News Briefs 2/8/2021

Mary Racette

GV COVID-19 campus data update

The GVSU community has had a cumulative total of 2,275 COVID-19 cases since Aug. 1. The university’s update for this brief was from Friday, Feb. 5.  

Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 32 current active cases including 3 staff members, 1 on-campus students, 18 “off-campus Ottawa” students, 7 “off-campus Kent” students and 3 “off-campus other” student 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 45,190  tests overall since August 21, for a cumulative positivity rate of 1.8% 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.

Universities’ team up to help populate underserved communities with public health professionals

Northern Michigan University (NMU) and Grand Valley State University developed an agreement regarding GVSU’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program. NMU undergrads now have a direct connection to the program, as GVSU is now allowed to offer up to five of them the opportunity to be recruited and directly admitted by GVSU. 

This agreement was motivated by the high demand for public health professionals in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. One of the goals of this new development is for graduate students to return to northern Michigan to work for their local hospitals. Preparing students in the public health programs to work in tribal communities is also one of the Universities’ goals.

NMU students who major in applied exercise science and health will be eligible to be selected for GVSU’s MPH program’s preferential admission. 

“Fireside Chat” provides insight on leadership during a pandemic

During President Philomena V. Mantella and Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Maria Cimitile’s Feb. 2 “Fireside Chat,” an open learning professor discusses the recommended strategies of growing higher education through the pandemic. 

The hour-long zoom webinar brought in MIT’s Vice President For Open Learning Sanjay Sarma to share his outlook on higher education. In the chat, he acknowledges GVSU’s lifelong learning approach and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a level of education throughout one’s life.

Sarma encourages the University to use the pandemic and a way to better understand how students learn. While Zoom has allowed for the University to quickly adapt to virtual learning, he shares that there is still room for improvement. 

Students can find recordings of previous “Fireside Chats” on the Office of the President’s page on GVSU website.