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MSU asks students to increase physical distancing to control COVID-19 surge on campus

Posted at 10:40 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 22:44:45-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University is asking students to stay safe by staying home.

The university has detected 113 new COVID-19 cases since the start of the spring semester on Jan. 19, which is why the university announced a public health directive on Saturday asking students to increase physical distancing for two weeks.

Dan Olsen, deputy spokesperson for the university, said the directive is an opportunity for students to keep each other safe.

“This is really a chance to get under control the rapid increase in COVID-19 positivity rates we’re experiencing within our campus community,” Olsen sad.

The directive is a result of what one university administrator called a failure of some to adhere to campus health and safety guidelines. Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Vennie Gore sent out the university-wide directive Saturday and instructed students to wait for more instructions to be emailed out.

For some students, the directive doesn’t change much.

“We understand the circumstances and we want to stop the spread so we can get on campus sooner,” MSU junior Julia Schiano said Monday.

COVID-19 positivity rates have jumped more than 2 percentage points since the start of the spring semester brought thousands of students back to East Lansing. The campus is still open for essential activities during two weeks of increased physical distancing.

Olsen says it’s important for students to only travel around campus when it’s absolutely necessary.

“So things like going into your in-person classes, going to get meals preferably take out and back to your room,” Olsen said.

For MSU freshman Charles Bernat, the directive is just doubling down on what students already know.

“I think having people just sit in their rooms and not be able to move around is dumb. Kids have the ability to get tested whenever they want. Not just through MSU but you can gog to the stadium and get a rapid test,” Bernat said.

Dining halls are still open for students to mobile order or pick up food to-go for the next two weeks.

The university issued a similar order back in September at the beginning of the fall semester.

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