The order announced by the Washtenaw County Health Department on Tuesday will last until Nov. 3. It’s meant to slow the coronavirus infection rate and allow for better contact tracing, health officials said.
“The situation locally has become critical, and this order is necessary to reverse the current increase in cases,” county Health Officer Jimena Loveluck said. Loveluck’s order said the surge “at or near the Ann Arbor campus is driven by social gatherings” that ignore state and local health guidelines.
The university on Tuesday said that with the rise in infections, it will move more undergraduate classes to remote instruction for the remainder of the fall semester.
The stay-in-place order is different from a quarantine order in that students at the Ann Arbor school are permitted to physically participate in official and essential activities, so long as they follow COVID-19 precautions, including wearing face coverings, social distancing, and frequent hand cleaning, the county said.
The order does not mention graduate students and does not affect the university’s sports teams.
Michigan, like many other parts of the country, is experiencing an upward trend in COVID-19 cases as cooler weather pushes people indoors and the flu season begins.
The state on Monday set a new record for seven-day average daily cases, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting an average of 1,818 new cases. This tops the prior 1,622 seven-day average record from early April.
Last month, Michigan State University in East Lansing urged all of its localized students to self-quarantine for two weeks following a surge of COVID-19 cases as students returned for the fall semester.
During the first three weeks of September, the city of East Lansing saw a 315% increase in total case count, the Ingham County Health Department said. The county announced quarantine orders for 39 group houses, which included 25 fraternity and sorority houses.
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