Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

In this final week of April, we can see the finish line for the semester and for the 2020-21 school year. This is the last full week of classes, and next week exams begin. In a school year that has seen some twists and turns, we can celebrate a community that came together to do a full year of in-person learning in circumstances that many thought would make such a feat impossible.

Kudos to all at Calvin who made this school year possible by wearing masks, practicing distancing, using #CampusClear faithfully, being tested and, more recently, by getting vaccinated.

As we began this week, we celebrated as a CRT the fact that almost 75 percent of our employees and just over 50 percent of our students are fully or partially vaccinated!

These numbers bode well for a more normal fall semester, especially the employee number, and we hope to see an increasing percentage among students.

Our vaccine clinics are done for the school year, but there are openings via
Vaccinate West Michigan at DeVos Place, which offers the Pfizer vaccine, a two-dose series that has a booster at only 21 days.

In fact, t
he West Michigan Vaccine Clinic will accept walk-in vaccination appointments Tuesday, April 27 and Wednesday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The clinic is at DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW in Grand Rapids. Free parking will be available at DeVos Place and at the Government Center Ramp across the street.

If today or tomorrow don’t work for your schedule, you can sign up for the Pfizer vaccine for a different time via the Spectrum Health website (which has options for both Spectrum and non-Spectrum patients). And if you have questions about the vaccines, the getvaccineanswers websitehas lots of great info.

Rapid PCR Test for Those Traveling Outside the U.S.

Our surveillance screening clinics will conclude for the school year tomorrow (April 28), but we are offering by-appointment-only testing for students and others who need to travel outside the U.S. at the conclusion of the semester and need proof of a negative COVID test to enter their destination country.

For travel to countries that allow a negative rapid antigen test, students can take an antigen test at Calvin at no cost. However, some countries may require a PCR test for entry.

Anyone who needs a negative COVID test for entry to their travel destination should check to see what their destination country requires, especially since countries do change the criteria periodically.

To accommodate student needs, Calvin will also offer a by-appointment-only rapid PCR test with same-day results. The cost will be $150 with cash or credit card payment due at the time of the appointment (no insurance).

Our rapid PCR test should fulfill the requirements of most countries (the rapid antigen test likely will not), but it is imperative that the traveler confirms the requirements before registering for a rapid PCR with Health Services.

Please note that some countries may require a PCR test that is not rapid, a test which is not available at Calvin and would need to be sought elsewhere.

A rapid PCR test can be requested using the patient portal. Tests are available Monday through Friday until May 20 and then Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays starting May 25. 

For free rapid antigen testing (the kind we’ve been doing all semester at our surveillance clinics), visit
www.calvin.edu/go/covid-screening (dates will be added periodically) or email your request to covidsurveillancetesting@calvin.edu.  

Keep masking up, keep social distancing, and keep using #CampusClear for the remainder of the semester (instructions will be coming next week re #CampusClear use for people who will be on campus for in-person learning this summer).

And please, get vaccinated as soon as you can, if you are able. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay #CalvinStrong.

The COVID-Response Team
Kristen Alford
Jennifer Ambrose
Laura Champion
Phil de Haan
Todd Dornbos
Jim English
Todd Hubers (co-chair)
Brian Paige
Jane Prins
Sarah Visser (co-chair)
John Witte
Cindy Wolffis