News Briefs 10/18/21

Audrey Whitaker, News Editor

GV COVID-19 campus data update

The GVSU community has had a cumulative total of 3,900 cases since Aug. 1, 2020. The university’s update for this brief was from Friday, Oct. 15.

Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 110 current active cases including four faculty members, 10 staff members, 11 on-campus students, 41 “off-campus Ottawa” students, 33 “off-campus Kent” students and seven “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 100,867 tests overall since August 1, 2020, for a cumulative positivity rate of 1.39% from the latest update as of last week. A total of 1,501 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 79% of students report being fully vaccinated, while approximately 82% of faculty and staff reports being fully vaccinated.

Grand Rapids renames streets

The City of Grand Rapids announced it will be renaming two streets in honor of civil rights activists. Franklin Street will be renamed Martin Luther King Jr Street, and Grandville Avenue will be renamed César E. Chavez Avenue.

The name change comes following a petition from the Moving Ahead for Remarkable Civil Rights Heroes (MARCH) Committee, as well as 35 letters of support to the city commission from local individuals and organizations, including former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell.

Under the proposal, the new street names will appear on postal addresses and maps as well as street signs. The original street names will remain as commemorative names.

The change will take effect Feb. 22, 2022.

GV Police Academy receives mediation, conflict resolution training

Grand Valley State University Police Academy program partnered with the non-profit Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan to provide mediation and conflict resolution training to future officers.

Following increased scrutiny of law enforcement officers’ use of force across the US in the last year, GVSU hopes training like this will help cadets to enter the field with mediation skills.