Friday, November 27, 2020

7 gathering citations issued on game day

October 26, 2020
Green and white adorning MSU football fans roaming the streets during MSU's first football game among Coronavirus conditions on October 24, 2020.
Green and white adorning MSU football fans roaming the streets during MSU's first football game among Coronavirus conditions on October 24, 2020. —
Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

Seven gatherings on game day violated a recent East Lansing health order, according to East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez.

The Spartans lost to Rutgers 38-27 in the first football game of the season Saturday. Prior to the game, Michigan State University Police took a firm stance against tailgating.

Last week, ELPD began issuing $500 fines for violating gathering limits. Currently, gatherings are limited to up to 25 people outdoors and 10 people indoors.

Despite several warnings from local authorities, parties ensued at seven locations on game day. Each gathering was issued a $500 fine, according to Gonzalez.

"If we get a call of a large party or violation we will be responding," Gonzalez said. "...The officers will be patrolling proactively throughout the neighborhoods and if they witness a violation they will be stopping and taking enforcement as appropriate."

City officials originally encouraged an educational approach from police when it came to violating health orders; however, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, police are now expected to use an enforcement approach.

The seven game-day violations did not include any sororities or fraternities, Gonzalez said. Under prior educational approaches to compliance, 39 large houses, including 25 fraternity and sorority houses, were placed under mandatory quarantine.

"If you take a look at the last couple of months, we've really taken an educational stance on some of these violations," Gonzalez said. "...We are definitely moving towards a more enforcement-oriented approach."

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