This is could be a major case of the numbers just don't add up.

Michigan State University has had one of the highest cases of coronavirus since the fall semester began. So much so that the university told students to quarantine for 14 days on September 12th after a large spike in positive cases.

MSU is reporting 548 known COVID cases since July 27. Now, the Ingham County Health Department said on Tuesday that MSU has actually closer to 1,250 cases. Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail says those cases are since August 24.

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So why the big gap in numbers? Vail says reports show that MSU is underreporting. The Ingham County Health Department is reporting every case confirmed by them to the university. It appears that MSU is choosing not to add those numbers into their reports. Vail said in a interview,

“I think this is where the university is a little confused right now,” Vail says. “We are the public health system. We do contact tracing. We do investigations. We are talking to students on the phone that say, ‘I'm an MSU student. I'm an MSU student. I'm an MSU student...’ I feel very confident in these numbers."

What does this mean in the big scheme of things? Well for starters that moves MSU to the top of the list for colleges and universities in the state with the highest reported positive cases. Grand Valley State University has the second highest case count, with reports 873 COVID cases since August 1.

A MSU spokesman didn't argue the report or the numbers. “Obviously, it is apparent that the county has a more robust number and information available to them,” MSU spokesman Dan Olsen said in a interview. “So we definitely don't dispute that number.”

Vail noted that accuracy is key in trying to keep control over the situation. “As we saw these numbers start to become very, very disparate, my point to them is if this continues... it is going to call into question: What's going on at the university?” Vail said. “So we need to work this out so that that doesn't happen. I'm trying to help them.”


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