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Michigan State University to stop isolation and quarantine housing in the fall

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Michigan State University will not be providing quarantine and isolation housing for students who test positive for COVID-19 in the 2022-23 academic year, according to an email from MSU’s housing department sent to on-campus students Tuesday evening.

The email said students should have a plan of what they will do if they test positive for COVID-19 or have close contact with someone who tests positive.

Students who test positive are also expected to self-isolate, not attend in-person classes or activities, use take-out options from campus dining halls or other low-contact ways of getting food, and contact medical personnel if symptoms worsen or do not improve, the university said.

MSU spokesperson Dan Olsen said following spring break, isolation numbers remained low, and the need for dedicated housing continued to decline over the remainder of the school year.

“When we brought this forward at the beginning of the academic year, booster and vaccination rates weren't readily available to us,” Olsen said. “As we've continued to learn over the course of the pandemic, things do evolve. And as COVID-19 becomes part of our daily lives, much like the flu and other coronaviruses, we will not be able to dedicate space for this purpose next year.”

Olsen also said isolation housing is not being provided this summer at MSU, due to the reduced number of students on campus.

MSU requires students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated and boosted.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said with vaccines and mitigation measures, as well as fewer people in isolation and quarantine housing, dedicated housing would not be the best way to handle isolation.

Central Michigan University stopped providing a dedicated residence hall for isolation/quarantine housing back in March of this year. CMU spokesperson Aaron Mills said in an email that the university instructs students to quarantine or isolate in their assigned residence hall rooms and will continue to do so for the upcoming school year.

At Grand Valley State University, spokesperson Michele Coffill said in an email that the university will offer quarantine and isolation housing for students with COVID-19, but the number of beds has not yet been determined.

Some other Michigan universities, including the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, haven’t yet announced decisions about isolation and quarantine housing for the upcoming school year.

U of M spokesperson Kim Broekhuizen said university's Campus Health Response Committee plans to share an update on overall fall plans in the coming weeks. The current isolation housing capacity is 48 beds according to U-M’s COVID dashboard.

Wayne State spokesperson Ted Montgomery said the university will have isolation and quarantine housing in the fall, but have not determined the extent.

This comes as the state is seeing COVID-19 hospitalizations increase again — though without a corresponding spike in ICU and ventilator use.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a clarification from WSU spokesperson Ted Montgomery that Wayne State will have isolation housing, but definitive plans are not ready to be announced.

Sophia Kalakailo joined Michigan Radio in Sept. 2021 and is a senior at Michigan State University studying journalism and minoring in documentary production. She previously interned at Bridge Michigan and was an editor for The State News and The Eastern Echo covering a wide range of topics.
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