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LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will not tighten coronavirus restrictions in the Lansing region despite a surge in local cases, she said.

“There are not plans to roll this particular region back from a state level, but I am very happy to see our public health experts at a local level taking action,” she said during a Wednesday press conference.

Almost 1,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ingham County since Sept. 1, the Ingham County Health Department reported Tuesday. In total, 2,709 people have tested positive in the county.

Health Officer Linda Vail estimated 75% of those September cases are Michigan State University students. 

Whitmer encouraged students take care to avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus by wearing masks, avoiding parties, washing their hands and practicing social distancing. She said parents should be reminding their children of those rules. 

“It’s gatherings of young people around campuses that are fueling a lot of the bumps that we’re seeing,” she said, commending the steps Ingham County and university officials have taken to limit the coronavirus’ spread. 

Those steps include mandatory mask-wearing in downtown East Lansing, restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings in parts of the city and a mandatory quarantine for residents of 30 large rental properties where contact tracers identified cases or exposures.

University officials also asked all MSU students in the Greater Lansing area to voluntarily self-isolate for two weeks starting last Saturday, whether they live on- or off-campus, to help reduce community spread.

Although there are no plans to resume shutdowns of businesses or other activities in greater Lansing, Whitmer said she expects to remain in a state of emergency “for probably what is a matter of months.”

More: Coronavirus quarantine orders will be enforced in East Lansing. That’s a promise.

Contact Carol Thompson at ckthompson@lsj.com. Follow her on Twitter @thompsoncarolk.

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