News Briefs 1/19/2021

Mary Racette

GV COVID-19 campus data update

The GVSU community has had a cumulative total of 2,099 COVID-19 cases since random testing began on campus Aug. 27. The university’s update for this brief was from Friday, Jan. 15.  

Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 56 current active cases including 1 faculty member case, 3 staff members, 13 on-campus students, 26 “off-campus Ottawa” students, and 10 “off-campus Kent” students, 3 “off-campus other” students with active COVID-19 cases.

“Current active cases” is the count of positive cases reported to the Virus Action Team over the past ten days.  This is an estimate of those currently in isolation, assuming a ten-day symptomatic period following the reporting of a positive test result. Actual periods of isolation are specific to the individual and determined by the county health department.

Testing and Incidence: GVSU’s own testing program has performed 36,099 tests overall since August 21, for a positivity rate of 0.53% from the latest update as of last week.

“GV Surveillance” includes the GV/Spectrum administered programs of: randomized testing, regular testing of high-risk groups, and invited testing of individuals connected to potential clusters. A calendar is available. “GV Total” includes surveillance testing plus all symptomatic/exposure tests administered by Spectrum.

Michigan’s first identified case of new COVID-19 variant identified

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bureau of Laboratories has identified a woman from Washtenaw county as the first Michigan resident with a confirmed case of the new COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7. 

The identified person recently traveled to the United Kingdom. Close contacts of this person have been identified and quarantined. Out of these close contacts, two new COVID-19 cases have been identified, however, it is currently unknown whether or not they are infected with the variant. 

While the new variant is believed to be more contagious, there has been no indication that B.1.1.7 has different clinical outcomes or disease severity. 

In a news release from the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division of the Michigan State Police, they provide a list of protective actions that can prevent the spread of COVID-19. The list includes: get vaccinated for COVID-19, wear a mask around others, stay six-feet apart from others, wash hands often and ventilate indoor spaces. 

Virus Action Team provides update on self assessment 

The Virus Action Team released that they will continue repopulation testing through the week of Jan. 18, however, beginning Jan. 25, some students will be invited weekly and others will be invited every few weeks.  The Virus Action team will update testing invitations using the “On Campus Today?” question on the self-assessment.

Students and faculty can now indicate if they have been vaccinated on GVSU’s daily online self-assessment. The GVSU Data Dashboard will now provide a vaccination count.

MLK commemoration week rounds out with day of service

Saturday, Jan. 23 is MLK Day of Service and Solidarity 2021. The day of service is a part of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Week which will be held at GVSU’s campus from Jan. 18-26.

Located in the Kirkhof Center and Cook-DeWitt Center, events are planned from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Events include a documentary and discussion, a panel, service projects, a mural painting activity and a food drive. Students are asked to RSVP for the event so the university can control and maintain proper safety.