Health officials will enforce East Lansing coronavirus quarantines

"You can just drop them on the sidewalk," MSU  senior Noah Terech says to Shipt delivery driver Anna Lindoff, Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 15, 2020.  Terech tested positive for  COVID-19 last week  and is quarantining in the house he shares with three other students on Grove Street in East Lansing.

EAST LANSING — Students, consider the mandatory quarantine for 30 large East Lansing rental properties a warning.

Authorities are prepared to enforce it. And they’ll take more severe steps to control the coronavirus if you don’t comply.

The numbers are bad, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said. Out of 2,709 coronavirus cases in Ingham County since March, 980 were identified in the first two weeks of September.

And the bulk of those 980 are likely Michigan State University students. 

“If somebody doesn’t think there’s a crisis in Ingham County right now based on that, then I don’t know what to say,” Vail said.

More:How Linda Vail is leading Ingham County through a pandemic

On Monday, Vail issued an emergency ordermandating residents in 30 large rental properties in East Lansing quarantine for two weeks. Contact tracers had identified either a COVID-19 case or instance of direct COVID-19 exposure — like when a contagious person attends a house party — at every property on the list.

It was a serious step, unlike any taken statewide. Vail said she did it to control a COVID-19 “wildfire” in East Lansing.

The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity photographed on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in East Lansing.

How public health officials will enforce the mandatory quarantine order

Residents in those quarantined properties are allowed to do certain activities, like go for walks. There are some provisions for work as well, with an employer’s cooperation.

The Ingham County Health Department released a set of FAQ’s explaining the details on Monday.

Currently, people who violate the emergency order Vail issued Monday could be charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to serve up to 6 months in jail or pay up to a $200 fine.

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