Virus Action Team update: Thousands tested in campus community for COVID-19, shows low positivity rate

The testing program for COVID-19 at Grand Valley is underway and protection and support plans to protect the community are in place. 

GVSU, in partnership with Spectrum Health, has conducted more than 2,200 tests for COVID-19 in the past week as students moved to campus. GVSU will conduct 5,000 more tests in the next two weeks on students, faculty and staff members.

More than 10 percent of the student body was tested in the past week. The testing program has yielded a 2.1 percent positivity rate in the community, which is likely an overestimate of true prevalence due to the purposeful testing of individuals in higher-risk areas, such as living centers.

Taking into account data obtained from self-assessments, tests performed at Spectrum Health and the GVSU Campus/Community Health Centers, notifications from county health officials, and the GVSU random/regular testing programs, there are 123 positive cases as of August 31. Nearly all positive cases are students who live off-campus. (Details below).

"The numbers are not surprising to us. We are testing thousands on campus and we expect positive cases," said Jean Nagelkerk, vice provost for Health. "We are taking appropriate action and having students isolate if they have tested positive or quarantine if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive. This will protect our university community and the broader communities in which students live."

Support is in place for students who test positive. Spectrum Health is making daily contact to check on their well-being and faculty is providing academic support to isolated and quarantined students so they can keep up with their course work.

Grand Valley's Virus Action Team is reviewing testing and other data every day. More information on testing can be found on the GVSU COVID-19 Data Dashboard. Information about GVSU's entire COVID-19 response plan can be found at Lakers Together.


From the more than 2,200 tests conducted through August 28 by the Grand Valley testing program, 48 were positive, yielding a positivity rate of 2.1 percent. 

Through Monday, August 31, there were 123 positive cases total, which includes the 48 results from the program last week, 14 more positive cases over the weekend, and 61 positive cases reported by students who received a test outside of this program over the past two weeks.

GVSU cannot report a positivity rate based on the 123 cases because we don’t know in general how many students have tested negative outside of the GVSU program.