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124 MSU students and 2 MSU employees test positive for COVID-19

September 8, 2020
The Breslin Center on July 17, 2020.
The Breslin Center on July 17, 2020. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

The university updated its press release at 12:30 p.m. to include that nearly all students were off-campus residents, rather than all students.

Since Aug. 30, 124 Michigan State students and two MSU employees have tested positive for COVID-19, a majority of the students living off-campus. According to the press release, this number of cases is only the amount of self-reported cases or students who were tested at MSU testing locations. 

Students are not required to report positive test results to the University.

“This increase in positive cases among students is disappointing, but not unexpected,” MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in the release. “As students return to off-campus housing, some are attending large gatherings where people are in close contact without an appropriate face covering. This is the easiest and fastest way for the coronavirus to spread.”

According to the press release, these cases do not appear to be linked to one single event, unlike the cases tied to Harper's Restaurant & Brewpub early this summer, but rather multiple larger student events held off-campus. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 are being asked to self isolate and receive proper medical attention. In addition, contact tracing procedures are also underway.

“Over the past week, we have seen the sharpest spike in Ingham County COVID-19 cases to date. The increase is directly tied to various social gatherings, many of which were over capacity. We cannot allow this to continue. If students do not take precautions to heart, more drastic measures will be required,” Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail said in the release. “Everyone must be vigilant and must follow safety guidelines. The health department is working in close partnership with the university and the city of East Lansing, but we need the students to join us in our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

MSU is also introducing a website that will update COVID-19 cases every Monday to the public. This week of results is the highest number of positive cases among students since the week of July 27, according to the website.

“This spike in cases should serve as a wake-up call to our community about the importance of personal responsibility and following health guidelines,” President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said. “Please, avoid large gatherings, wear a face covering, practice physical distancing and wash your hands frequently. We all share the responsibility to keep ourselves and our community safe. I hope that all students who are infected make full recoveries.”

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