Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — State health officials today are reporting 1,088 new cases and 10 deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the state total to 112,612 cases and 6,601 deaths.
Today’s report includes new referrals of confirmed cases to the Michigan Department of Social Services since Saturday, September 12. Over the two days, the average number of new cases is 544 per day.
The COVID-19 report was released just after the Ingham County Health Department announced it identified 30 large houses in East Lansing with known exposure to COVID-19 and people living in these properties have been ordered to quarantine immediately for the next two weeks.
The quarantine was mandated by an emergency order issued by Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail this afternoon.
The quarantined properties include 23 fraternity and sorority houses and seven large rental houses.
“I do not take this lightly, but there is an outbreak centered on Michigan State University (MSU) and it is quickly becoming a crisis,” said Vail. “The surge in cases we have seen over the past few weeks is alarming. I am disheartened to add that this outbreak is being fueled in part by a lack of cooperation and compliance from some MSU students, many residing in the properties now under mandatory quarantine.”
Ingham County has experienced a 52 percent increase in total case count since August 24 and has shifted from a percent positivity rate of 2 percent to 5 percent.
In comparison, the MSU community percent positivity has ranged from 11 percent to 15 percent since September 5. More than half of all new cases countywide reside in the city of East Lansing, and the majority of all new cases are MSU students.
Across the state, Michigan launched a $5 million advertising campaign to encourage people to wear a mask, with a focus appealing to those who believe the state’s requirement infringes on their rights.
The “spread hope, not COVID” message includes three public service announcements. Two feature military members saying they wear a face covering to protect their freedom and the freedom of others, saying it can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by 70%. A sergeant puts on a mask showing the American flag.
And today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced it will begin reporting outbreak reporting information by school buildings.
The information being posted on the website today and each Monday at 3 p.m., will include K-12, college and university school name, address, number of cases and if the cases involved staff, students or both. Students or staff exposed to COVID-19 outside the school building and are not thought to have spread the virus in the school due to quarantine or self-isolation are not included in the data.
Data on COVID-19 outbreaks is being collected from the 45 local health departments across the state weekly. A COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more cases with a link by place and time indicating a shared exposure outside of a household.
“Parents and students should know that if their school is listed, their local health department and school are already investigating. Based on that investigation, people are contacted individually if they were possibly exposed to COVID-19 at school,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Michigan schools are working hard to maintain a safe environment while also providing quality education.”
Many factors, including the lack of ability to conduct effective contact tracing in certain settings, may result in underreporting of outbreaks. This information does not provide a complete picture of school outbreaks in Michigan and the absence of identified outbreaks in a school does not mean it is not experiencing an outbreak.
Michiganders who are sick or have symptoms can get tested at numerous testing sites across the state.