Subject: Employee COVID Response Team Update
Date: September 18, 2020

Dear faculty and staff,

As we soon start our third full week of class, we’d like to share some gratitude from the last few weeks, some updates on the current COVID situation on campus, and some reminders on how to prevent the spread of COVID in the weeks ahead.

Grateful for You

We’re grateful for a new cohort of students and for returning students who are committed to a life-changing education and to living responsibly in difficult times. We’re grateful for faculty who are welcoming these students with open arms, all while working through a myriad of teaching complexities and pressures. We’re grateful for staff who have planned and cleaned and adapted. Your joint efforts to make this year at Calvin one of success are remarkable.

COVID Climate on Campus

The COVID dashboard is updated every weekday to keep you informed of the number of cumulative and active COVID-19 cases at Calvin. Those individuals who are listed as active cases on the dashboard remain in isolation until they are well. Please note that there are also individuals who are in quarantine because they have been exposed to the virus, and there are also some people who are being evaluated by health professionals and are in quarantine because they exhibit a common COVID symptom that may or may not turn out to be a positive case.

We realize that this period of unknown continues to be difficult from a mental health perspective, and Calvin has resources to help employees and students through this difficult time. The employee assistance program (EAP) is available through Calvin’s partnership with Pine Rest and is designed to offer confidential assistance to employees, their spouses, and their dependents. Students may be directed to Calvin’s Center for Counseling and Wellness.

If you notice a student is struggling, in any way, with these times, please don’t hesitate to submit your concern by completing the form on the Center for Student Success website or by contacting Thea Brophy with questions. They will evaluate your concern and relay to it to the appropriate person or office on campus.

Please pray for those who are sick and for students, faculty, and staff who are finding themselves in a waiting place. Pray for perseverance for those in a position of need and for those who are in a position to fill the needs of others.

Preventing the Spread of COVID

There are many things you can do to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Calvin. Please remain diligent, and . . .

  • Remember to download the #CampusClear app and check in daily. See the #CampusClear video: https://vimeo.com/458958297/cad894627f.
  • Ask students in your class or in your office to show their #CampusClear clearance for the day.
  • Continue to wear a mask.
  • Practice social distancing by limiting the distance between you and your contacts to 6 feet or more.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay home if you are ill or have been notified that you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Contact the COVID Response Team with questions or concerns by emailing ResponseTeam@calvin.edu or by phoning 616-526-6657.

One more item of note:

EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. You may recall an outbreak in EEE last year in the U.S., and another outbreak is predicted for this year. Since many students and employees are spending time outdoors in areas approved for events and eating, Calvin’s facilities team will be spraying today (or has already just sprayed) for mosquito control. The spray should help control the mosquito population for the next three to four weeks. The facilities team will continue to monitor the situation and will spray again if necessary.

Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe!

Sincerely,

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