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University of Michigan will resume in-person classes Jan. 5, add health measures

The University of Michigan said Tuesday that it will resume in person classes on Jan. 5, but there will be new protocols in place to try to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.

Under the new rules, students must get a booster shot by Feb. 4 or as soon as they're eligible based on their initial vaccination date.

Dorm residents will have to get tested when they return to campus, and athletic and other events will require proof of vaccination.

U-M sophomore Koa Williams recently signed an open letter asking for classes to remain in-person. Hundreds of other students signed, too.

"We all think that in-person learning is significantly more effective than virtual learning," he said, "and I think that these new protocols that they set in place aren't that much different from how they were. I think we're all willing to live with it."

"For me, yes, it's definitely reasonable."

Williams said he already got his booster shot.

That open letter to the administration followed an earlier one signed by hundreds of staff, faculty and students asking for a two-week virtual learning period upon students' return to campus.

In explaining the decision to hold in-person classes, university officials said it appears those who are vaccinated and boosted "almost never get seriously ill" from the new omicron coronavirus variant.

The University of Michigan holds Michigan Radio's license.

Copyright 2021 Michigan Radio

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.