News Briefs 11/15/21

Audrey Whitaker and Payton Brazzil

GV COVID-19 campus data update

The GVSU community has had a cumulative total of 4,153 cases since Aug. 1, 2020. The university’s update for this brief was from Friday, Nov. 12.

Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 123 current active cases including six faculty members, 11 staff members, 10 on-campus students, 49 “off-campus Ottawa” students, 32 “off-campus Kent” students and 12 “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 10 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.

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, barring a medical or religious exemption or postponement. According to the COVID-19 data dashboard, an 80% vaccination rate in the GVSU community is required to reach herd immunity and minimal virus transmission.

Currently, approximately 82% of students report being fully vaccinated, while approximately 84% of faculty and staff reports being fully vaccinated.

There are currently 2,109 students and 144 faculty/staff with approved vaccination exemptions.

Testing and Incidence: GVSU’s own testing program has performed 106,469 tests overall since Aug. 1, 2020, for a cumulative positivity rate of 2.52% from the latest update as of last week. A total of 1,513 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.

Search continues for missing GV student at MSU

The Grand Valley State University and Michigan State Police, along with many community members, are still searching for Brendan Santo, a GVSU student who was last seen at MSU on Oct. 29. The police are continuing to focus on the Red Cedar River located in the East Lansing campus. 

According to the most recent news release, the MSU Police and Public Safety is expanding its partnership with local, state and federal agencies to help with the ongoing investigation. 

“Our genuine hope is that with these additional resources and collaboration we will ensure that all investigative avenues are being explored and the work that we have already done can be reviewed by other professional agencies for collective investigative practices,” said inspector Chris Rozman, Public Information Officer with MSU Police and Public Safety. 

On November 6th, volunteers gathered at MSU Union to search wooded areas until dusk.

In a letter to the MSU community on Nov. 12, University President Samuel Stanley said authorities said there is no reason to expect foul play in Santo’s disappearance. In the message, Stanley said the camera outside of Yakeley Hall, where Santo was last seen, was not operational that night.

Stanley said the camera is being fixed, and over 300 new cameras will be installed throughout the MSU campus in the coming weeks.

Santo’s family also increased the reward from $5,000 to $11,000 to anyone with credible information that will lead to Santo returning home. 

Anyone that has information on Santo’s whereabouts is asked to contact MSU police detectives at 517-388-6291 or [email protected].