Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz sent a comprehensive message to the OU community about the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and its impact on the school.
Coronavirus information for the OUWB community
Coronavirus information for the OUWB community

Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz sent a comprehensive message to the OU community on March 11 about the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and its impact on the school.  

The message, among other things, temporarily suspended in-person classes.

Since then, many additional changes have been made concurrent with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please see below for updates specific to OUWB. (List will be updated as new announcements are made.)

March 28, 2020, 9:22 a.m.

OUWB Stephan Sharf Interim Dean Duane Mezwa, M.D., provided a message regarding commencement to the OUWB community. Here is the message:




OUWB medical students volunteer to babysit children of Beaumont docs treating COVID-19 patients





Due to government restrictions that prohibit large gatherings during the COVID-19 crisis, we have moved the Class of 2020 commencement from Friday, May 8 to an alternate date of Friday, June 12.

We believe that this new date will allow the class to gather together with classmates, family and friends to celebrate the exceptional accomplishment of earning their M.D. degree. If we are able to gather, but restricted in size, we will take into consideration a limited-size commencement based on regulations.

We remain hopeful that the world and our community will be in a better, healthier place in June; so please mark your calendars for a traditional commencement in the Oakland University O’rena. More details will be provided in an upcoming email invitation.

March 27, 2020, 1:07 p.m.

Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., provides a video update to the OU community. The update also includes comments about OUWB's Match Day 2020

March 23, 2020, 8:20 p.m.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a "stay at home" order for Michigan. As a result, OUWB Dean Duane Mezwa, M.D., sent the following message to the OUWB community:

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine is open only for minimum basic and essential services that support our students' remote learning. All students, faculty and staff are advised to stay home.

This directive will impact your access to O'Dowd Hall study areas and, it necessitates that faculty and staff will be working from home through Monday, April 13.  Our educational programs will continue remotely via online platforms.

As a reminder, stay connected with classmates and faculty via Moodle, WebEx, Panopto and email. Be assured that faculty, staff and all essential services will remain available and use the OUWB website as a resource.

Voicemail and email will be checked regularly. Reach us at:

As a medical school, we should be acutely aware of the need to practice social distancing and take seriously, the responsibility of doing our part to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 crisis. For more information about Governor Whitmer's executive orders, visit michigan.gov/coronavirus

March 22, 2020, 11:07 a.m.

Due to Governor Whitmer's Executive Order No. 2020-20 extending the closure of all Michigan libraries and museums, Kresge Library will now be closed to patrons until Monday, April 13.

Medical Library faculty and staff continue to provide services virtually through email, phone, and web conferencing. Visit the Remote Services webpage for more information.

March 20, 2020, 4:50 p.m.

Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., provides a video update on commencement, working from home, and more. 

March 19, 2020

Important message from Oakland University Internal Review Board (IRB) and Research Office regarding temporary stoppage of in-person research procedures:

Due to recent actions taken by the state of Michigan during this public health crisis, Oakland University is mandating a temporary stoppage of all in-person human subjects research procedures.

For more information about these procedures, read the document titled, "Temporary Stoppage of In-person Research Procedures" available on the IRB webpage.

March 18, 2020, 1:04 p.m.

OUWB Stephan Sharf Interim Dean Duane Mezwa, M.D., provided the following update regarding temporary operational changes:

Yesterday, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) notified the leadership of the medical schools and teaching hospitals across the country that it strongly supports the suspension of medical student participation involving patients during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The note reads:  "Recognizing these extraordinary circumstances, starting immediately, the AAMC strongly supports our member medical schools in placing, at minimum, a two-week suspension on their medical students' participation in any activities that involve patient care."

The rationale for the AAMC recommendation to temporarily remove students from clinical assignments is to place the primary emphasis on handling the delivery of patient care and to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and other valuable resources for our healthcare workers. This decision not only reaffirms OUWB's decision to suspend clinical assignments for M3 and M4 students, but also assures us that we are headed in the right direction in keeping our community safe as the entire country responds to this public health crisis. 

Attached is the letter that outlines the recommendation, which also received the full support of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). 

We are working to identify how OUWB students can best contribute to the current health emergency and hope to reintroduce students as part of our healthcare teams as soon as the situation stabilizes.

If you have any questions about the suspension of OUWB clinical assignments, please contact Associate Dean, Undergraduate Clinical Education Cynthia Ledford at cynthia.ledford@beaumont.org, or Operations Manager, Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, Beaumont Health Monica Demres at monica.demres@beaumont.org.

You can be certain that we will continue to monitor the situation and will follow the best practices of the medical school community to ensure the safety of all. 

March 16, 2020, 6:58 p.m.

As our community currently experiences a surge in the cases of COVID-19, and to allow Beaumont Health and our clinical faculty to respond to, and meet the needs of our patients, effective immediately the clinical assignments of all OUWB M3 and M4 students will be suspended until at least March 30, and likely beyond.

We anticipate that students will return to clinical assignments once the situation has stabilized. We have made this difficult, but necessary, decision to permit our healthcare teams to focus their full attention on patient care. While we value the contributions of our student team members, at this point, the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) also influences the decision to remove students from this learning environment. Our hope is that this measure of prevention will minimize the number of  healthcare personnel potentially exposed

All students will remain enrolled in their clerkships and electives. As always, your education remains important to us; your learning will continue.  Clerkship directors will communicate with you about your options for substitute learning activities via Moodle or email. All alternative learning activities will be delivered remotely. 

For M4 students, we will do everything possible to ensure you learn what you need to graduate and start residency well-prepared. We will review each student's plan of study and communicate directly to them about any changes in schedules that may be needed.

  1. For those who need to complete required clinical clerkships such as EM, subinternships and anesthesia/pain, we will prioritize those needs as we identify options.
  2. Diagnostic Medicine is already fully remote, starting with today's clerkship.
  3. For those on clinical electives, please help us identify independent learning options that cover the stated objectives for the rotation.
  4. For those on non-clinical electives, we anticipate these will be modified as necessary.

M3 students will also remain enrolled in their clerkships; clerkship directors will communicate via Moodle and email about learning resources. Please use the unexpected time release for independent and self-directed learning. Students may be required to make up missed time. Specifics are yet-to-be-determined, however, we will make every effort to minimize disruption to your progress toward graduation.

All students should maintain social distancing and other recommended preventive measures. We strongly discourage travel, whether by air, bus, or train, across states and / or regions. Please follow preventive care  recommendations.

Many students have indicated a desire to help in response to this crisis. We are identifying opportunities within Beaumont Health where students might volunteer to assist in phone screening or other important support functions. Compass will also identify community service and volunteer opportunities in the days and weeks to come.

March 16, 2020, 4:06 p.m.

Effective immediately, due to Michigan Gov. Whitmer's Executive Order closing all Michigan libraries and museums, Kresge Library will be closed to all patrons through Tuesday, March 31. (The remote library services discussed in the earlier email remain in place.)

March 16, 2020, 3:01 p.m.

To limit possible spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the OUWB Medical Library sent an email recommending that all campus community members use library resources and services from remote locations whenever possible.

Fortunately, the Medical Library is well-positioned to support remote access to materials, since the vast majority of the collection is electronic. Course textbooks are accessible through the Medical Library’s Textbooks webpage. There are also special webpages for each of the courses with links to a wide variety of additional resources to support independent study.

In addition, OU Libraries are suspending late fees and will automatically renew OU print materials that have already been checked out.

Additionally, Medical Library faculty remain available for research consultations related to student Embark projects, faculty research, and other research. Visit the remote library services and resources webpage for more information.

March 15, 2020 6:20 p.m.

OUWB Stephan Sharf Interim Dean Duane Mezwa, M.D., announced updates/temporary operational changes.


  • All M1-M2 instruction, including Art and Practice of Medicine (APM), will be delivered remotely.
  • All M3-M4 classroom sessions will be delivered remotely.
  • All NBME exams that are scheduled in the next 2 weeks are postponed.
  • All OSCEs will be delivered remotely using video interview and other solutions.
  • For each course or clerkship, specific instructions for remote learning and assessment will be communicated to students via Moodle and email.
  • The Dean’s Office has requested that OUWB faculty members deliver remote education via Moodle.
          o Interactive education sessions will be conducted using Webex in Moodle.
          o Live lectures will be streamed through Moodle using Panopto.

Match Day Events on March 20
All OUWB Match Day events are cancelled. Students will receive residency match results at noon on March 20 from the Office of Student Affairs.

M4s should be assured that we will do absolutely everything that we can to ensure that students have opportunities to complete their program of study and are prepared for residency. Additionally, a final decision regarding the status of Honors Convocation (May 7) and Commencement (May 8) will be made at a later date.

March 13, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., provided a COVID-19 video update to the OU community.

March 12, 2020, 9:59 a.m.

OUWB Stephan Sharf Interim Dean Duane Mezwa, M.D., announced several temporary operational changes. 

M1-M2 Instruction

  • While in-person instruction has been suspended until April 25, OUWB will hold the critical, pre-scheduled exams for M1s on Friday, March 13 and M2s on Monday, March 16 in O’Dowd Hall. Details on future assessments will be forthcoming.
  • All M1 and M2 clinical observerships and shadowing are suspended until further notice.
  • Art and Practice of Medicine activities will occur with modifications that limit large group face-to-face activities.
  • At this time, the student-run clinic at the Burnstein Center will continue as planned, but this decision is subject to change.  Please check status before attending these clinics.

M3-M4 Instruction

  • M3 and M4 clinical education programs will continue, including the didactics. We will monitor this and evaluate any need for modifications of these programs.
  • Clinical activities will continue as planned.
  • Away electives to domestic locations for students that have not been suspended by the host may continue.  We ask that you use your own judgment about location and risk related to air travel. We are monitoring and evaluating daily to determine if cancellation is warranted.
  • Away electives for students to international locations have been suspended until further notice.

Student Services

  • O’Dowd Hall will remain open for business.
  • The Student Lounge and break out rooms will remain available to students.
  • Faculty and staff will be available for advising services and office hours.
  • The Oakland Center will be open until further notice.
  • Medical Library is open until further notice.


  • All university-sponsored gatherings, both on and off campus, of more than 50 individuals have been suspended.
  • OUWB events that will remain on schedule with modifications:
    ·  Admissions Interview Day on March 13 – Admissions will be working with OUWB student volunteers and visitors who are attending.
    ·  Match Day on March 20 – Student Affairs will be contacting M4s about the details and logistics related to this important event.

Cancelled events:

  • The Embark Colloquium
  • The Annual Faculty Assembly
  • The Anatomy Memorial
  • Admissions Second Look
  • Admissions Preview Day
  • Student Interest Group gatherings of more than 50 people
  • The Poverty Simulation
  • A final decision regarding the status of Honors Convocation (May 7) and Commencements (May 8) will be made at a later date.


  • All personal travel is strongly discouraged.
  • If you plan on traveling, you may be required to be quarantined for at least 14 days upon return. Please refer to the Graham Health Center webpage for further guidance and the most up-to-date information at oakland.edu/ghc/
  • All OUWB-sponsored domestic and international air travel has been suspended effective immediately until further notice.

March 11, 2020, 3:52 p.m.

An update from Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D.