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Officials remind community of COVID-19 orders in places as football season begins

October 26, 2020
Masks and hand sanitzer sit at the check-in station at Olin Health Center August 24, 2020.
Masks and hand sanitzer sit at the check-in station at Olin Health Center August 24, 2020. —
Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

As football returned to Spartan Stadium Saturday, officials remind the community of COVID-19 precautions in place to protect the health and safety of Spartans on game day and beyond, according to a release last Thursday. 

Among these, a prohibition on tailgating in all parking lots and campus areas bars, against the possession and consumption of open containers of alcohol in all public areas governed by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees. City ordinance Section 26-54 likewise prohibits open alcohol in public places in the off-campus community including streets, sidewalks, parking lots/garages and parks. 

“We are urging Spartan fans to avoid large social gatherings in the off-campus community,” East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens said in the release. “It’s also important for Spartan fans to know that officers with the East Lansing Police Department will be actively enforcing the City’s new emergency ordinance as well as all other noise and party-related ordinances on game day weekends. Let’s all do our part to cheer on the Spartans safely, so that we can keep our community safe and hopefully get back to a traditional football season next fall.”

Other orders in place, including four Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) emergency orders, prohibit outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people in parts of East Lansing and indoor gatherings of more than 10. A campus-wide requirement states masks must be worn at all times indoors and outdoors, including in the downtown district. 

On Oct. 14, East Lansing City Council unanimously approved a new emergency ordinance imposing a fine of $500 on individuals violating public health orders. 

“Certainly, there are financial penalties for violations of ordinances and orders, but the real cost is when COVID-19 spreads to vulnerable community members,” Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said in the release. “Rarely do cases stay in limited geographic boundaries or spread only among one population demographic. Please take precautions on game day.”

Tickets for home football game will not be publicly distributed, according to the release. 

“We must all do our part to prevent transmission of this virus,” MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in the release. “MSU remains committed to working with our partners across Grand River and within our community to limit the spread of COVID-19. Together, we are urging Spartans near and far to cheer safely and follow all public health guidelines on game day and every day.” 

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