Tracking Alleged Violations of Public Health Orders With ELi

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This is a screenshot of our interactive map showing where citations have been issued for alleged violations of public health orders. Page down to use the interactive map!

ELi is now tracking where citations have been issued for alleged violations of Ordinance 1496 – the East Lansing law that makes it a civil infraction to violate county and state public health orders, punishable with a fine of $500.

ELi’s Chief Data Analyst, Nathan Andrus, constructed the map based on information made publicly available by ELPD in its weekly crime updates. We will update this map regularly as new data becomes available.

Council passed the ordinance on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and the law applies to anyone violating public health orders. However, Council and ELPD intend to use it to rein in large gatherings and parties, frequented by Michigan State University students and other young people. It is believed that these sorts of gatherings contributed to the Covid-19 outbreak at MSU in September.

Since Oct. 13, ELPD has issued 12 citations for alleged violations of the ordinance – five on the weekend of Oct. 17 and seven this past weekend.

ELi reported Monday that ELPD had issued four citations over the weekend based on information provided by Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez on Sunday morning. When ELPD released its weekly crime update, the number of citations issued on Oct. 24 was up to seven.

Gonzalez explained the change to ELi, saying “It’s a paperwork catch up issue. Quite often ticket numbers increase once our Records Bureau catches up on the processing of those documents as they may be sitting in a queue waiting for processing.”

Since Ordinance 1496 passed, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail has released a new emergency order that limits the size of outdoor gatherings to 10 people in a student-heavy part of East Lansing. The combination of Halloween and an MSU v. UM football game raised concern about the possibility of large gatherings.

The area affected is shaded in on the map. People who violate this new restriction are liable for a citation.

Although the daily number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has dropped in Ingham County, hospitals here are nearing capacity according to Vail. Only three Ingham residents are hospitalized, but local hospitals are treating patients from other parts of Michigan, she explained to reporters on Tuesday.

Do you have questions about which public health orders are in play where? Check out this helpful map and checklist by ELi’s Nathan Andrus.

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