Lansing, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan and the Washtenaw County Health Department have asked students to avoid leaving their residences to slow the spread of COVID-19 and a more contagious variant. The university saw 175 new cases of coronavirus in the student population at the beginning of the school year. The stay-in-place recommendation is effective immediately and will run through Feb. 7. The health department is asking students to limit leaving their residence to going to classes, going to get food, going to work and other necessary in-person activities. The variant is mutated version of COVID-19 that medical experts say is more contagious.