Date: February 8, 2021

Dear Calvin students, staff, and faculty,   

In the past few days, we have experienced an alarmingly rapid increase in COVID-19 positivity rates. The numbers indicate an extraordinary uptick and spread among our student population (see Calvin’s COVID dashboard).

We have also seen evidence of failure by some to adhere to our health and safety guidelines, including delays in reporting COVID-like symptoms and illness, elevated numbers of close contacts because of social gatherings, failure to remain six feet apart, and ignoring occupancy limits in common spaces.

To reduce transmission among the Calvin community, swift action is necessary. Starting tonight (Monday, February 8) at midnight, we will observe a period of enhanced physical distancing for 14 days. We will reassess the situation during this time to determine whether the period will be extended beyond the current 14 days.

It is our expectation that all students living on campus and within the local Grand Rapids area will observe this enhanced physical distancing directive. For students living on campus, you will receive another email outlining specific expectations pertaining to living in the residence halls. Additionally, faculty will be in touch with their students to communicate whether their courses will happen in-person or remotely during the two-week period (students should plan to attend in person tomorrow, unless they hear otherwise from their faculty). 

During the 14-day enhanced physical distancing, you should not gather with others — on campus or off. We also want to make you aware of changes to on-campus activities during this period.

  • Dining halls will be open for takeout orders only, and food may not be consumed in the presence of others outside your immediate living pod (roommates)
  • Athletic activities are currently being evaluated on a team-by-team basis. Based upon patterns of test results, symptoms, and close contacts, some team activities have been suspended. The athletic director will communicate with each team to outline the plans for the next two weeks based on state regulations and MIAA protocols. Intramural activities will be paused until further notice and up to 14 days
  • All public seating areas in residence halls and campus buildings will be closed, including basements, lounges, reading rooms, and the seating area outside of Johnny’s

Activities permitted on campus include:

  • Attending an in-person class (students should attend in person tomorrow unless they hear otherwise from their faculty)
  • Picking up meals from a dining hall
  • Accessing secure internet
  • Utilizing individual study spaces in the library or in physically distanced drop-in classrooms (reserved for this purpose)
  • Conducting research or employment that must be performed in person
  • Participating in COVID-19 screening or diagnostic testing
  • Receiving medical care

Additionally, students should continue to demonstrate the behaviors outlined in Calvin’s Love Your Neighbor Covenant, which includes completing daily symptom-monitoring utilizing the #CampusClear app when coming to campus for any reason and observing all local and campus health protocols. Failing to comply with health protocols will result in disciplinary action.

We must reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community in order to persist in living and learning on campus together this semester.  

If you are feeling ill, you should self-isolate and avoid close contact with all others. You should also report your symptoms through the #CampusClear app and your patient portal.

Questions and concerns may be directed to ResponseTeam@calvin.edu.

Sincerely,

Michael Le Roy, president