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Lenawee County issues emergency order to try to stop outbreak at Adrian College

Herrick Tower, Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan.
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Herrick Tower, Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan.

The health department in Lenawee County is recommending that Adrian College stop in-person classes after more than 150 people at the college tested positive for COVID-19.

The county also issued an emergency order to limit the size of gatherings in and around the college. Outdoor social gatherings are limited to no more than 25 people. Indoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people. Anyone who violates the emergency order could be charged with a misdemeanor.

“It would not be a good situation if we have individuals from Adrian College who have been exposed, or who are COVID-positive, who are then interacting with other young people in the community,” says Martha Hall, health officer for the Lenawee County Health Department.

The emergency order took effect Thursday.

As of Friday afternoon, the college had not posted any announcements about canceling in-person instruction.

The college also has not responded to a request for comment.

Earlier in the week, Adrian College president Jeffrey Docking said faculty could voluntarily choose to hold classes remotely for the next two weeks.

“We’re doing this obviously because we plan to reopen with regular in-class sessions as soon as possible, Docking said in a https://vimeo.com/453395293","_id":"0000017b-35e4-df5e-a97b-35ec4baa0005","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">https://vimeo.com/453395293">video posted online. “But we really do want to bring down these numbers.”

https://vimeo.com/453395293","_id":"0000017b-35e4-df5e-a97b-35ec4baa0005","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">https://vimeo.com/453395293">Adrian College President Jeffrey R. Docking's Update on COVID-19 from https://vimeo.com/adrianbulldogs">Adrian College on Vimeo.

Hall says she’s been in frequent contact with leaders at the college and she believes they plan to follow the health department’s recommendations to stop the spread of the outbreak.

“And my intention is to continue to monitor the situation closely,” Hall says. “And if there’s other action that’s necessary, I will move forward with taking those actions.”

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Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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