If you violate any public health orders in East Lansing, you could face a $500 fine

Kara Berg
Lansing State Journal
Students walk along Shaw Lane on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing.

EAST LANSING — East Lansing's new emergency ordinance comes with a hefty fine for anyone who violates public health orders. 

Violating state, county or regional health department orders could result in a $500 fine, the East Lansing City Council determined Tuesday night. 

The violation would be a municipal civil infraction, which is no different from previous orders. But now, the fine is no longer $25. 

The emergency ordinance goes into effect Thursday and will remain in place until the end of 2020.

Masks remain mandatory in all public spaces — both indoor and outdoors — in the Downtown Development Authority. Masks are required indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces in the rest of the city. 

Under the new ordinance, police officers can write tickets for public health violations, like exceeding social gathering limits, Mayor Aaron Stephens said in a news release. 

East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens, center, hands out masks to MSU students at the Albert Avenue Square during welcome weekend on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in East Lansing.

“Given the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in our community and the upcoming MSU football season, this is an important tool for enforcement that we hope will encourage fans to cheer on the Spartans safely and responsibly,” East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas said in a news release. “It’s important that we all continue to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

The Michigan State University Police Department also announced Wednesday that tailgating would not be permitted on campus this year. 

Police will enforce rules that are normally suspended on game days, like the ban on possessing open containers of alcohol and consuming alcohol in public areas on campus, Capt. Chris Rozman said.   

“However, for this football season parking lots will be closed and there will be no tailgating allowed on campus to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and to promote a safe environment for Spartans and visitors," Rozman said. 

Public health orders in place currently include: 

  • Outdoor gatherings are restricted to a maximum of 25 people in parts of East Lansing, stretching from the northern edge of MSU's campus to Burcham Drive, Harrison Road to the west and Hagadorn Road to the east
  • Outdoor gatherings in the rest of the city and county are limited to 100 people
  • Indoor gatherings cannot have more than 10 people
  • All social gatherings must be designed so people from different households can social distance properly
  • Masks are required in all indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces where it's not possible to social distance

Contact reporter Kara Berg at 517-377-1113 or kberg@lsj.com. Follow her on Twitter @karaberg95.