Dear students, staff, and faculty,

Welcome to the July 2021 update from the Calvin COVID Response Team. See below for several items we hope will be of interest. Our next communication will come in mid-August unless there is breaking news that requires a more immediate email. Thanks for reading.

Fall Arrival Testing

Testing on arrival helps us identify anyone who needs care, and with our rapid antigen tests, we can have results returned in 15 minutes. For the fall of 2021, we will require all unvaccinated students to be screened for COVID upon their return to campus (or within 3 days prior to their arrival if testing off-campus) and then again 3-5 days after their arrival.  Rapid antigen tests will be used for these screening clinics and will cost $20 (billed to the student’s miscellaneous account). Students should sign up for their date and time in August at (website will be live and available for appointments the first week of August).

Exemptions include:

  • Students can be exempt from the first test if they come to campus with proof of a negative COVID test from 24-72 hours prior to their arrival on campus but will still be required to take the second test.
  • Any unvaccinated students who can present proof of having had COVID in the 90 days prior to their arrival on campus will be exempted from both tests.
  • Fully vaccinated students who present proof of vaccination will be exempt from both tests.

Please note that all students should actively self-monitor for symptoms during their first seven days on campus and follow protocols for reporting illness if they are noticing symptoms of illness. In addition, quarantining of unvaccinated students will NOT be required upon arrival to Calvin. However, quarantine space will be available for any on-campus residents who desire it upon arrival. Students should contact the Housing Office for this request.

Finally, free vaccinations will be available on-campus at various times during move-in week and the week after (usually corresponding to the testing times, for convenience).

NOTE: All students will get a letter from the university the first week of August with the above details and more regarding COVID and other important items of interest for the 2021-22 school year.

Wastewater Testing

After the fall arrival tests, we are not planning to do any regular, required surveillance screenings for the general student body as we did in interim/spring 2021. It is likely, however that student-athletes who are not vaccinated will be required to do routine testing to be eligible to participate in athletics. We continue to work with the NCAA and MIAA to determine what that will look like, and junior varsity and varsity athletes will be contacted by the university’s athletic department and/or their coaches with more details in the coming weeks.

Calvin will be participating in a local wastewater study with Grand Valley State University, which we hope may help lead to some early warnings about rising cases of COVID-19 in our on-campus living communities in 2021-22. If COVID is detected in the wastewater of a specific residential building, students living there may be asked to participate in COVID screening tests to help mitigate the spread of the virus and assist us in monitoring the health of those living in the community. 

#CampusClear for Symptom Reporting Only

To promote health and safety on our campus, all members of the Calvin community have access to the #CampusClear app to report any COVID symptoms. #CampusClear is free, easy to use, and respectful of your privacy. For 2021-22, please use the app only when you have symptoms to report. A member of the COVID Response Team will follow up with anyone who reports symptoms via the app. If you’d prefer not to download the app, you can use the web portal to report symptoms. All the instructions for how to use the app or the web portal can be found on the main #CampusClear landing page. 

Vaccines Not Required for 2021-22

As noted last month, 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 or domestically) for an off-campus program or are part of an off-campus placement where the outside organization requires it.

We do strongly recommend that all Calvin students, faculty, and staff get an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine of their choice. We believe that the vaccines currently being offered in the U.S. are safe and effective, including against some of the new variants that are hitting the unvaccinated with significant force.

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 at   

Our COVID Response Website

We are making a significant overhaul this summer to the COVID Response website at 

The site menu has been reduced in size and complexity, and soon the FAQ will be similarly reduced in size and updated to reflect the current COVID state of the campus, including masks, cleaning protocols, and more. We also are updating the #CampusClear page and other elements of the site that received the most traffic last year. In addition, any time there is breaking news around COVID and Calvin, we will add that info front and center on the COVID Response website, so continue to keep that page bookmarked and refer to it when you have questions and concerns.

We encourage you to check the page out today to view a recently added slideshow about our 2020-21 COVID response efforts.

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