Home Coronavirus Coronavirus and how it’s impacting universities in the West Michigan area

Coronavirus and how it’s impacting universities in the West Michigan area

A COVID-19 saliva sample is collected as testing is conducted on July 7, 2020, in a tent on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

By Sabrina Edwards

As students are ending their fourth week of school, Grand Rapids Community College, like all colleges in the surrounding area, is dealing with COVID-19 however not at the level of schools like Grand Valley State University.

GRCC is updating weekly the number of cases of COVID-19 in both faculty and students. As of  Sept. 20, GRCC has reported that there have been six total cases of COVID-19, with three cases being reported between Sept. 14 and 20. According to the update posted online, two students and one faculty member tested positive for COVID-19. 

GRCC does have plans to continue instruction of classes in the event that a professor contracts the virus, however, how that happens will depend on the circumstances.

“We will work with the faculty member, the Department Head, Dean and HR to determine how we can best support the faculty member,” stated Brian Knetl, Provost and Executive Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs. “Additionally, we will work to quickly determine how we can best continue instruction for the students. Each situation will have slightly different circumstances, but we will certainly be concerned for our faculty members, but also want to maintain continuity of instruction for our students.” 

GVSU students are still being asked to stay home in attempts to combat the rising cases on their campus. Currently GVSU has 223 active cases, with 141 of those being off-campus. GVSU’s alert level right now is a level three, meaning they’re currently at high alert.

Michigan State University has recently been accused of releasing wrong data surrounding the virus. This week their COVID-19 tracker dashboard reported 528 confirmed cases, while Ingham County linked 1,250 cases to the college. The school has since updated their tracker to include those cases, stating that they will continue to improve their coronavirus tracker. MSU is recommending that Ingham County residents stay quarantined in their homes until Sept. 26. 

As a nation, the U.S. has surpassed 200,000 deaths in relation to coronavirus. Scientists are still unsure of the long-term effects of the virus, and are continuing to create a potential vaccine.