Rapid self-administered testing paves way for start of spring semester

Rapid self-administered testing paves way for start of spring semester

As students return to campus during the new year, extensive COVID testing has resumed. The university now has access to self-administered rapid tests, which makes the process faster and easier. 

According to co-director of the Calvin Contact Tracing Team Erica Boldenow, 18 students had confirmed positive COVID-19 test results between Jan. 18, the Monday that in-person interim classes began, and Jan. 29, the Friday after interim classes ended. Because not all of these students were present on campus during the month of January, this number may be misleading. Since interim is optional this year, some opted not to do it. Others completed their interim coursework remotely. 

As of Feb. 2, Calvin’s online COVID dashboard showed that there were ten total active cases; eight of these were on-campus students and two were off-campus students.

Recently, the COVID Response Team has noted an alarming behavior among Calvin students with COVID symptoms: instead of reporting symptoms on the CampusClear app, they decide to go in for a test to find out if they have COVID. This puts healthy students at risk and makes contract tracing more complicated and difficult. The CRT urges all students feeling ill to quarantine and report their symptoms first. These students will then receive guidance about proper next steps to take.  

Kristen Alford, a member of the CRT, believes that the Calvin community did a good job with slowing the spread this past fall semester. She hopes that students will continue these efforts during the spring semester. The CRT is concerned about the persistently high numbers in Kent County as well as the rest of the state. Since B.1.1.7, the more contagious British variant of the coronavirus, has arrived in Michigan, the CRT and the university as a whole is preparing for the possibility that it will eventually come to Grand Rapids and subsequently to campus as well. 

Matthew Kucinski, assistant director of media relations, says you can help the Calvin community remain healthy by wearing your mask as often as you can, practicing social distancing, washing your hands, disinfecting items after you come in contact with or use them, bookmarking the Safe Return website on your internet browner and reading email updates from the CRT and university leadership.