Incident Management Team update
Facilities Services is now using an antimicrobial product they call a "game changer" as part of enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures on campus. The product, MicrobeCare, is a hospital-grade solution that will be used in classrooms and athletic complexes, as well as other high-traffic and high-visitor spaces like the Kirkhof Center, Lubbers Student Services Center, dining facilities and restrooms.
MicrobeCare is a long-lasting protective coating that molecularly bonds to all surfaces, said Patrick Eddy, owner of MicrobeCare. Eddy said the solution destroys the cell wall of microbes, disrupting the growth process and making it unable to reproduce, effectively destroying the organism. He said the product is safe for skin, clothes and the environment.
Rence Meredith, director of Facilities Services, said for the past month, the product has been tested in the Odie weight room and the athletic training room in the Hosford Football Center with great results.
"We have been very satisfied with initial and ongoing test results," said Meredith. "Weeks after initial application, the testing is still comparable to the post treatment tests."
Meredith said random samplings of touchpoints were tested (door knobs, faucets, table surfaces, chair arms and weight equipment) and the results were just as effective.
Below is a summary of other sanitation efforts as well as key information regarding GVSU's plans for Fall 2020. More information can be found at www.gvsu.edu/lakerstogether, which is updated as decisions are made.
Grand Valley will begin the Fall 2020 semester August 31 with courses offered in-person, remotely and in a hybrid format, while following guidance from the CDC, as well as state and public health officials.
At this time, there are no plans to alter the GVSU Fall 2020 academic calendar; fall classes begin August 31.
Options to alter the Fall 2020 academic calendar were considered by the Senior Leadership Team in May. The decision was made to keep the calendar as scheduled so GVSU would not have to rush preparation for Fall 2020, and no one can accurately predict what will happen with the virus. The Senior Leadership Team will continue to monitor public health developments in Michigan, along with any updates to CDC guidelines, to determine if any changes are needed.
Return to work
All employees should monitor their health on a regular basis as they return to campus. Please print and fill out the self-assessment form prior to leaving your residence for work each day. If you answer “yes” to any question, please stay at home, notify your supervisor and seek guidance from your health provider. Keep these forms for your records, and for possible contact tracing, should it be needed.
Course Offerings to be completed mid-July
Grand Valley continues to plan for a face-to-face learning experience for students in the coming fall semester while conforming to public health guidelines, as long as state and federal policies allow. A wide variety of online course offerings will also be available. Classrooms have been redesigned for social distancing.
Grand Valley has developed three options for Fall 2020 courses: fully online, several hybrid models, and face-to-face instruction.
In order to achieve social distancing and help keep all students, faculty, and staff safe, some courses need to be modified. This is resulting in changes to the fall schedule of courses, which was put in place in January 2020 before COVID-19 was affecting Michigan. Some of these changes will impact existing student schedules. We are simultaneously striving to offer more flexibility and options in course delivery in order to accommodate the various needs of all students.
Many courses may need to move to a "staggered hybrid" model where half of the instruction occurs in-person, and half remotely, in order to accommodate social distancing requirements in classrooms. We are trying to avoid day and time changes as much as possible, but those may also be necessary in order to maximize face-to-face instruction.
Once the modified schedule is in place (by mid-July), students will be provided with instructions to get support for any modifications they need or wish to make. The first priority has been to update delivery methods so students can see if their courses have a face-to-face component. That process has now been nearly completed (except for any recent changes that were submitted). Delivery methods listed on Banner are traditional (face-to-face), hybrid and online.
Housing, Dining, Move in, Buses
About 80 percent of GVSU housing is suite-style or apartment style. There will be reduced density in common spaces, single options in traditional-style housing, and increased frequency of cleaning in common spaces and bathrooms.
Students will receive ongoing communication and support regarding personal wellness and appropriate protocols on self-monitoring, diagnostics and care.
For the health and safety of students and their supporters, Fall 2020 Move-in will be extended to five days to allow for social and physical distancing. Move-in tentatively begins August 24.
Leaders are still working through whether to offer the Helping Hands initiative. More information will be posted on the Housing Move-In website as it becomes available.
Social distancing guidelines for food service will be followed in the dining areas, including reducing capacity, wearing PPE’s, proper signage, and additional dedicated cleaning staff for all areas of Campus Dining. More detailed information about the complete fall dining program will be posted next week.
The new Laker Line, that travels between campuses, will have 40 percent more capacity and will be disinfected regularly. For added safety, passengers will be required to wear face coverings. Buses will arrive every 10 minutes during peak times.
Testing and contact tracing
The university is implementing a variety of steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the university community, as well as to identify individuals who may have been exposed or who have symptoms, through daily self-assessments.
If an exposure or symptoms are reported, the individual will be contacted to facilitate testing. Testing is available at the Metro Health GVSU Campus Health Center, the GVSU Family Health Center, and a wide variety of other providers in the area.
If someone tests positive, the local health department is notified. Individual(s) identified as having close contact with the infected person (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes without face coverings or other barrier), will be notified, requested to self-quarantine and their names provided to the health department.
Contact tracing is conducted by the health department to determine the need for additional notifications. In the event of an exposure where individuals cannot be identified (i.e. an event where someone was with a group of people but didn’t know everyone’s names), a broader communication would be sent to notify those at the event regarding the case and recommended next steps.
For students who become ill, each housing community will have rooms and apartments available for students who need to quarantine or isolate. Students will be supported by university staff to continue academic support.
Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitation
Along with using the MicrobeCare product, Facilities Services is continuing to enhance cleaning and sanitation procedures. Following guidance from CDC, OSHA and Spectrum Health’s Employer Guide, staff will prioritize services within the university and establish cleaning standards.
The university has also implemented enhanced air handling and water testing procedures, including increased ventilation, outside air intake, inspection, maintenance and cleaning of systems, and increased replacement of air filters.
Classrooms and conference rooms will be sanitized daily. Disinfectant spray and hand towels will be available for use during the day as needed.
A limited number of seats will be available in lunch rooms and break areas to accommodate social distancing of at least 6 feet. Users of these spaces will need to wipe down counters, microwaves, refrigerator handles, vending machines before and after use. Disinfectant spray and paper towels, or disinfectant wipes will be available from Facilities Services for use in these areas.
For more information on enhanced cleaning and sanitation plans, including HVAC protocol, visit www.gvsu.edu/facilitiesservices/allendale.