Subject: Employee COVID Response Team Update
Date: September 11, 2020

Dear faculty and staff,

Living in a world with COVID-19 is a little like being on a roller coaster that we can’t get off—there is the nervous “excitement” of preparing to safely return to campus, mixed with the work, the fear, and the unknown curves that actually accompany the return.  As we complete another week of working, living, and learning on campus, we hope that you are starting to feel the rhythm of coming back to the station.

If that is not the case, and you still have obstacles preventing you from succeeding in your role, we want to help. Please contact the COVID Response Team with questions or concerns by emailing or by phoning 616-526-6657. They have already received a number of questions to which they are in the process of responding, and their focus is to provide a safe living and learning environment for our community.

Here are some things you might be wondering:

What can I do?

  • Encourage colleagues and students to keep up with the daily health protocols like wearing masks, using social distancing, practicing good personal hygiene, and not gathering in large groups.
  • Make it a practice to check in with the #CampusClear app every day and encourage one another and students to do the same. When we all practice this daily discipline, we greatly increase our ability to remain a healthy and safe campus.
  • Check the symptom algorithm (decision making flow chart) if you are unsure what steps to take when experiencing a symptom.

What happens if a student is sick or tests positive?

  • Kelsey Colburn in Campus Ministries will reach out to the student to navigate protocols.
  • Calvin contract tracing will ensue.
    • Faculty and students in the ill student’s classes will be notified if quarantining is necessary. It is not the professor’s role to inform students of an ill classmate.
    • Student information is confidential and cannot be shared.
  • Center for Student Success will communicate other details to faculty.
    • They will notify faculty members when the student is to switch to remote learning as well as when the student is cleared to return to in-person learning.
    • Questions related to student situations can be directed to Thea Brophy ( or Amy VanderSlik (

What happens if faculty or staff members get sick or test positive?

  • The same procedure as above applies, only Nicole Williams in Human Resources will connect with faculty and staff to navigate the situation.

What is happening with the fitness facilities on campus?

Governor Whitmer announced on Friday of last week that fitness centers throughout Michigan are able to re-open. Over the summer, Calvin developed a plan for gradually opening our fitness center when restrictions eased. We have reviewed the plan over the last few days and will be opening a few spaces in the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex beginning Monday, September 14.

The Morren Fitness Center, the Venema Aquatic Center, and the Hoogenboom Health and Recreation Center are the three spaces that will be re-opening for students, faculty and staff. Calvin is limiting usage to these three groups for now, as they have been screened and are monitoring and reporting their symptoms on a daily basis. At this time, spouses and children of employees, emeriti, and retirees are not permitted to use the facilities. The faculty/staff locker rooms will be available starting on September 14 as well but will be limited to 6 people at a time. Lockers will not be available, so users will need to carry their personal items with them or leave them on a bench in the locker room. These limits will be revisited in early October. Check the Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex website for specific fall 2020 hours for each location.

Thank you for your commitment to the health of the Calvin community.


The COVID Response Team

Kristen Alford 
Jennifer Ambrose 
Laura Champion 
Todd Dornbos 
Jim English 
Todd Hubers (co-chair) 
Matt Kucinski 
Brian Paige 
Sarah Visser (co-chair) 
John Witte