New COVID-19 Cases at SVSU Traced to Off-Campus Party Last Weekend

Saginaw Valley State University sent a message to students and staff Friday, reporting 20 new positive cases of COVID-19. The university said nearly all have been traced to an off-campus party in Bay County last Saturday, Sept. 19. University officials quarantined those who attended the party when they learned of it, and directed those students to be tested.

SVSU also notified the Bay County and Saginaw County public health departments and is cooperating fully with them. the Saginaw County Health Department is assisting with the investigation. The university says all students who attended the party are in quarantine, as are others who’ve likely been exposed. SVSU’s contact tracing team is checking on the students daily to monitor their health and to ensure they’re following quarantine protocols, which include not leaving their residence for the duration of their quarantine period. In addition, all students who attended the party will be referred to SVSU’s Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action.

A number of student-athletes attended the party, and SVSU Athletics canceled all team activities, such as workouts and practices, for several teams starting Thursday. Team activities for all athletic programs have been canceled until further notice, and Campus Facilities will perform a deep cleaning of the Ryder Center and related facilities this weekend. The Fitness Center will remain open, as the university says there’s no evidence of any exposure.

“This incident demonstrates how easily and how widely this virus can spread,” said Donald Bachand, SVSU President. “That is why it is vital that we continue to follow proper precautions for everyone’s health and safety, especially when it comes to avoiding large gatherings. It also underscores the importance of wearing masks, maintaining safe social distancing, completing the daily health screening and washing our hands.”