News Briefs 1/18

Mary Dupuis, News Editor

GV COVID-19 campus data update

The Grand Valley State University community has had a cumulative total of 6,042 cases since Aug. 1, 2020. The university’s update for this brief was from Friday, Jan. 14.

Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 1,050 current active cases including 38 faculty members, 76 staff members, 162 on-campus students, 452 “off-campus Ottawa” students, 253 “off-campus Kent” students and 69 “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 93% of faculty and staff reports being fully vaccinated.

There are currently 2,382 students and 148 faculty/staff with approved vaccination exemptions.

Testing and Incidence: GVSU’s own testing program has performed 118,301 tests overall since Aug. 1, 2020, for a cumulative positivity rate of 11.92% from the latest update as of last week. A total of 2,533 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.

*Editor’s Note: Last week it was reported that there are currently 2,382 students and 148 faculty/staff with approved vaccination exemptions. This is incorrect. There are currently 2,178 students and 129 faculty/staff with approved vaccination exemptions.

Lena Meijer, philanthropist and popular figure in West Michigan, dies at 102

Lena Meijer’s family has confirmed that she died on Jan. 15 at the age of 102. 

Philanthropist and wife to Frederik Meijer, Lena is remembered by her family as a beloved mother and grandmother. Her community remembers her for her support of the Meijer Inc. retail business, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and local public schools. 

In their continued support of the community Meijer and her husband donated land to Grand Valley State University, which eventually became the school’s Meijer campus in Holland. They also helped to establish multiple scholarships at the university. 

Both Frederik and Lena were recognized as part of GVSU’s Hall of Fame as “Grand Stewards” of the university for their contributions. 

In a post made by the university, President Philomena V. Mantella reflected on Meijer’s impact on the university. 

“Our hearts go out to the Meijer family,” Mantella said in the post. “Lena will be remembered as one of the individuals who helped establish Grand Valley and grow it into the outstanding university it is today. Her impact on the lives of students will be remembered for generations to come.”