It seems to be a moving target with rules or suggestions changing all the time, but as the Delta Variant of COVID19 spreads more, our local colleges and universities are doing their best to protect their students, faculty and staff. Hope College is one of them.

Hope College will require masks for everyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Fox 17 reported that August 13, the announcement by the Ottawa County Department of Public Health said  that the county’s COVID-19 transmission rate is now in the high-risk category. So, Hope took action.

There is an exception to the policy. That is when individuals are in their living space on campus or alone in their work space.

The college plans to reassess the mask policy on Sept. 14 based on transmission rates and campus wastewater and surveillance testing.

Grand Valley State University, Calvin University, Kuiper College, and Davenport University have all said the same, mask up for all students, faculty and staff. Cornerstone has not issued their official decision at this time.

Also, all of the colleges and universities  “strongly encourage” members of the campus community to get vaccinated.

As of Aug. 19, Hope reported that 81.4% of enrolled students were fully vaccinated or planned to be fully vaccinated early in the semester, and more than 81% of faculty and staff had reported being fully vaccinated.

That compares to Ottawa County’s vaccination initiation rate – which is one or more doses of any COVID-19 vaccine – for those 12 and older of 61.56% and the state’s 59.8%.

 

Fall semester classes for the college’s 160th academic year begin Tuesday, Aug. 31.

 

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