Sunday, September 27, 2020

Holmes Hall residents test positive for COVID-19

July 28, 2020
<p>Neuroscience and philosophy freshman Tamara Porter, center, waits for her parents Aug. 23, 2015, to help her move into her dorm in East Holmes Hall. Her niece Starr Alexander, 15, is in the background.</p>

Neuroscience and philosophy freshman Tamara Porter, center, waits for her parents Aug. 23, 2015, to help her move into her dorm in East Holmes Hall. Her niece Starr Alexander, 15, is in the background.

Photo by Julia Nagy | The State News

Residents of Holmes Hall have recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email from Sara Bartles, community director for Residence Education and Housing Services, or REHS, sent to summer Holmes residents Monday.

The email did not specify the number of positive cases; however, those individuals will be self-isolating.

"RHS is working with the University Physician’s Office to offer isolation housing services to current on-campus residents needing it this summer, and this will continue in the fall. Holmes Hall has been utilized as one of the summer housing locations, not specially for isolation or quarantine," REHS assistant communications director Bethany Balks said in a statement. "For summer housing residents, students who need to isolate can return home or complete isolation on-campus, as each resident is in their own room with their own bathroom. Following guidance from University Physician’s Office and the Ingham County Health Department, students are asked to stay in their rooms for the duration of their isolation period and have meals and supplies delivered to them."

MSU does not provide information that could lead to the identification of individuals that test positive, Balks said. This includes the number of people that tested positive and the potential affiliation — or lack thereof — with any teams.

"MSU will be working with the local health department to reach out to those that have had close contact with them," Bartles said in the email. She defined "close contact" as, "Sustained time — more than 15 minutes — within six feet of a confirmed COVID-19 case."

"It is important to remember that incidental passing in the hallway is not considered exposure by our local health officials," according to the email.

If residents are experiencing symptoms they should contact their healthcare provider or Olin Health Center.

"As we keep the safety and well-being of all our residents top of mind, (Residential and Hospitality Services) continues to follow guidance from local, state and federal public health agencies, including the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), while raising awareness of good hygiene practices and sharing health and safety guidelines," Bartles said in the email. "It is critically important you continue to maintain proper physical distancing of six feet or more and continue to wear a mask both indoors and outdoors – for your safety and the safety of others."

On Monday, it was announced 16 Michigan State athletes and four athletics staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Some MSU athletes have been in on-campus housing, but it has not been specified if these cases relate to those in Holmes Hall.

This article has been updated to include a statement from Residence Education and Housing Services assistant communications director Bethany Balks.

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