(CBS DETROIT) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released new guidance encouraging colleges and universities to require COVID-19 testing of students who live in the immediate university community, even if the students do not live on campus.

Numerous studies published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have demonstrated that, while social distancing in college classrooms is important, transmission of COVID-19 around colleges likely occurs primarily outside of the classroom.

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In Michigan, more than 180 identified cases of COVID-19 were associated with one gathering at one bar in East Lansing. Risks of transmission have increased with the new arrival of the new, more contagious COVID-19 variant in Michigan.

The guidance released Tuesday, identifies numerous strategies they can use to test broadly within their communities. These include:

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  • Requiring weekly testing of all undergraduate students who reside on or near the campus and who participate in social activities associated with the campus community.
  • If resources are more constrained, require testing for all students in the campus community on a regular but random basis.
  • Target limited mandatory testing resources based on information about community spread, including information from wastewater testing, provided that the information and the potential for testing reach all students living on or near the campus.

The bounds of the university community will vary, but generally include a surrounding area with a significant concentration of students who socialize on or near the campus. Residential fraternities and sororities would be included.

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