The hundreds of new cases of Covid-19 involving people affiliated with the university date from August 24, the health department said. Only 23 people had tested positive before that date.
“This is an urgent situation,” said Linda S. Vail, Ingham County health officer. “The exponential growth of COVID-19 cases must stop. ”
The outbreak began when students returned to the East Lansing area for the fall semester, the department said. Most MSU courses are online, but “many students had binding off-campus leases or simply wanted to physically return to the university community.”
The health department said it would examine homes licensed for more than 10 unrelated people “to see if further measures are warranted.”
“I am concerned about the health and safety of the MSU community and, most importantly, I am seriously concerned that uncontrolled transmission locally will affect the health and safety of all residents of Ingham County,” said Vail said.
In a statement, East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens urged the students to think about their role in stopping the “spread of the community and ultimately saving lives.”
He added, “We still see far too many social gatherings in the off-campus community, where individuals are in close contact without covering their faces. “
Students are encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days, until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, September 26. They are allowed to attend “in-person instruction, labs and intercollegiate athletic training,” the health department said.
“They can also leave their homes to work or to obtain food, medicine, medical care or supplies necessary to maintain or protect life when this cannot be obtained through childbirth,” the department added. health.
The entire MSU football team was placed in 14-day quarantine on July 23 after a second staff member and a student-athlete tested positive for Covid-19.