Local health officials have ordered a number of Michigan State University fraternities and sororities to quarantine for two weeks following hundreds of reported cases in the area.
In an emergency order issued on Monday, Ingham County Health Department listed 30 addresses in East Lansing, Michigan, that will be required to quarantine from Monday until September 28.
“Through case investigation, the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) has identified congregate housing in the city of East Lansing as a risk factor,” Linda Vail, a health officer for the Ingham County Health Department, wrote in the order. “The health department has identified several fraternity and sorority houses, and several large rental houses with known cases or exposure to COVID-19.”
The decision comes after at least 342 people affiliated with the university have tested positive for Covid-19 since August 24, the health department said.
Ingham County experienced a 52% increase in total case count since August 24, with one third of Ingram County cases since the pandemic started being reported in the last 3 weeks. The majority of all new cases reported come from students at Michigan State University.
Those who are quarantined are only allowed to leave their property for medical care and other necessities, and are expected to avoid interaction with their roommates as much as possible. Violation of the order could result in a misdemeanor charge that could be punishable with up to six months imprisonment, a $200 fine, or both.
The county health department said in a statement on Saturday that it “strongly recommends” all local Michigan State University students “self-quarantine immediately” to help contain a Covid-19 outbreak.
Michigan State joins a growing list of universities across the US that have reported a number of outbreaks.
As of Monday, Michigan has reported at least 124,287 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 6,921 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.