EAST LANSING, Mich. - Ingham County health officials have identified 11 more large houses near Michigan State University's campus where there are known exposures to the COVID-19 virus.
The health department has ordered residents in those houses to quarantine for the next two weeks. Mandatory quarantines now have been ordered for 25 fraternity and sorority houses and 14 large rental houses in East Lansing.
The health department issued the additional quarantines while also removing two houses that were previously listed. In total, 39 large houses are under mandatory quarantine.
On Saturday, the health department said at least a third of the 342 people affiliated with the university testing positive for the virus since Aug. 24 attended parties or social gatherings. At least one-third of the gatherings were associated with fraternities or sororities.
The quarantined properties include 25 fraternity and sorority houses and 14 large rental houses. The quarantine was extended by three days for one fraternity and four sororities due to new cases/exposures.
Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail said the state of cases at the university and city are concerning a number of different reasons.
“The current situation deeply concerns me for the MSU and East Lansing communities,” said Vail. “Beyond that, our inability to contain this extremely high level of transmission will adversely impact other communities, services and businesses in the county. Ingham County has the highest COVID-19 risk in the entire state of Michigan. We are truly in a crisis situation, especially in East Lansing. We must do all we can to contain the outbreak.”
Ingham County currently has 252 cases per million people, exceeding the state's maximum indicator threshold for risk to the community. The threshold for 'very high risk' according to the MI Safe Start map is 70 cases per million.
Unlike the order issued earlier this week, the houses were not listed by the county.
On Monday, the state of Michigan began announcing details regarding outbreaks in schools and universities. The largest outbreak, according to the state, was in East Lansing where 203 cases, all students, were reported.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.