Date: December 22, 2020

Dear Students, 

Merry Christmas! Most of you are away from campus, eager to mark the holidays in safe and fun ways, and perhaps not yet thinking about 2021, but we wanted to let you know about some of the things you can expect upon your return to Calvin in the new year. Please see below for important updates. 

When you return in January, we'll ask you to participate in another round of COVID screening tests. These tests will help us better mitigate any risk of virus spread as hundreds of students return to campus. 

Our return dates have shifted slightly, but the screening process will be available whenever you return, or even if you never left! 

To schedule your day-of-arrival screening test, visit our COVID Screening site on Eventbrite and register for a time that works for you. The registration process includes a form to print and fill out prior to your test. 

It is very important that you receive your screening test BEFORE spending time unmasked with your residence hall or apartment roommate(s), including sleeping in the same room. We recommend this for commuter students returning to Grand Rapids as well. 

There should be plenty of times available, particularly between January 14-17 when many students will be moving back for the start of in-person classes on January 18.  

If you have any problems or questions about scheduling, contact responseteam@calvin.edu.  

We will accept test results that you receive elsewhere if the test is within three days of your return to campus, though we would prefer that you also go through our process when you arrive. For off-campus screening tests, please submit your results electronically using the COVID Reporting Form

Note that if you have had a verified case of COVID-19 in the 90 days prior to your return to campus, you do NOT need to participate in our screening process. If you haven't reported your previous case to Calvin, please do so using the COVID Reporting Form and attach the documentation you received at the time of your diagnosis. 

Calvin will be utilizing a rapid antigen test for this round of screenings. While excellent at identifying cases of contagious infection, even when a person is asymptomatic, these tests are still a point in time and can't guarantee that you won't develop COVID-19 in the days after your return. For that reason, we'll ask everyone to carefully self-monitor and reduce unnecessary travel and contact with people outside your own living pod for several days before and after your arrival.  

Start using the Campus Clear app again (or for the first time) when you arrive on campus for housing or for your first in-person class. Report any symptoms you may be having using the COVID Reporting Form or by contacting Health Services through their patient portal

Finally, if a person tests positive for coronavirus at the return-to-learn screening, a PCR test will be administered by Helix to confirm the initial rapid antigen positive result, and the student will be assisted with housing accommodations and isolation instructions. In addition, staff from Calvin's Health Services will follow up and assist all students who might test positive. 

The 2020 Christmas season will be a complicated time for celebrations, an uncertain end to an uncertain year. But we celebrate with joy all of God's good gifts and the promise of Immanuel, God with us – a light that breaks through the darkness around us. And we celebrate with hope for 2021, leaning on the promises of Christmas and the certainties of God's goodness and grace, now and always.  

~The COVID Response Team 

P.S. Check out this video introduction to our new screening process!