News Briefs 2/28

Mary Dupuis, News Editor

GV COVID-19 campus data update

The Grand Valley State University community has had a cumulative total of 7,255 cases since Aug. 1, 2020. The university’s update for this brief was from Friday, Feb. 25.

Through testing results this past week, GVSU’s Virus Action team have so far reported 55 current active cases including five faculty members, six staff members, five on-campus students, 19 “off-campus Ottawa” students, 16 “off-campus Kent” students and four “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 10-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 87% of students report being fully vaccinated, while approximately 94% of faculty and staff reports being fully vaccinated.

There are currently 2,214 students and 139 faculty/staff with approved vaccination exemptions.

Testing and Incidence: GVSU’s own testing program has performed 127,166 tests overall since Aug. 1, 2020, for a cumulative positivity rate of 1.14% from the latest update as of last week. A total of 878 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.

GV faculty concerned about student absences

The Grand Valley State University campus community recently received an email concerning student attendance from Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Chris Plouff and Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Jenny Hall-Jones.

The email stated that despite the number of COVID-19 cases dropping, Plouff and Hall-Jones have been notified by many faculty members that there is still a lack of attendance in their classes and that it’s unrelated to illness. 

Plouff and Hall-Jones stressed the importance of attending class and engaging in in-person learning if students are not sick. It was also stated that faculty will only provide appropriate accommodations for excused absences.