watch for future communications from their campuses.

Prizes for students will range from MDen and Tech Shop gift cards to tickets to future athletic events. Faculty and staff drawings will also feature a variety of rewards, including cash prizes, tickets to University Musical Society performances and annual parking passes.

Students who have already submitted vaccination information will be entered into a separate prize drawing.

An implementation team launched this week is working to finalize the drawings and prize offerings. It includes representatives from Student Life, MHealthy, Human Resources, LSA, College of Engineering, School of Public Health, Office of the General Counsel, Office of the Vice President for Communications, University Human Resources Communications, Wolverine Wellness, Recreational Sports, Office of the Provost and Financial Operations.

For more information, visit U-M Campus Blueprint.