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Two-week mandatory quarantine issued for Greek houses near MSU

The Ingham County Health Department said the county has experienced a 52% increase in total case count since Aug. 24.

EAST LANSING, Michigan — Individuals living in 30 large properties in East Lansing have been ordered to quarantine immediately for the next 14 days, according to the Ingham County Health Department.

The quarantine was mandated Monday in an emergency order issued by Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. She said the 30 properties involved have known exposure to COVID-19.

These properties include 23 fraternity and sorority houses and seven large rental houses, according to a news release from the county.

The Ingham County Health Department said the county has experienced a 52% increase in total case count since Aug. 24. It reports that more than half of all new cases countywide are in East Lansing, with a majority of all new cases being Michigan State University students.

“I do not take this lightly, but there is an outbreak centered on Michigan State University (MSU) and it is quickly becoming a crisis,” said Vail. “The surge in cases we have seen over the past few weeks is alarming. I am disheartened to add that this outbreak is being fueled in part by a lack of cooperation and compliance from some MSU students, many residing in the properties now under mandatory quarantine.”

According to state data, 203 students have tested positive in the outbreak at MSU.

RELATED: MSU students asked to self-quarantine amid surge in positive COVID-19 cases

The emergency order said residents of the quarantined properties should stay home for the next 14 days. They are asked to stay home unless they need medical care or necessities that can’t be delivered. Additionally, people who do not live in the involved houses are prohibited from entering the buildings unless providing an essential service necessary for the health and safety of residents.

Violation of this emergency order is punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months or a fine of not more $200, or both.

This emergency order comes just two days after the county asked all MSU students to self-quarantine. In that announcement, the county said at least one third of those who newly tested positive for the virus went to parties or social gatherings, and at least one third of those social gatherings were associated with Greek Life.

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