As we make our way onwards through September, a growing body of data has emerged on how colleges and universities have handled COVID-19. This has ranged from shifts to virtual classrooms to strict quarantining procedures to hybrid models. It’s a nerve-wracking process for everyone involved, and it’s a case where most decisions come down to a choice between the least bad of several options.
What’s going on right now at Michigan State University looks to be a cautionary tale for larger institutions. Since August 24, 342 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, and that’s prompted the local health department to make a bold request: all students must self-quarantine for the next 2 weeks.
An ABC News report on the quarantine has more of the specifics that led to this decision. Information released by the Ingham County Health Department noted that a third of the people who had tested positive had attended social events not long before being tested.
Linda S. Vail of the Ingham County Health Department spoke about the effects of coronavirus on both the university and the larger community. “I am concerned about the health and safety of the MSU community, and importantly, I am seriously concerned that unchecked transmission locally will affect the health and safety of all Ingham County residents,” Vail said in a statement.
The self-quarantine is slated to run through September 26. According to the article, around 1,200 students are currently living in apartments on campus, and just shy of 2,000 are living in dorms. Even with a greatly reduced student population, the pandemic has taken hold — a unsettling dispatch from a high-profile university.
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