Dear students, staff, and faculty,
As we move into the second full week of 2021, we also are looking ahead to our return to in-person learning on Monday, January 18. Our current return-to-campus screening process has been going extremely well, but this week will likely mean an increase in testing volume as students enrolled in an Interim class who plan to return to campus for the start of in-person instruction may do so beginning Thursday, January 14.
We would ask anyone planning to return to campus this week to schedule their screening test no more than three days before their planned return to on-campus living, learning, or working. There should be plenty of times available, particularly between January 14-17 when many students will be moving back.
It is especially important that students receive their screening test BEFORE spending time unmasked with their residence hall or apartment roommate(s), including sleeping in the same room. We recommend this for commuter students returning to Grand Rapids as well. Also, please stop taking any multivitamins 24 hours before your test as high doses of certain vitamins may falsify the results.
This week, even as we continue to learn remotely, we have opportunities to come together as a campus. Our daily chapels are all live online and the January Series is in full swing. We hope you have a chance this week to take advantage of our virtual life together, and we look forward to a return to a fuller life together next week.
NEW THIS WEEK
- Testing Times and Process
- Prior Positive Test Results
- Return to #CampusClear
- COVID-19 Dashboard
- Safe Return Website Updates
TESTING THIS WEEK
Calvin is using a self-administered, rapid antigen test for this winter round of screenings (if you’re wondering what this will entail, we have a great video that will walk you through the process). While excellent at identifying cases of contagious infection, even when a person is asymptomatic, these tests are still a point in time and do not guarantee that an individual won't develop COVID-19 in the days after returning to campus. For that reason, everyone should continue to carefully self-monitor and reduce unnecessary travel and contact with people outside their own living pod for several days before and after arrival.
If you have a positive test result from the antigen screening test, confirmation testing is required by Kent County Health Department. This confirmation testing may take 24-48 hours, and during that waiting period, isolation measures will be initiated. For students in this situation awaiting final test results, we will assist with both housing accommodations (for on-campus residents) and isolation instructions. In addition, Health Services will follow up to assist all students who test positive.
Faculty and staff who test positive during the screening process will also be receiving confirmation testing. During that waiting period, isolation measures will be enacted. Health Services has agreed to assist in ordering this confirmation test or the secondary testing may be ordered by an outside PCP. Insurance will be billed for this confirmation test. Helix is onsite and able to accommodate students, faculty, and staff when confirmation testing is indicated.
We prefer that students, staff, and faculty go through Calvin’s screening process when they arrive (for work, study, or other on-campus activities). However, we recognize that there may be some situations in which it is more convenient for someone to receive a screening test elsewhere. We will accept COVID-19 antigen or PCR test results obtained elsewhere if the test is no more than three days prior to your return to campus. A formal result with date and type and time of test is required to replace the onsite testing (screen shots are no longer accepted). Submit off-campus screening test results electronically using the COVID Reporting Form.
A PRIOR POSITIVE COVID TEST RESULT
If you have had a verified case of COVID-19 in the 90 days prior to your return to campus, you do NOT need to take part in our screening process. If you have not reported your previous case to Calvin, please do so using the COVID Reporting Form and attach the documentation you received at the time of your diagnosis. KCHD is asking Calvin University to obtain confirmation testing when a previous diagnosis was made by a positive antigen test. Health Services will be able to order your confirmation testing
Our Health Services and contract tracing teams are in regular, close contact with local hospitals and the Kent County Health Department about vaccinations. We rejoice in the fact that several of our front-line health and safety professionals have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, alongside over 300 students and their supervisors who are involved in health-related clinicals. Calvin University is actively pursuing permission to serve as a designated COVID-19 vaccination site—a step that would allow us to efficiently vaccinate both Calvin constituents and to assist in the vaccination of our surrounding community. Those who have already received the vaccine report no significant reactions to the vaccine, other than sore arms. We are eager to see more widespread rollout of the COVID vaccine at Calvin and will keep the community informed as more details become available. In the meantime, this Vaccinate West Michigan website is a good resource with up-to-date information on the vaccine rollout in our region.
A RETURN TO #CAMPUSCLEAR
Please start using the #Campus Clear app again (or for the first time) when you arrive on campus for on-campus housing, work, or in-person learning. Report any symptoms you may be experiencing using the COVID Reporting Form or by contacting Health Services through your student patient portal.
After a pause during the Christmas holidays, we plan to resume regular updates this week to the Calvin University COVID Dashboard.
SAFE RETURN WEBSITE UPDATES
Our Safe Return website continues to be a good place to get updated information on Calvin's COVID response. From the landing page, you can find the link to the COVID screening test Eventbrite scheduling page, the link to important COVID forms and resources, see Trending Questions, access the COVID FAQ, see all the COVID-related communications from the university (going back to January 2020!) and more.
The CDC recently reduced the minimum quarantine time from 14 days to 10 days, with daily symptom monitoring between days 10-14 for those who have not experienced COVID-related symptoms. In consultation with the Kent County Health Department, we will be reducing our quarantine time to 10 days for those who have not experienced symptoms. As we move into this new system, we will keep a close eye on things, especially any signs of symptoms in days 10-14, but we feel confident that this new approach will be a good one, based on guidance from the CDC and KCHD. As a reminder, if a student tested positive for COVID more than 90 days ago they too will be asked to quarantine when identified as a close contact, given the recommendations of such health authorities as the CDC and KCHD. Although the quarantine and isolation processes can be difficult, they are necessary to stem the spread of COVID, and we have good spaces on campus for residential students to quarantine. In addition, non-symptomatic students in quarantine can continue to go outside for walks and briefly visit the dining hall to get their food. We continue to look for ways to care for our students as they are in quarantine.
OTHER LINKS WE LIKE:
The COVID-Response Team
Phil de Haan
Todd Hubers (co-chair)
Sarah Visser (co-chair)