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Ottawa County issues "Staying in Place" order for Allendale Twp. impacting GVSU students

Novel coronavirus graphic

Since late August, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health has recorded more than 600 COVID-19 cases among Grand Valley State University’s student population living and studying in Allendale Township. It says the rising case rate has “exceeded maximum indicator thresholds for risk to the community.”

A “Staying in Place” order takes effect September 17th until October 1st. That means students must remain in their on-campus or off-campus housing for the next two weeks. There are exceptions; attending class, accessing food services or grocery shopping, receiving medical care or medicines, religious worship, university athletic practices and employment.

“Right now, Grand Valley is tracking about, overall about 370 active cases.”

Grand Valley State University President Dr. Philomena V. Mantella says the university tracks daily case counts and rolling seven-day averages determining is cases are increasing or decreasing.

“The cases over the last couple of days have been pretty steady and in fact incrementally decreasing. But set in the context that we discussed being a large presence in a small county, it still has a disproportionate impact to the health and well-being of, not only our students, but of county residents.”

The focus is on where the cases are occurring and containment reducing risk. New requirements include face coverings worn outdoors. 

The campus community and Ottawa County will enforce the order.

I’m Patrick Center

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.