Subject: Planning for Safe Return in August
Date: July 10, 2020

Dear faculty and staff,

Our Safe Return Team and four working groups are continuing to make good progress toward a safe return to campus. It is important to us to find the best way to be able to conduct classes on campus and provide high-quality service to students, faculty, and staff while maintaining the health and wellbeing of everyone. We also look forward to being able to safely strengthen our community in a time of physical distancing.

While some of you have already been working on campus, departments that need to have a presence on campus this fall should plan on returning to campus the week of August 17. The following information is a general overview for what the transition back to campus will entail. There are more details being ironed out throughout the month of July, but we hope this provides more clarity for you at this time.

Screening, training, and monitoring. In consideration for those you work with, employees are encouraged to be screened, complete online training and begin self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 no later than August 17.

Employees who are currently working on campus should plan to register for COVID-19 screening the week they are not taking furlough. Available test dates will be:

  • Monday, July 13
  • Wednesday, July 15
  • Monday, July 20
  • Wednesday, July 22
All employees who will begin working on campus on August 17 or plan to work occasionally on campus this fall, should plan to be screened during the weeks of August 3 or August 10. Available test dates will be:
  • Monday, August 3
  • Wednesday, August 5
  • Monday, August 10
  • Wednesday, August 12

Screening begins at 9 am at the Hoogenboom Health & Recreation Center, Entrance D (between the Hoogenboom Center and the Tennis and Track facility). Park in Lot 6. Please sign up for the first available time slot. You can register for your time here: and complete your training here:

ALL EMPLOYEES, whether screened or not, should self-monitor for symptoms by completing the Healthy@Calvin Check-in form daily starting August 17.

Reduced employee density on campus. Having a presence on campus will look different from department to department. Our goal is to reduce our employee density on campus as much as possible without sacrificing service and hospitality to students and visitors.

Departments should consider the following questions when planning their return to campus:

  • What work can be achieved remotely?
  • Is doing the work on campus in compliance with current federal and state regulations and with CDC guidelines?
  • Do staff provide direct service to students in the office space?
  • What considerations need to be made to supervise student workers who live or need to work on campus?
  • Where can the work be done most productively?
  • Is it a medical necessity to work remotely?
  • Can we stagger shifts, alternate schedules, or combine services with other departments to reduce the number of people physically present at the same time?

Employees who are at increased risk for severe illness. Protecting the health of the Calvin University community is paramount as we return to campus. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal health guidelines, employees are not required to disclose medical conditions. If an employee considers themselves to be at high risk for COVID-19 based on the CDC guidelines and have concerns regarding returning to campus, they may voluntarily disclose these concerns to their supervisor or may request reasonable accommodations to their work or learning environment through Calvin’s human resources department.

Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk. And the more factors a person has, the higher the risk. Prior to requesting accommodations, you may wish to self-assess your vulnerability to COVID-19 by referring to the latest guidance from the CDC and talking with your primary health care provider. If you need to request an accommodation to your work based on a health condition you should complete this COVID-19 accommodation request form and submit it to the human resources office.

Individuals who do not fall within the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines for “increased risk” but have other concerns about returning to campus due to their individual circumstances (such as household members who may be at higher risk) should contact their supervisor, department chair, or the human resources department to discuss their concerns and whether adjustments to their work environment may be made to address them. The ADA reasonable accommodation process is not intended to address employees who test positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms as such situations are covered by university leave policies.

Office Space. If you have questions about your office space and whether it meets the current health guidelines please contact Jennifer Ambrose, environmental health and safety, and she will help evaluate the office space and consider alternatives for adjusting the workspace.

Personal protective equipment (PPE). Calvin will provide all initial supplies (e.g. masks, soap, disinfectant wipes, etc.) through Calvin’s environmental health and safety (EHS) office. The main PPE need for employees is face masks. Each employee should receive two reusable cloth face masks, and they should also have the option of bringing in their own if preferred.

If departments need additional supplies (e.g., masks, etc.), they will be responsible for replenishing those from their budgets but can order through EHS and/or facilities.

Specialty departments that need additional PPE, such as nursing and health services, will be responsible for financing and ordering those items. They can consult with EHS and/or facilities for ordering.

Please refer to the Safe Return website for additional information about office spaces, meeting protocols, health and cleaning guidelines, and other information about expectations for our campus community. We will be updating this site as more details and information is finalized.

The Safe Return Team

Sarah Visser (co-chair)
Laura Champion
Todd Hubers (co-chair)
Todd Dornbos
Arlene Hoogewerf
Kristen Alford
Tim Ellens
Juli Haga
Matt Kucinski
Russell Bray
Jim English
John Witte