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At least one MSU resident positive for COVID-19

Posted at 5:18 AM, Jul 29, 2020

EAST LANSING, Mich. — According to an email sent to Michigan State University students from MSU Residence Education and Housing Services, at least one person in a residence hall tested positive for COVID-19.

The email was shared by a student; the subject line reads “COVID-19 Notification for Holmes Hall.”

The email said those who tested positive will be self-isolating and MSU is working closely with local health officials.

The number of individuals was not given.

“As we keep the safety and well-being of all our residents top of mind, RHS continues to follow guidance from local, state and federal public health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the email said, “while raising awareness of good hygiene practices and sharing health and safety guidelines. It is critically important you continue to maintain proper physical distancing of six feet or more and continue to wear a mask both indoors and outdoors – for your safety and the safety of others.”

Fox 47 spoke with a student living in Holmes Hall who says he’s not surprised the virus made its way into the dorm.

“There’s not enough being done to ensure that the students and employees are safe. It was obvious from the start that something was going to happen, and now I’m just stuck in this unhealthy environment and it doesn’t seem like anyone’s willing to do anything about it,” the student said.

The university says they’re working with the Ingham County Health Department on contact tracing.

Health officer Linda Vail says they’re only aware of one case, but even if there were more it wouldn’t necessarily be an outbreak.

“In a dormitory with people on one side, people on different floors, there may not be a common source within the dorm to be called an outbreak, so we have to be able to connect the cases together,” she said.

Just last week MSU President Samuel Stanley shared a community compact urging students and staff to hold themselves and each other accountable for violating coronavirus safety requirements.

The student says it’s a bit ironic.

"I don't understand how that can be communicated by leadership, but when I ask someone what to do when someone's not wearing a mask, I'm told that they don't know what to do. As a student, I'm not sure what to do if the staff doesn't know what to do."

He says he doesn't think other students won't take the safety requirements seriously.

“I feel trapped and that there are commitments that aren’t going to be lived up to, because to this point, nothing has been done. It feels like I’m wasting money and I’m going to be risking my health and the health of my family when I return.”

Students that need to quarantine can do so at home or on campus. If they choose the latter, they’ll be placed into either Kellogg Center, University Village or Akers Hall.

Information on MSU’s COVID-19 response is available at msu.edu/coronavirus.

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