ALLENDALE, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Valley State University is reporting a rise in coronavirus cases just two days into the fall semester.
On Aug. 26, the university reported 30 students had tested positive for the virus since the month began. Less than a week later, 93 additional students tested positive, making the total number of cases 123.
University data reveals the 123 students who tested positive include: five students living on campus, 79 students who live within a mile of campus and 39 students who live further than a mile from campus.
Some students fear they could’ve been exposed.
“I would just personally feel safer if I was able to study from home,” said sophomore Katherine Worden.
While the university offers in-person and virtual learning, Worden’s concerns heightened after learning GVSU students who tested positive for coronavirus tripled in comparison to what it reported from Aug. 1 to Aug. 26.
“I am personally disappointed,” Worden said.
Officials say none of the students who have tested positive were hospitalized and no staff or faculty members, like Ashtin Martin, were infected.
“I don’t have any reservations,” Martin said.
Other students said they are also at ease.
“They are sanitizing everything, they have masks required inside,” said junior Kendahl Overbeck. “They’re doing a really good job I think.”
Vice Provost for Health Jean Nagelkerk said university officials have conducted more than 2,200 COVID-19 tests since move-in day on Aug. 23 and that the positive cases haven’t encouraged administrators to cut in-person learning.
“We are at the moderate level and we feel at this point we have adequate resources and support to maintain,” Nagelkerk said.
Nagelkerk said she’s not able to identity how or where the students contracted the virus but insist GVSU is on alert.
“We are watching what’s happening on campus,” Nagelkerk said.
GVSU identifies itself by four different alert levels that show how administrators respond if the number of positive cases continue to rise. The university is at level two, meaning in-person learning is still an option, unless a classroom or area has been connected to the spread of COVID-19.
University officials say all students and staff are expected to complete a daily COVID-19 self-assessment to help track these numbers. It’s required for those coming to campus.
Authorities also say they will continue to have testing sites on campus and track the number of people in the GVSU community who are in quarantine or isolation.
The latest data is from Aug. 31, the day classes started.
GVSU’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard can be found online.