Michigan State students were called out specifically in the latest Michigan State Police press release, citing a June 2020 gathering at Harpers Restaurant and Brewpub that led to over 180 cases of COVID-19.
The Tuesday, Jan. 19 release detailed a new recommendation from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services which encourages colleges and universities to test their students that live in the area, on and off campus. According to a statement in the release from Michigan Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun, the guidance is in response to the arrival of the new, more contagious coronavirus variant, B117, in Michigan.
"With the arrival of the new variant in Michigan and risk of virus spread both on- and off-campus, it is best practice to implement robust testing protocols in these settings," Khaldun said, in the release. "Colleges and universities have an important role to play in ending this pandemic.”
The guidance is as follows:
- Weekly testing of undergraduate students that live on or near campus.
- If resources don't allow for weekly testing, require testing for all students on campus at a regular and random basis.
- Target limited testing resources based on information regarding community spread.
Michigan State already requires weekly testing for all on-campus students and any student coming to campus for any reason, through the COVID-19 Early Detection Program. Other off-campus students in the East Lansing area are strongly encouraged to participate, although the program is voluntary for them.
According to the release, CDC studies have shown that transmission of the virus in college communities is less likely to occur inside of the classroom than it is during other gatherings.
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