Virus Action Team update: Holiday safety measures, travel guidelines

Sign on campus that says Spread Kindness, not COVID.
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson

Health care officials across the state have sent urgent messages about the alarming rise in the number COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Health officials say a slowdown is nowhere in sight, putting significant pressure on our state’s health care systems and frontline workers.

Health experts say wearing a face covering, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, getting tested and washing your hands continue to be the most effective ways to avoid spreading the virus.

If you develop any symptoms, even minor ones, such as a runny nose, sore throat or feeling fatigued, document them in your daily self-assessment and follow the next steps that are provided. Ignoring symptoms may cause you to unwittingly spread the virus.

The upcoming holiday presents a new challenge and an opportunity to practice what is most effective in curbing the spread of COVID.

  • Thanksgiving Break begins November 25: Students are encouraged to practice enhanced safety measures prior to break; consider only leaving your residences to get food or medicine, attend classes, go to work or exercise, and wear a mask while around others. Strictly adhere to health and safety measures at approved, on-campus events. Students returning home are encouraged to follow recommendations from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, including wearing a mask around your family for the first two weeks.

  • Free testing: COVID-19 surveillance testing is available for those who come to campus at least one day per week. Testing will take place through November 19. The university will pay for one test per person. Testing for people who do NOT have symptoms or who have not had direct exposure to someone with COVID will take place on the Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids campuses. Those eligible received an email with a link to schedule an appointment.

  • GVSU also hosts a Spectrum Health testing site at the Commons on the Allendale Campus for people who have symptoms or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Appointments can be scheduled through MyChart or by calling the GVSU Spectrum Health COVID Resource Line at (833) 734-0020.

  • Students! Sign up for a FREE flu vaccination! TheGVSU/Meijer Free Flu Clinics for students will be held on the Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids campuses the week of November 16. 

  • Post-Thanksgiving: Those who come back to campus are strongly encouraged to get tested upon their return. Testing on campus will resume November 30. Invitations will be emailed during Thanksgiving week. 

  • Personal Travel: To protect the health of the GVSU community, employees and students are encouraged to refrain from personal travel to areas identified as being at higher risk for COVID-19 transmission. More information can be found in the GVSU Personal Travel Policy.