Dear students, staff, and faculty,
This June 2021 update from the Calvin COVID Response Team includes several items that may be of interest. Our next communication will come in mid-July unless there is breaking news that requires a more immediate email. Thanks for reading, and our best wishes to you this summer.
VACCINES ENCOURAGED, NOT REQUIRED FOR 2021-22
For the 2021-22 school year, Calvin will strongly encourage but not require a COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID vaccines will only be required for students who are travelling abroad for an off-campus program or are part of an off-campus placement where the outside organization requires it. Any such students will receive a direct communication from the university with next steps.
We are working out many other details with respect to guidelines from the CDC, local and state health departments, and the NCAA for unvaccinated people. This includes such things as mandatory screening tests, isolation and quarantine requirements, and more.
Note that fully vaccinated people will not have to worry about most of these items, particularly screening tests. And though the university will not require the COVID-19 vaccine, we do strongly recommend that all Calvin students, faculty, and staff get an FDA- or WHO-approvedvaccine of their choice. We are encouraged that as of May 2021, over 65% of students enrolled in the spring of 2021 had received at least one shot, and over 75% of our employees were vaccinated.
We believe that the vaccines currently being offered in the U.S. are safe and effective, and we know that recent CDC and State of Michigan decisions to loosen restrictions (e.g., mask wearing, indoor and outdoor capacity limits, etc.) are due in large part to ever-rising vaccination levels.
We will continue to update the Calvin community as we gain more clarity, but we know that continued freedoms will be enjoyed as vaccination numbers increase and COVID cases decrease.
If you or someone you know is hesitant about the vaccine and would benefit from some solid, Christian thinking about it, we recommend these two sites:
Also, if you have already received your vaccine outside of the State of Michigan, please help us keep our records up-to-date and our percentage of vaccinated community members accurate by reporting your vaccine using this safe and secure online form: www.calvin.edu/go/covid-reporting
ON CAMPUS MEETINGS THROUGH JUNE
As a result of recent CDC, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Kent County Health Department directives, office spaces at Calvin are currently at 50% occupancy. That is in effect until July 1 and then will adjust upward to 100%.
For the current 50% threshold, please note that that is based on the maximum occupancy as set by the fire marshal (this should be posted in every space on campus). Sometimes, you might only have 12 people who work in a space that the fire marshal has set for 40. The 50% occupancy figure would then be 20 people who could be working in person, not 6.
In addition, since it is very difficult to assess room capacities for individual offices, the recommendation (after a consultation with the Grand Rapids Fire Department) is to ONLY meet in-person in conference rooms that have posted occupancy limits, knowing that once we hit July 1, we are back to full-capacity in all spaces.
MASK USAGE THROUGH JUNE
In compliance with CDC guidance and MDHHS public health orders, all employees, students, and visitors who are fully vaccinated (two weeks past final shot) have the option of not wearing a mask indoors on our campus, including personal and public spaces.
Anyone more comfortable wearing a mask on campus should feel free to do so. Anyone not fully vaccinated still needs to wear a mask indoors in public spaces until July 1 when Michigan's mask mandate expires.
Per CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a well-fitted mask in healthcare settings, including in Calvin Health Services, as well as on all planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay #CalvinStrong.
The COVID-Response Team
Phil de Haan
Todd Hubers (co-chair)
Sarah Visser (co-chair)