Credit where it’s due: the admin’s preparation for COVID-19 has paid off

I’m very critical of the administration in these pages, but credit should be given where credit is due. Calvin has done solid work in preparing for the return of students, and I am impressed with the testing, tracking and isolating system they have in place, as well as all of the social distancing guidelines.

This struck me as I interviewed members of the Safe Return Team, but it didn’t really hit home until I woke up with chest pain Friday morning. Having never experienced these symptoms before, I reported my symptoms to the Campus Clear app which then directed me to a Health services form. Within two hours, I had been tested, a nurse practitioner conducted a virtual appointment with me, and a Calvin social worker called, asking if I needed meals or academic support.

Not only that, but I was able to attend my classes virtually that day with no problems. My symptoms didn’t prevent me from learning that day. I could report without stressing that it would make me behind on my coursework. My test came back negative the following day, and I had another virtual appointment to reassess and discuss what my symptoms actually meant (as well as one more COVID-19 test, just in case). 

The speed in which I was able to receive care, testing and results is unheard of, according to my friends who attend large public universities. Although I was negative for the virus, it’s easy to imagine a scenario where long bureaucratic waits would discourage me from reporting my symptoms, making me a spreader.

These protocols don’t appear spontaneously. In order to prevent outbreaks on campus, the administration, the Safe Return Team, faculty and staff understood that students need a quick response should they begin to feel sick and safeguards to prevent spread should their symptoms take a while to develop.

Rather than slap a couple of masks and some hand sanitizer on campus and bureaucratically pass the buck to someone else, the administration innovated and set the standard for private colleges. This took hours upon hours of work from the administration and should be acknowledged. Calvin still has a long way to go before Thanksgiving, but it is going forward on solid ground. Kudos to the administration for a job (so far) well done.