GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In preparation for Thanksgiving, which is about two weeks away, officials at Grand Valley State University are urging their students to be extra cautious.

With coronavirus cases on the rise in West Michigan, the university is asking students to only leave their homes when absolutely necessary.

“I don’t come out to campus unless I absolutely have to,” senior Tanthalas Taggart said. “Just keeping to myself and in my room basically at this point.”

Taggart said it’s important that students take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

“I have a great-grandma that I see every Thanksgiving, every Christmas and everything,” Taggart said. “She’s getting up there in age. I got to make sure that I don’t introduce anything in to her environment that makes her sick.”

Noah Usiak, another student, is on the same page.

“Going home, Thanksgiving, you’ll see family, you want to make sure you’re keeping yourself in mind, but also your family and the people you’ll see at home,” Usiak said.

GVSU is now asking students to only leave their homes to get food, medicine, attend classes, go to work or exercise. The recommendations begin on Nov. 10, exactly two weeks before Thanksgiving. 

Greg Sanial, the director of GVSU’s Virus Action Team, said the university is offering free COVID-19 testing in hopes of containing the spread.

“We’re testing thousands each week and we’re only going to ramp that up in advance of the Thanksgiving break,” Sanial said.

Taggart wants other students to know it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“It’s better to just take the safer route than it is to mess around with stuff that you don’t fully understand,” Taggart said.