Date: May 20, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

On May 13, 2021, the CDC made a major announcement about the use of face coverings in non-healthcare settings by those who are fully vaccinated, essentially allowing anyone who is fully vaccinated (two weeks past their last shot) to be indoors and not be masked.  

The next day, the State of Michigan announced that our state’s Gatherings and Mask Order will be aligned with the CDC’s latest guidance on face coverings. 

And just this week, MIOSHA (Michigan Occupational and Health Safety Administration) announced that it will follow the CDC and the State with regards to mask usage indoors in workplaces. 

Fully Vaccinated People Can Be Maskless Anywhere on Campus 

This means that effective immediately, we are allowing anyone who is fully vaccinated (two weeks past final shot) the option of not wearing a mask in any indoor space on our campus.

This includes employees, students, and visitors. And it includes both personal spaces such as offices, and public spaces such as break rooms and meeting rooms.

In the meantime, you may still see some signs and other messaging that says visitors and others need to wear masks. In the coming days, we will be working to remove such signs, which will eventually be replaced with a more accurate version aligning with current guidance.

Please recognize that this is an option to go maskless, not a requirement. Anecdotally, we are seeing and hearing about many people in our state who are fully vaccinated and comfortable being unmasked in a place like their office but not necessarily in larger gatherings, either in the workplace or in public spaces such as grocery stores.

Anyone who would feel more comfortable wearing a mask on campus should certainly feel free to do so. As we transition to this new approach to masks, and next week to summer hours, please do remember that not everyone who is masked is unvaccinated.

Conversely, according to the CDC, the State of Michigan, and MIOSHA, those who are not vaccinated – and we need to reiterate that this means not yet two weeks past your last vaccine dose – do still need to wear a mask in any indoor setting.

Implications for Commencement

For Commencement this weekend, we have an interesting set of circumstances.

Much of what will happen for Commencement is outdoors.

The recent CDC and State of Michigan orders allow anyone, fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or not at all vaccinated, to be maskless outdoors.

So, folks attending Commencement have that option to be maskless, regardless of vaccination status, when they are outdoors.

Do remember though that some parts of LMCU Ballpark, where we will host Commencement for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021, are indoor space (e.g., restrooms). Anyone who is not fully vaccinated should bring a mask in case they need to be in an indoor space on Commencement Day for any amount of time.

Capacity Limits, Dining Restrictions Unchanged

As a reminder, at this time, it does not appear that the state has changed, or will immediately change, any of its current capacity limits in indoor and outdoor venues. We continue to seek guidance and clarity on that question. In the meantime, we will continue to adhere to prior guidance and capacity limits tied to the state’s Vacc to Normal roadmap, which set vaccination rates as targets by which restrictions would be lifted.

In addition, the existing dining restrictions continue to be in effect, including stipulations around distance between groups of patrons, how many patrons from one party can be seated together, etc.

So, capacity limits and dining restrictions continue to be in effect at Calvin and will be for Commencement as well. Signage and verbal instructions will guide people regarding capacity and dining limits both on campus and at Commencement.

On the Honor System 

This new set of opportunities from the CDC and the State is on the honor system, including for members of the Calvin community. As a CRT and as a university, we expect the only people to be maskless on campus in indoor settings to be people who are fully vaccinated. This includes employees, students, and visitors. Please do your part and stay masked if you are not fully vaccinated. Also, please honor the honor system and don’t survey your colleagues and others about vaccination status. 

Finally, one quick reminder that fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a well-fitted mask in healthcare settings, including in Health Services, as well as on all planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation. 

If you have questions, please email responseteam@calvin.edu .

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