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

According to the news release, at least one third of those who newly tested positive for the virus went to parties or social gatherings.

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. — Students at Michigan State University are being asked to self-quarantine after a major surge in positive coronavirus cases associated with the university in the last three weeks.

Since Aug. 24, 342 people affiliated with the university have tested positive for the virus, according to a news release posted Saturday from Ingham County. As a result, all MSU students are being asked to self-quarantine immediately to contain the outbreak.

The news release states that in the three weeks prior to the case surge, only 23 MSU-affiliated people tested positive for the virus.

“This is an urgent situation,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “The exponential growth of COVID-19 cases must stop. I am concerned about the health and safety of the MSU community, and importantly, I am seriously concerned that unchecked transmission locally will affect the health and safety of all Ingham County residents.”

The recommended quarantine lasts 14 days, continuing until 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 26.

Students in quarantine are asked to stay home at all times unless going to in-person instruction, intercollegiate athletic training, or obtaining food, medicine or medical care.

Although the quarantine is not an emergency order, more “stringent and mandatory” restrictions could be implemented if students don’t comply, the news release reads. 

RELATED: Plans change for West Michigan students preparing to return to MSU for the Fall semester

“MSU is committed to doing everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Michigan State University Physician David Weismantel. “The safety of our entire community is a priority and we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of the virus. This recommendation from the health department is another tool to help us do just that.”

The news release states that the uptick in cases began as students returned to East Lansing for the fall semester. While most MSU classes are currently virtual, many students did move back to the university community.

Unfortunately, according to the news release, 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.

“We are urging students to understand the imperative role that they play in stopping this community spread and, ultimately, saving lives,” said East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens. 

“While we know many students are doing the right thing, we are still seeing far too many social gatherings in the off-campus community, where individuals are in close contact without face coverings. This person-to-person contact is the main way that the virus spreads and has contributed significantly to the recent spike in student cases. We support this recommendation from the Ingham County Health Department.”

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