Washtenaw County is issuing an emergency “stay in place” order due to a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases.
The two-week shutdown is directed towards undergraduate students at the University of Michigan, who officials say are driving the upward trend.
County health officials say there have been more than 1,000 cases of COVID among U of M students since the fall semester began, with students representing more than 60% of the current cases in the area.
Most of the cases are occurring in congregate settings like residence halls, fraternities, sororities, and cooperative housing, according to officials. As a result, Washtenaw County is ordering all undergraduate students on or near campus to “stay in place,” though students will still be able to attend in-person classes and leave their residences for basic needs. The order does not ban practice or games in the Big Ten Conference.
The health department says the two-week shutdown is meant to limit socializing and to aid in contact tracing.
Washtenaw County has counted more than 600 confirmed and probable cases of the disease over the past week, which represents more than 14% of the 4,229 total cases the county has reported since the pandemic began.
The shutdown lifts on Election Day, November 3, at 7 a.m.
With #COVID19 cases rising on campus, in our region, state & nation, today we join @WCPublicHealth in supporting a Stay in Place Order for undergrads & are introducing additional measures out of an abundance of caution, including guidance on class formats. https://t.co/KctqyCBzaU https://t.co/E4OAYRH8oE
— Dr. Mark Schlissel (@DrMarkSchlissel) October 20, 2020