News Briefs 10/4/21

Audrey Whitaker, News Editor

GV COVID-19 campus data update

The GVSU community has had a cumulative total of 3,771 cases since Aug. 1, 2020. The university’s update for this brief was from Thursday, Oct. 1.

Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 99 current active cases including four faculty members, six staff members, 13 on-campus students, 43 “off-campus Ottawa” students, 30 “off-campus Kent” students and three “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 97,888 tests overall since August 1, 2020, for a cumulative positivity rate of 1.37% from the latest update as of last week. A total of 1,840 tests were performed over the last seven days.

“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.

Vaccination: GVSU encourages all students, faculty and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated by Sept.30, barring a medical or religious exemption or postponement. According to the COVID-19 data dashboard, 80% vaccination rate in the GVSU community is required to reach herd immunity and minimal virus transmission.

Currently, approximately 77% of students report being fully vaccinated, while approximately 87% of faculty and staff reports being fully vaccinated.


GV President touts success of Laker health and safety plan

In a letter to the Grand Valley State University community, President Philomena Mantella said she is proud of Laker’s commitment to the Laker health and safety plan for fall 2020, which focused on COVID-19 testing and vaccination at GVSU.

Mantella said that more than 90 percent of GVSU faculty and staff and nearly 87 percent of students are in compliance with the vaccination policy, meaning they are vaccinated, have a religious or medical exemption or postponement.

Mantella said that GVSU’s positivity rate is significantly lower than surrounding communities. GVSU’s positivity rate this week was 1.37%, while in Ottawa county, it was 11%.1 and 12.6% in Kent county, according to


GV mourns loss of  former president of the Grand Valley University Foundation

John Edison, former president of Grand Valley University Foundation passed away on Sept. 30. Edison assumed the role of GVU director in 1970, and served as its president for four years.

Edison also established the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Seidman College of Business, which still serves GVSU students and the community today.

Edison and his wife, Penny, have also supported GVSU students through several funds, scholarships and donations to the GVSU community.

President Mantella expressed condolences to the Edison family, who said Edison’s legacy will live on through the impact he has had on the GVSU community.