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Michigan State, University of Michigan have COVID-19 cases

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Three individuals associated with Michigan State University and the University of Michigan have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Thursday.

The three are among 334 presumptive positive cases in Michigan as of Thursday. The state's first COVID-19 case was confirmed March 10.

At MSU, two students with a history of international travel have tested positive, according to the Ingham County Health Department; its website says there are seven cases of COVID-19 in Ingham County.

An undated electron microscope image shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S.

One of the MSU students is in isolation after returning from a study abroad. The other student was diagnosed after leaving the country.

Ingham County health officials are investigating to see if others were exposed, including those in close contact with the students, according to a statement

“People must diligently practice social distancing at this time,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “We have no doubt that coronavirus is in the community, and we know that not everyone who has it will be sick. This is why it is so important to distance yourself. People who are sick should isolate themselves at home whether they’ve been tested or not. Act as though you have it if you have symptoms that resemble COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, an employee at UM's East Quad dining hall tested positive for the disease, according to a report in the student newspaper, the Michigan Daily. 

“The rumors are true … a cook in EQ tested positive for the virus,” wrote Alasia Tardy, East Quad MDining assistant manager, in an email to employees of East Quad’s Blue Café.

There are 14 cases of COVID-19 in Washtenaw County, according to the county health department website.

The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 “had access to East Quad dining” and is self-quarantined at home, according to a statement the newspaper quoted from university officials.

“Effective immediately, we will be closing the East Quad dining facility for four days in order to clean and disinfect the unit,” the statement reads. “We are working in partnership with public health officials to notify any individuals who may have been exposed directly. Anyone who has recently visited the East Quad dining facility should self-monitor for symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing.”

The three cases come after MSU and UM have worked to mitigate the spread of the viris by shifting to online learning through the end of the semester, postponing commencement exercises, asking students to move from campus and more.

kkozlowski@detroitnews.com