By Breegan Petruska
Grand Rapids Community College announced starting Tuesday, Aug. 10, face coverings will once again be required indoors in all campus buildings and a $200 vaccine incentive program for students.
This announcement comes after Kent and Ottawa counties were both moved to a “substantial” risk for spreading COVID-19. The college is following a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
GRCC also announced an incentive program for getting the vaccine. All students who are fully vaccinated by Nov. 15 will receive $200 on their RaiderCard accounts to use for campus dining, parking, printing and at the bookstore. The incentive will be available for students enrolled for the fall 2021 semester and is funded by the federal Strengthening Institutions Program Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds.
“An increased number of students and employees are coming back to campus this fall as we emerge from the pandemic,” GRCC President Bill Pink stated in a press release. “We believe vaccines are the best way to assure students are able to successfully engage in on-campus learning and participate in campus activities. Vaccines are readily available, and we’ll provide vaccinations here on campus to make sure everyone has the opportunity to get one. Promoting vaccines is one more thing we can do to keep our campus safe.”
GRCC has taken a number of steps in helping prevent the spread of the virus. The college has held pop-up vaccine clinics, reduced capacity in in-person classes, replaced desks for social distancing, added hundreds of hand sanitizer dispensers and improved cooling and ventilation to increase airflow throughout campus buildings.
College leaders say they are continuously watching for developments with COVID-19 and the delta variant. They will continue to work with state and federal health authorities for guidance as conditions change.
Vaccine sites are available all throughout the county. To find a vaccine clinic near you click here.