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.
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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