With about 2,500 students expected to be living in the Michigan State University (MSU) dorms this fall, Ingham County Health officials urge students to take precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
As of Tuesday evening, the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) reported 1,750 COVID-19 cases with 1,424 recovered. A total of 40 deaths have been reported in the county, the latest two occurring over the past weekend.
The rate of cases per 100,000 for Black residents was nearly triple those of white residents with a prevalence rate of 1,233 to 445. However, comparing the percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases by race, 55% of white residents in Ingham County make up the total compared to 23% of Black community members, according to the ICHD.
National data suggests an increase in cases among those aged 18-29, with 22.4% of the 4.5 million U.S. cases made up of individuals in this range — a 5% increase from data reported on June 25. Data from Ingham County reflects a similar surge with 31% of cases between the ages of 20-29 years old — a 9% increase from June 25.
Ingham County Health Communications Specialist Amanda Darche said in a statement that students returning to campus should wear a mask, keep a distance of at least six-feet, avoid big crowds, wash their hand or sanitize often, socialize outdoors if possible and avoid sharing personal items.
“Students should also be aware of local orders that require the use of masks and limit the number of people at social gatherings,” Darche said.
On Aug. 7, East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens issued an order requiring masks to be work in all public, outdoor spaces within the boundaries of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA). At the Aug. 13 City Council meeting, the motion to extend the order through Sept. 30 passed, imposing a $25 civil infraction for knowingly violating a rule or regulation.
According to ICHD data, East Lansing currently accounts for the second-largest number of COVID-19 cases with between 331-370 cases in the 48823 zip code.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) MI Safe Start Map tracks the risk level of COVID-19 indicators by placing regions of the state in categories ranging from “very high risk” to “low risk” and “post-pandemic.”
The map described the Lansing region as a “medium-high” risk zone and tracked an average of 16.1 daily cases over the past seven days. According to the map, the Lansing area continues to have encouraging trends in case rates and positivity, along with the Grand Rapids, Jackson and the Upper Peninsula regions but remains at a medium-high risk due to their absolute case level.