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University of Michigan locks out more than 700 students for not taking required weekly COVID-19 tests


The students had their campus access cards deactivated

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The University of Michigan deactivated the campus access cards of more than 700 students this week over their failure to take the required coronavirus tests, the school announced in a news release Monday.

The move effectively locks out the students from campus as the cards are needed to enter all nonresidential school buildings.

The penalty was reportedly handed down Monday morning to 718 undergraduate, professional, and graduate students who allegedly failed to comply with the school's coronavirus health and safety guidelines. The university requires all students who live, work, or learn on campus to undergo weekly coronavirus testing as a part of its "Community Sampling and Tracking Program."

The students were notified about their new restricted status in an email after it was discovered that they had used their cards recently but had not completed a COVID-19 test in four or more weeks or did not have a prior test on file.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the majority of the penalized students live off-campus and only attend class virtually. However, many students must physically go to campus at some point or another if they are enrolled in courses that require in-person instruction or research.

"Despite our excitement and optimism around expanded eligibility and opportunities for COVID-19 vaccines, at this point of the pandemic, when around others we must continue the practices of social distancing, wearing a mask, routine testing and other proven mitigation strategies to slow the spread of the coronavirus," Robert Ernst, associate vice president of student life for health and wellness, and executive director of University Health Service, said in a statement.

A similar action was made against 375 undergraduate students in March, the news release noted.

According to the school's Compliance and Accountability Team, of those students, 136 requested and were granted approval to have their cards reactivated, with most students completing a coronavirus test to gain compliance. Another 21 students were reportedly granted partial exemptions from the testing program.

The university is reportedly planning additional in-person events in the near future, but in order for students to attend those events, they will be required to submit to a questionnaire.

"To attend any upcoming in-person event or activity on campus, all students will be required to complete the daily ResponsiBLUE app health questionnaire and weekly COVID-19 testing to meet U-M requirements for accessing campus buildings and facilities," the news release said.

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