Lakers Together: We Return to a Different Campus with a Health Safety Focus

Students are returning to the Grand Valley campus in larger numbers now as they do every August. Classes begin for Fall semester on August 31, and they will be a combination of in-person with modifications, online, or a hybrid of both, intended to limit any spread of COVID-19. This week President Mantella sent out letters to students, faculty, and staff about what these measures look like and how they will affect student life here in Allendale. 

Lakers Together Protecting Each Other

The central message of President Mantella’s communications was to reinforce the message that one student’s actions can affect the entire student body. This means everyone at Grand Valley must follow the best practices that the Incident Management Team developed this spring. GVSU launched their “Lakers Together Protecting Each Other” campaign/webpage to explain expectations and give practical details on how to accomplish this. If you have questions, you should refer to the webpage for more information. 

Before returning to campus for the fall semester, GVSU is encouraging everyone to be tested for COVID-19. Once on campus, the university is requiring students, faculty, and staff to assess themselves for symptoms daily. Beginning on August 17, 2020, everyone will have to check in via GVSU’s self-assessment portal and report if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. This must be done before noon. Anyone who does not comply will be in violation of university policy. 

On-campus testing for COVID-19 will be at two sites, the GVSU Campus Health Centers in Allendale and Grand Rapids. If you find yourself having symptoms, you should get tested. High-risk groups like athletes and critical personnel will be tested regularly. The university will also be conducting randomized testing of 1,500 people beginning two weeks into the semester. This will be done to help identify any outbreaks or “hot spots” on campus and make decisions about how effective the school’s protocols are working. 

Everyone hopes that there will not be another increase in coronavirus cases, but that is a possibility. If this happens, GVSU is prepared to follow state and federal regulations and shift courses to remote learning as they did in the spring. 

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. This fall will be a different college experience for students. At Meadows Crossing we have also had to be flexible in our response to the virus. We’ve worked hard to sterilize our own amenity areas and office space and keep our residents safe here by following social distancing guidelines in our common areas and during our move-in process.

We have seen GVSU students be compassionate and caring towards each other throughout the pandemic. We are Lakers together. If we work together, are patient with each other and follow the university guidelines about testing and mask wearing, we will get through this and learn from it. 

Here’s to a new school year at Grand Valley State University! 

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