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Mandatory quarantine issued for 11 more large houses in East Lansing

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Ingham County Health Department has identified 11 more large houses in East Lansing with known exposure to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). People living in these properties have been ordered to quarantine immediately for the next two weeks.

In total, 39 large houses are under mandatory quarantine. Two houses were previously removed from the list upon further investigation. The quarantine is mandated by an emergency order (Ingham2020-19) issued by Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail this afternoon. This order replaces Ingham2020-18 which was issued on Monday. The two orders are essentially the same, but the new order allows additional properties to be added to the mandatory quarantine list as need.

“The current situation deeply concerns me for the MSU and East Lansing communities,” said Vail. “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.”

The city of East Lansing has experienced a 315 percent increase in total case count since September 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. Currently, there are 252 cases of COVID-19 per million people in Ingham County. This rate exceeds the state’s maximum indicator threshold for risk to the community. The threshold for “very high risk” on the MI Safe Start Map is 70 cases per million, a threshold Ingham County has surpassed by 360 percent.

The quarantined properties include 25 fraternity and sorority houses and 14 large rental houses. The quarantine was extended by three days for one fraternity and four sororities due to new cases/exposures. The health department will continuously monitor the situation and add large rental properties as needed.

Residents of the quarantined properties should remain at home for the next two weeks. Details regarding allowed activities are found in the order’s Frequently Asked Questions. People who do not reside in the residence are prohibited from entering the premises unless they are providing an essential service deemed necessary for the immediate health and safety of the residents.

Consistent with MCL 333.2261 and 764.15(1), willful violation of this order constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or a fine of not more than $200, or both.  An individual may be arrested if violation occurs in the presence of a police officer, or the police officer has reasonable cause to believe individual has violated a rule or order.