Students at The University of Michigan are being asked to stay home for 10 days in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, including the B.1.1.7 variant that was first discovered in the U.K.
The Washtenaw County Health Department is recommending students living on or near the campus in Ann Arbor stay in place, through Feb. 7, the school said in a statement Wednesday.
Students can leave their residence to participate in activities like in-person classes, work or research that cannot be done remotely, or getting food or medical care.
According to the statement, 175 cases of COVID-19 have been identified since the winter term began on Jan. 19, of which 14 were determined to be the B.1.1.7 variant.
“This recommendation is intended to slow any possible spread and give us a better understanding of the extent of the presence of B.1.1.7 variant on campus and to aid in containing any current spread,” Rob Ernst, associate vice president for student life and executive director of the University Health Service, said in the statement.
“We encourage all students to stay in place and only leave their residence for essential activities, including getting tested weekly for COVID-19,” Ernst continued.
The school said more stringent action may be needed if the outbreak continues to grow and additional variant clusters are identified.
More than 31,000 undergraduate students and nearly 17,000 graduate students are enrolled at the University of Michigan, according to NBC News. About 90 percent of the school’s courses are currently virtual.
The first case of the B.1.1.7 variant was identified in Washtenaw County on Jan. 16, and two additional cases were identified from those in close contact with that person on Jan. 21.
Michigan has reported 604,223 cumulative coronavirus infections as of Wednesday and more than 15,000 deaths.