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COVID-19 Cases At MSU Drop; Health Officer Says Fewer Tests May Be Why

Linda Vail photo
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail, speaking with reporters via Zoom on Tuesday

Cases of COVID-19 at Michigan State University seem to be on the decline, but the numbers may not reveal the entire picture.

The Ingham County Health Department reports that MSU student and employee positive COVID-19 cases are down from a peak of 629 during the week of September 7, to 63 last week.

Those numbers only include those who got tested in Ingham County, and may not reflect people who self-reported a positive test to MSU.

County Health Officer Linda Vail says normally, every case would lead to another three or four people getting infected. Noting that the virus can take up to two weeks to show up, she’s concerned that a dramatic decline in numbers might point to people choosing not to get tested. Vail says "what that tells is me is that that drop in cases, after that many, just doesn’t…it just is not adding up right.”

Vail says she’s working with MSU to increase testing.

Meanwhile, Vail says she’s getting an increasing number of reports of poor enforcement of COVID-19 safety rules at bars and restaurants in East Lansing. She says the complaints have been centered on issues related to indoor capacity, people walking around without masks, and tables too close to each other. “We did hear about that and have been working to ensure that bar and restaurant owners understand again what the rules are and how they comply with them," she continues, "and what our authority is should they not do so.”

Earlier this month, Vail placed 30 large properties in East Lansing on quarantine. Some of those are starting to lift, but 16 are still on quarantine. All but one of those will be lifted by Saturday.

Scott Pohl has maintained an on-call schedule reporting for WKAR following his retirement after 36 years on the air at the station.
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