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11 East Lansing houses with COVID-19 exposure added to quarantine list

The Detroit News

Ingham County officials said Thursday they have identified 11 more large houses in East Lansing with known exposure to COVID-19 and are ordering its residents to quarantine for the next two weeks.

There are now 39 large houses under mandatory quarantine after two were previously removed from the list following further investigation, the health department said in a statement.

Signs call for face coverings on the MSU campus in East Lansing.

The quarantined properties include 25 fraternity and sorority houses as well as 14 large rental houses, according to the release.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail issued an emergency order for the quarantine Thursday that replaces another this week and allows other properties to be added as needed.

“The current situation deeply concerns me for the MSU and East Lansing communities,” Vail said. “Beyond that, our inability to contain this extremely high level of transmission will adversely impact other communities, services and businesses in the county. Ingham County has the highest COVID-19 risk in the entire state of Michigan. We are truly in a crisis situation, especially in East Lansing. We must do all we can to contain the outbreak.”

Her department said East Lansing has experienced a 315% spike in total case counts since Sept. 1.

"This upsurge in cases is driven almost entirely by an outbreak among MSU students which directly accounts for 80 percent of all new cases," the health department said.

As of Thursday, the county had 252 cases per million people, exceeding the state's maximum indicator threshold for risk to the community, officials reported.

According to data the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released this week, new and ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks are centered on college campuses across Michigan, with a much smaller number at K-12 buildings.

Michigan State University, which is in East Lansing, had the most new cases in the state, with 203, the department said.

On Saturday, the county health department reported at least 342 people affiliated with MSU had tested positive for coronavirus since Aug. 24. 

Officials also said last week that MSU is processing 26 incident reports related to potential violations of the its Community Compact and the health department’s emergency order on gatherings.