Officials said a drop in cases led to a return to the area.
All local Michigan State University students have been asked to self-quarantine for the next two weeks, including an “exponential increase” of COVID-19 cases, with county health officials depressed.
According to the Ingam County Health Department, since August 24, at least 342 people associated with East Lansing School have tested positive for coronovirus. Officials said that three weeks ago, there were only 23 such cases. Officials said thousands of students started returning to the area.
The Health Department said that some of the people who tested positive had recently attended parties or social gatherings and at least one-third of them were involved in fraternity or witchcraft.
“This is an urgent situation,” Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Veal said in a statement released on Saturday. “The exponential growth of COVID-19 cases must stop. I am concerned about the health and safety of the MSU community, and importantly, I am seriously concerned that the locally uncontrolled transmission will affect the health and safety of all Ingham County residents Will impress. ”
“If we don’t slow down the spread immediately, we will deal with the results across the county for the coming months,” she said.
As of 11:59 pm on September 26, students are advised to attend in-person classes, laboratories and athletic training only. They may also leave for work and for food, medicine, medical care or other necessary supplies that are not available via delivery.
The recommendation is not an emergency order, although the Health Department has warned that “more stringent and mandatory restrictions will be imposed on students not complying with and breaking the transmission cycle.”
The university stood behind the recommendation. In the statement, Michigan State physician David Weismantel said that quarantine is “another tool” to help prevent the virus from spreading.
Mayor of East Lansing Aaron Stephens also supported the recommendation of the Department of Health. “While we know that many students are doing the right thing, we are still seeing a lot of social gatherings in an off-campus community where individuals are in close contact without a face covering,” he said in the statement.
Michigan State has limited in-person classes for the fall and the number of students living on campus. According to the Lansing State Journal, there are about 1,200 students living in campus apartments and in fewer than 2,000 hostels. An indefinite number of students live off campus. The school has a total of 50,000 students.
In July, all members of the university’s football team were quarantined or isolated after two members of the football staff and a student-athlete tested positive for COVID-19.
The University of Illinois is currently under a similar lockdown, as it attempts to reduce the increase in recent cases. Through September 16, graduate students are advised to leave their residences only for essential activities, such as obtaining food, working or compulsory COVID-19 tests, and to avoid gathering in groups.
ABC News’ Greg Bradbury and Matt Foster contributed to this report.