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MSU Pres. Stanley Discusses COVID-19, Cutting Swimming & Diving Program

MSU Pres. Samuel Stanley Jr. Zoom image
MSU Pres. Samuel Stanley Jr. speaks with reporters via Zoom after Friday's Board of Trustees meeting.

Efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 on the Michigan State University campus seem to be working.

MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. addressed the effectiveness of a 14-day enhanced social distancing directive for students living on campus after today’s Board of Trustees meeting. He says positive test results have been falling. “At one point in time in our Spartan early detection system, we were up to around 1.5-percent positivity for the testing we were doing," says Stanley. "That’s thousands of tests. We’ve now gone back down to about .7-percent, and in the past two days we’ve been down to .5-percent.”

Stanley also says no surge was seen among MSU faculty and staff, and he’s not aware of any hospitalizations since students returned to East Lansing.

Trustees heard more passionate calls for the restoration of the swimming and diving program at Friday’s meeting. MSU cited the economic impact of the pandemic as a reason for ending the program at the end of this season. Since then, there have been numerous calls for a reversal of the decision from current and former team members. A lawsuit has been filed in federal court to force the school to retain the program after the current season.

President Stanley told reporters that the decision was final, adding “I understand how difficult that is, and again, I applaud their tenacity and approach to this, but I think it was the right decision for MSU as I see it.”

Stanley adds that current members of the team will continue to have access to scholarships and other forms of student athlete support.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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