Palmer Commons

Palmer Commons is ready to support the students, faculty and staff of the university community. With new guidance from the University of Michigan and public health experts, here is what you can expect in Palmer.

  • Effective March 14, masks will be optional for indoor spaces on the University of Michigan campuses with the exception that masks remain required in all classrooms and instructional spaces during class time, patient care areas (e.g Michigan Medicine, University Health Service and the Dental School clinical areas), U-M Covid-19 testing sites and U-M buses. The masking requirement in these settings will remain in place for at least the duration of the current term. See full policy (PDF).
  • You may be asked to show your status using the ResponsiBlue app. Guests and visitors entering U-M Facilities are expected to complete a screening through the ResponsiBlue Guest. Faculty, staff and students who are fully vaccinated and voluntarily submit their status to UM through the “Report your COVID-19 vaccination” tile on Wolverine Access, are not required to follow distancing requirements. Individuals who have not self-reported should continue to distance themselves as feasible and wear a mask.
  • Maintain good hand hygiene.
  • Don’t visit Palmer if you are sick.

What will be open?

See the links see links on our Homepage for current hours of operation, and remember ResponsiBlue health screening, and your face covering (if you are not vaccinated).

Fields Cafe remains closed until further notice.

What sanitization protocols will be in place?

Our Building Services team will be using enhanced cleaning protocols, especially high-touch areas like door handles, flat surfaces, elevators, and handrails. Deep cleaning of spaces will occur overnight. Meeting rooms will be cleaned between each use. Bathrooms will be cleaned and sanitized regularly with techniques proven effective against viral transmission. Visitors to Palmer Commons also have a role to play in limiting virus transmission through frequent hand washing, using hand sanitizer, wearing a face covering, and maintaining at least 6 feet from others. We will have signage throughout the building stating health and safety protocol, along with extra sanitizing stations.

Will the lounges and food areas reopen?

Yes! You may sit (and eat) with others if you are fully vaccinated. Mobile-ordering and pick-up for food vendors continues to be available as well as ordering at their counters. You can find their apps in the Apple App Store and Android Play Store.

Classroom Use

Will classes be held in Palmer Commons?

Yes, the classroom in Palmer Commons will be open for classes beginning August 30th.


Will there be capacity limits?

There are no gathering size restrictions at this time. Capacity limits are determined by the stated fire codes per meeting room.

Should in-person team meetings be discouraged even if social distancing?

No, CDC and campus guidance aligns with safely holding in-person meetings. While virtual meetings are safest, there continue to be measures for reducing risk during in-person meetings.You may be asked to show your status using the ResponsiBlue app. Guests and visitors entering U-M Facilities are expected to complete a screening through the ResponsiBlue Guest.

Can my event/meeting still be catered?

Yes, all of our approved caterers are ready to cater your event. Please see a list of our approved caterers here.

  • MCatering will continue to offer a robust variety of menu options and meet dietary preferences. The service style may be different than you are used to, for instance, servers will be wearing masks and items that were previously self-serve (beverages, buffets) will now be served by MCatering staff. Group size restrictions, physical distancing and other public health considerations may impact the level of available catering.
  • Katherine’s Catering: They are in full swing, offering lots of pre-packaged meal options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and appetizers. They have invested in the necessary equipment to provide safe events, including plexiglass shields, sneeze guards and individual salt and pepper shakers to name a few. They also conducted staff training to ensure their team is well informed and understand the new event protocol. There is a detailed section on their website outlining the current COVID plan. (under the about tab)
  • Zingerman’s Catering: Zingerman’s Catering and Events’ sales staff, kitchen crew, event planners, drivers and service staff, thank you for your continued loyalty as we navigate the current health situation in our community. As always, we appreciate the opportunity to be part of your special occasions and your everyday meals. Our motto says that we deliver “great taste that you can trust” and that continues to be our number one priority. When you are offering Zingerman’s full flavored food to your friends, family and coworkers, we know that you are trusting us to be vigilant in our food safety practices. We will continue to deliver great food to your door, ready for you to enjoy with confidence.For more information, see the following Google document.
  • Pizza House: The delivery option will continue to be contact-free with pre-payment online. For information regarding catererd events contact Sue Baker, Asst.General Manager/Catering,