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Getting off-campus COVID-19 tests often easier and faster, University of Michigan students say

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ANN ARBOR, MI — The number of coronavirus cases at the University of Michigan has increased in recent weeks, and a majority of students with positive cases have chosen to get tested off campus.

It’s simpler, faster and more convenient than being tested at University Health Services, some students said.

UM updated its dashboard in late September to reflect the number of positive cases tested outside the university. Since Sept. 13, there have been 607 positive cases in the UM community with 409 of these positive cases being tested off campus.

After update, University of Michigan coronavirus dashboard shows more than 100 positive cases in last 2 weeks

A majority of positive cases since Sept. 13 were from tests done outside UM facilities, according to data on the dashboard, and students say they have had differing experiences trying to get tested at UHS.

Students can contact UHS to get tested in a number of ways, said Andie Ransom, co-lead for UHS’ COVID-19 planning and response. The most popular is an online questionnaire, which UHS employees respond to and give students a call to assess them over the phone, taking into account whether they sound sick, if they’re coughing or short of breath or talking in full sentences.

From there, UHS determines whether the student needs to go to the UHS clinic or get a COVID-19 test at the Power Center, which the university has been using as a testing site since August, Ransom said.

For some students, like Ollie Paulus, a sophomore from Huntsville, Alabama, getting a COVID-19 test using the questionnaire was easy. However, others, like Katie Furman, a Ph.D. student from New Jersey, experienced long wait times after submitting the questionnaire.

Furman had a headache, cough and shortness of breath the morning of Oct. 5, she said, prompting

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Ottawa County special education school closes after staff member tests positive for coronavirus

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ALLENDALE, MI – The Ottawa Area Center, a public school serving students with cognitive impairments, is closed to in-person instruction for one week after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.



a person in a blue blanket: Registered Nurse Hailey Allen changes gloves while testing patients for coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Mercy Health Saint Mary's drive-through testing center in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Patients must have a doctor's order to receive a test. Mercy Health also offers a testing site in Muskegon.


© Cory Morse | [email protected]/Cory Morse | MLive.com/mlive.com/TNS
Registered Nurse Hailey Allen changes gloves while testing patients for coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Mercy Health Saint Mary’s drive-through testing center in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Patients must have a doctor’s order to receive a test. Mercy Health also offers a testing site in Muskegon.

About 50 students and staff have been placed in quarantine following the positive test result, according to a news release issued by the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

The suspension of in-person instruction is effective Thursday, Oct. 7 through Friday, Oct. 16, district officials said. The school will use remote learning during the facility’s closure.

The school, located at 10160 96th Ave., serves around 200 students ranging from ages 3 to 26 with moderate to severe cognitive impairments, according to the OAISD website.

The facility will remain vacant until Oct. 9 out of an abundance of caution, according to a letter sent to Ottawa Area Center parents. The facility will then undergo deep cleaning in preparation for the building’s reopening.



A certified medical assistant places a swab into a vile for people tested for coronavirus at a Flint drive-thru testing site April 15, 2020 at Atwood Stadium in Flint.


© Jake May | [email protected]/mlive.com/TNS
A certified medical assistant places a swab into a vile for people tested for coronavirus at a Flint drive-thru testing site April 15, 2020 at Atwood Stadium in Flint.

In-person instruction will resume Monday, Oct. 19, according to the parent letter.

“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to us that we provide a safe and healthy environment for our students and staff,” Ottawa Area Center Director JoAnne Thorsen and Assistant Director Julia Plaggemeyer wrote in the letter to parents.

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Florida State University president tests positive for COVID-19

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Florida State University President John Thrasher tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon, a day after his wife Jean Thrasher received a positive diagnosis, according to an announcement by the university.



John E. Thrasher wearing a suit and tie: FSU president John Thrasher, assists FSU physics professor Dr. Paul Cottle with a demonstration of magnetic induction to students at the Orlando Science School during his yearly visit to encourage them to continue their STEM education, on Thursday, March 12, 2015. Jobs in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) are plentiful and well-paying -- yet in Florida those are fields many students don't pursue long enough to earn a degree. With the help of an FSU physics professor, we've analyzed which school districts -- and local high schools - do the best job getting kids to take math and science courses that put them in the STEM pipeline.


© Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda / Orlando Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel/TNS
FSU president John Thrasher, assists FSU physics professor Dr. Paul Cottle with a demonstration of magnetic induction to students at the Orlando Science School during his yearly visit to encourage them to continue their STEM education, on Thursday, March 12, 2015. Jobs in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) are plentiful and well-paying — yet in Florida those are fields many students don’t pursue long enough to earn a degree. With the help of an FSU physics professor, we’ve analyzed which school districts — and local high schools – do the best job getting kids to take math and science courses that put them in the STEM pipeline.

Jean Thrasher tested positive Monday night after spending time in a hospital and rehabilitation facility in Tallahassee, the statement read.

John Thrasher is tested regularly for the virus, the university said, and he attended a football game on FSU’s campus Saturday while taking “appropriate precautions” after testing negative the day before. Members of his staff who have been in close contact with him tested negative for the coronavirus Tuesday.

FSU is working with public health authorities to conduct contact tracing in the Thrashers’ cases. The couple are self-isolating in their home and closely monitoring their symptoms, the statement said.

In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, John Thrasher said he and his wife were both feeling well, and he plans to work from home while in isolation.

Former FSU football coach Bobby Bowden also tested positive for COVID-19 this week after spending time in a local hospital’s rehabilitation center in late September, the Tallahassee

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New Polish education minister tests positive for coronavirus

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WARSAW, Poland — Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has requested that the official swearing-in of his reshuffled Cabinet be postponed Monday after one of the ministers tested positive for COVID-19.

The ceremony conducted by President Andrzej Duda was planned for Monday afternoon, but the new education minister, Przemyslaw Czarnek, said early in the day he had a headache and a test showed he was infected with the coronavirus.

It was not immediately clear when the swearing-in would be held for the right-wing government that has recently been trimmed down after the ruling coalition ran into difficulties.

Government spokesman Piotr Mueller said on Twitter that Czarnek was put in quarantine and sanitary procedures have been put in place.

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University of Notre Dame president tests positive for COVID-19

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The University of Notre Dame’s president has tested positive for COVID-19, a school spokesman confirmed Friday morning, less than a week after he attended Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House without wearing a mask.



John I. Jenkins wearing a suit and tie: In this file photo, John I. Jenkins, President of Notre Dame and Chairman of the Big East CEO Executive Committee talks with the media after TCU accepted an invitation for full membership into The Big East Conference on November 29, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. Jenkins has tested positive for COVID-19 less than a week after he attended Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House without wearing a mask.


© Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America/TNS
In this file photo, John I. Jenkins, President of Notre Dame and Chairman of the Big East CEO Executive Committee talks with the media after TCU accepted an invitation for full membership into The Big East Conference on November 29, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. Jenkins has tested positive for COVID-19 less than a week after he attended Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House without wearing a mask.

The Rev. John Jenkins has mild symptoms and contracted the illness “from a colleague he was in regular contact with at Notre Dame,” according to university spokesman Paul Browne.

Jenkins, who’s led the Catholic university since 2005, has drawn scrutiny in recent weeks for appearing not always to follow COVID-19 safety precautions.

In August, Jenkins sent an apology to students after he was photographed taking a group picture with students standing around him, and within 6 feet, when the school reopened for in-person classes. The photo, which was shared widely on social media, appeared to show everyone wearing masks.

More recently, Jenkins came under fire for not wearing a mask when he attended the Rose Garden ceremony for Coney Barrett’s nomination Saturday. Photos from the event also show Jenkins in close proximity to other guests and shaking hand with attendees.

Jenkins also apologized to students and faculty for that in a message Monday. He said he had a rapid COVID-19 tested before the event and that it came back negative.

“I regret my error of judgment in not wearing a mask

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