GV recommends, does not require booster


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Elizabeth Schanz, Staff Writer

With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, many universities in Michigan such as Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University are requiring their students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine booster as part of their vaccine policy for the semester. 

As of now Grand Valley State University is suggesting, rather than mandating, that students receive the booster shot.

At the end of Dec. 2021, 87% of the GVSU community reported being fully vaccinated with the remaining individuals in compliance with the exemption or postponements approvals. However, additional precautions are being considered.

Greg Sanial, Vice President of Finance and Administration and Director of the Virus Action Team (VAT), said the team is not opposed to making the booster a requirement, should they deem it necessary for the safety of the campus community. 

“The Virus Action Team will continue to monitor if boosters will be required, taking into account key indicators from our campus community and surrounding community,” Sanial said. 

Hannah Michalik, a sophomore at GVSU, has already received her dose of the COVID-19 vaccine booster and said she hopes that it will help protect her as she has a weakened immune system.

“I would feel better if the booster was required but I don’t think they can do that yet,” Michalik said. 

Even without a booster mandate, GVSU is offering a vaccine clinic that will take place on Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the second day of the new semester. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines will be available for students who have scheduled an appointment.

Since 2020, GVSU has implemented many COVID-19 safety measures across campus. Some of these measures include social distancing, mask mandates in indoor facilities, the vaccine mandate, contact tracing and free testing on campus. With more cases, the restrictions are adjusted accordingly.

In the most recent email sent to students by President Mantella on Jan. 5, they were made aware that the campus is currently at a modified “Level 3” status. 

As stated by the Laker Together website, the modified Level 3 is classified as “high alert” with many reported cases and some undetected cases.

“Students, faculty and staff members should be aware of the modifications and continue to follow safety protocols as they did during the fall semester, which helped the semester continue in-person as planned,” Sanial said. 

Some of the modified Level 3 restrictions include a mask mandate in classrooms and on campus residences, limiting dining services to grab-and-go, reduced access to on-campus resources, campus activities and events and walk-in testing being made available. 

In addition to the GVSU protocol being modified for the semester, the CDC has recently issued many controversial adjustments to quarantine restrictions concerning the isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19. 

The policy has changed from 10 days of isolation to five days if an individual stops showing symptoms, however the individual is required to wear a mask for another five days.

In a recent email to the GVSU community the VAT noted that this change in CDC guidelines does not apply to GVSU. 

“The CDC has not changed the protocol for higher education institutions, (so GVSU is) keeping with 10 days of isolation/quarantine,” the VAT said.