Alert Level and Indicators

The Virus Action Team (VAT) will continuously monitor key local and regional health metrics ("indicators") to quickly detect changes in transmission of COVID-19, regionally and on our campuses.  A comprehensive view of the indicators will determine the University posture ("alert level"), which provides specific guidance for University operations.

The current alert level will be displayed here, on the Current Status of Indicators page, and on the GVSU COVID-19 Data Dashboard which gives a real-time view of some of the indicators. The VAT will monitor the full suite of indicators and continuously consider whether a change in alert level is warranted based on the indicators.

For details see the information below:

and our Current Status of Indicators page

This guidance will be updated as needed.


Virus Action Team Pages

This page is maintained by GVSU's Virus Action Team (VAT). Navigate to the other VAT-administered pages using the buttons above. For questions, concerns, or to report a non-emergency health/safety issue, email us at virusactionteam@gvsu.edu.  For general questions contact the Lakers Together Call Center: (616) 331-INFO (4636) - Mon. - Fri., 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. For personal health questions, call the 24/7 GVSU COVID Health Line (833) 734-0020.


Overview of monitoring and alert levels

The Virus Action Team will monitor key local and regional health metrics to quickly detect changes in transmission of COVID-19, regionally or on our campuses.  The team will monitor data daily so timely decisions regarding our response can be made..

GVSU realizes no single intervention will prevent the spread of COVID-19.  There is no one metric that would activate a change in GVSU’s operational response alert levels; rather, a full analytical view of both statewide and local indicators will signal that community wide transmission is increasing.  Our strategy is to implement multiple layers of best practices, each of which decreases risk.  When combined, these individual strategies are designed to effectively help protect our GVSU community and allow us to be in person and on campus as much as safely possible.  

GVSU recognizes there will be positive cases of COVID-19 within its community and has planned for subsequent needs of testing, contact tracing and the isolation and quarantining of students, faculty, and staff who have been exposed. A robust self-screening program coupled with our indicator monitoring infrastructure is critical. GVSU is prepared with the criteria and procedures to move quickly between alert levels if these COVID-19 indicators change within our local community.  These criteria and procedures will be monitored and updated as new information becomes available.  

Based on the charts below the Virus Action Team will regularly publish the current alert level and will constantly consider whether we need to change postures based on the indicators.

This guidance will be updated as needed.


Alert Levels: Descriptions and Operational Guidance

Alert Levels, Descriptions, and Key Operational Guidance

Level 0 - Near Normal
Cases are minimal, there are no clusters, and transmission controlled. Vigilance continues.
  • Prevalence of the virus is minimal, and GVSU can safely operate within current recommended guidelines.
  • Offering of Courses:
    Classes are traditional, hybrid, or online, with no reduction of face-to-face instruction
  • Work on Campus:
    No restrictions to on-campus work
  • Face Coverings:
    Face coverings not required. Faculty and staff can require in their private offices.
  • Residential Restrictions:
    No restrictions within on-campus housing
  • Dining Restrictions:
    No dining restrictions
  • Access to On-Campus Resources:
    No restricted access to on-campus resources
  • Campus Activities and Events:
    Gatherings are allowed per GVSU policies, CDC guidelines and state/local rules
  • Range of Testing Invitations:
    Walk-in testing available
Level 1 - Low Alert
Manageable number of cases with most from known sources. Restrictions may be needed in isolated situations, or small, targeted interventions.
  • Prevalence of the virus is limited, and GVSU can safely operate within current recommended guidelines, except perhaps in isolated situations
  • Offering of Courses:
    Classes are traditional, hybrid, or online. Reduction of face-to-face instruction may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Work on Campus:
    Flexible arrangements or work-from-home may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Face Coverings:
    Face coverings required in all indoor spaces. Exceptions are posted in the Face Coverings Policy.
  • Residential Restrictions:
    Residential restrictions may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Dining Restrictions:
    Dining restrictions may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Access to On-Campus Resources:
    Restrictions may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Campus Activities and Events:
    Restrictions may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Range of Testing Invitations:
    Walk-in testing available
Level 2 - Medium Alert
Moderate number of cases with most from known sources; there may be clusters. Restrictions may be needed in isolated situations, or targeted interventions.
  • Prevalence of the virus is moderate, with some impact on GVSU systems and resources, but support services, testing and contact tracing capacities are capable to allow continued operations
  • Offering of Courses:
    Classes are traditional, hybrid, or online. Reduction of face-to-face instruction may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Work on Campus:
    Increased flexible arrangements or work-from-home may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Face Coverings:
    Face coverings required in all indoor spaces. Exceptions are posted in the Face Coverings Policy.
  • Residential Restrictions:
    Residential restrictions may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Dining Restrictions:
    Increase grab-and-go options.
  • Access to On-Campus Resources:
    Restrictions may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Campus Activities and Events:
    Restrictions may be considered in isolated situations.
  • Range of Testing Invitations:
    Walk-in testing available. Those who are not vaccinated are invited for testing.
Level 3 - High Alert
Many cases, including community spread with some undetected cases. Broad, targeted interventions may be necessary. Some daily activities are limited.
  • Prevalence of the virus has increased to a high level, and operations must be limited
  • Offering of Courses:
    Classes are traditional, hybrid, or online. Reduction of face-to-face instruction may be considered in specific situations.
  • Work on Campus:
    Expansion of flexible arrangements and work-from-home in specific situations.
  • Face Coverings:
    Face coverings required in all indoor spaces. Exceptions are posted in the Face Coverings Policy.
  • Residential Restrictions:
    Suspend inter-campus visitors to residence halls
  • Dining Restrictions:
    Limit dining services to grab-and-go
  • Access to On-Campus Resources:
    Significantly reduce access to on-campus resources
  • Campus Activities and Events:
    Significantly reduce campus activities and events
  • Range of Testing Invitations:
    Walk-in testing available. Those who are not vaccinated are invited for testing.
Level 4 - Very High Alert
Widespread uncontrolled outbreak with many undetected cases. Campus density to be reduced considerably, and strong limits on activities.
  • Prevalence of the virus is very high, and GVSU resources on campus to safely support its students, faculty and staff is not meeting demand. Nearly all courses offered remotely.
  • Offering of Courses:
    Nearly all courses offered remotely.
  • Work on Campus:
    Nearly all work is remote.
  • Face Coverings:
    Face coverings required on campus in all situations.
  • Residential Restrictions:
    Consider measures to reduce residence hall population; no guests and limited movement of students
  • Dining Restrictions:
    Grab-and-go or delivery only
  • Access to On-Campus Resources:
    Access to on-campus resources extremely limited
  • Campus Activities and Events:
    Cancel activities and events
  • Range of Testing Invitations:
    Testing available to all, but campus density should be low

Alert Levels: Indicators

Infection Indicators

Table of Infection Indicators used to determine alert level
Indicators Near Normal Low Alert Medium Alert High Alert Very High Alert
7-Day average of new COVID-19 cases within GVSU < 1 1-10 10-20 20-60 > 60
7-Day average % positivity rate within GVSU < 1% 1-4% 4-10% 10-20% > 20%
Percent of students in isolation or quarantine < 1% 1-2% 2-3% 3-4% > 4%
7-Day average of new COVID-19 cases within Ottawa County (per 100K) < 1 1-5 5-10 10-25 > 25
7-Day average of new COVID-19 cases within Kent County (per 100K) < 1 1-5 5-10 10-25 > 25
7-Day average of new cases of COVID-19 in Michigan (per 100K) < 1 1-5 5-10 10-25 > 25
7-Day average Ottawa County % positivity rates < 3% 3-5% 5-10% 10-20% > 20%
7-Day average Kent County % positivity rates < 3% 3-5% 5-10% 10-20% > 20%
7-Day average Michigan % positivity rates < 3% 3-5% 5-10% 10-20% > 20%
CDC Level of Community Transmission -- Ottawa County Low Moderate Substantial High High
CDC Level of Community Transmission -- Kent County Low Moderate Substantial High High

Vaccination Indicators

Table of vaccination indicators used in determining alert level
Indicators Near Normal Low Alert Medium Alert High Alert Very High Alert
GVSU Community > 75% 65-75% 50-65% 25-50% < 25%
Kent County > 75% 65-75% 50-65% 25-50% < 25%
Ottawa County > 75% 65-75% 50-65% 25-50% < 25%

Capacity to Manage

Table of Capacity to Manage indicators in determining alert level
Indicators Near Normal Low Alert Medium Alert High Alert Very High Alert
GVSU Testing Programs Minimal requests for testing Sufficient capacity and limited use Sufficient capacity Capacity adjusted due to need Testing program is stressed
Availability of quarantine / isolation rooms Nearly all rooms available Sufficient capacity and limited need Sufficient capacity Limited capacity Capacity not supporting need
Contact Tracing Minimal need for tracing Sufficient capacity and limited need Sufficient capacity Tracing program showing stress Tracing program is highly stressed

Other Indicators

Table showing other indicators in determining alert levels
Indicators Near Normal Low Alert Medium Alert High Alert Very High Alert
Governmental regulations affecting our operations Little or no restrictions Minor restrictions Some restrictions Significant regulation High regulation
Level of concern in the community Calm Uncertainty Some concerns Increased anxiety/concern Fear
Incidence of cases at comparable institutions of higher education Minimal incidence Limited incidence Moderate incidence High incidence Very high incidence