Adrian College coronavirus outbreak prompts size limit for outdoor gatherings in parts of Lenawee County

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LENAWEE COUNTY, MI — No more than 25 people can attend social gatherings or events outside in certain parts of Lenawee County after health officials identified coronavirus outbreaks at Adrian College and Siena Heights University.

The restriction is stronger than the statewide limit of 100 people and applies only to the city of Adrian, Madison and Adrian townships and all “college owned/controlled properties,” Lenawee County Health Department officials announced Thursday.

The emergency order, which took effect at noon Sept. 3 and remains in effect indefinitely, is in response to a significant COVID-19 outbreak at Adrian College and two linked cases at Siena Heights University, also located in Adrian.

Adrian College, which has 2,235 students and staff, has reported 152 cases of the illness. Only 14 that have recovered. There was a 182% increase in confirmed cases among 18 to 24 year olds during August in Lenawee County, compared to a 51% increase among all age groups for the same time period, according to health officials.

After spike in coronavirus cases, Adrian College intends to stay open, president says

The Health Department also recommends Adrian College suspend all in-person classes for two weeks and only allow in-person instruction for labs by appointment to follow social distancing guidelines. Officials also recommend the college suspend group sports and close common areas for two weeks.

Health officials also suggest the college suspend use of indoor dining areas and make take-out or delivery for meals more widely available. College President Jeffrey Docking previously said the college has an all-takeout dining plan to address the campus’ outbreak.

Indoor gatherings must have no more than 10 people, in line with the state’s executive order.

“Large social gatherings have demonstrated an increased public health risk with potential for further disease transmission. Restrictions on the size of outdoor gatherings, along with other prevention strategies, will help reduce the spread of the virus in the community,” Lenawee County Health Officer Martha Hall said in a statement.

COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS

In addition to washing hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone may be carrying the virus.

Health officials say you should be staying at least 6 feet away from others and working from home, if possible.

Use disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on frequently-touched surfaces in your home (door handles, faucets, countertops) and carry hand sanitizer with you when you go into places like stores.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also issued executive orders requiring people to wear face coverings over their mouth and nose while in public indoor and crowded outdoor spaces. See an explanation of what that means here.

Additional information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

For more data on COVID-19 in Michigan, click here.



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