In response to downward trends in isolation and quarantine numbers, campus will begin a gradual lifting of the enhanced physical distancing measure under which it has been operating since Feb 8, according to a COVID Response Team update email.
This transition has already begun, with facilities like the Morren Fitness Center reopening. Faculty were informed Friday that classes that have been meeting remotely during the enhanced physical distancing period should be switching back to in-person instruction this week.
A gradual reopening of on-campus dining options may be coming in the following week. The COVID response team is working with Calvin Dining Services to determine how and when dining halls will be able to re-open their dining rooms.
Although positivity rates are still high in comparison to the rest of the state, the number of students in isolation and quarantine (123) is less than half of what it was last week (300).
Lower numbers of close contacts also suggest that the lockdown measures were successful in limiting spread. “We are grateful that more students now are reporting symptoms and seeking testing almost immediately,” the CRT email said.
As of now, students may once again gather in public spaces in residence halls and in KE, as long as they continue to follow normal distancing guidelines and abide by occupancy limits. Visits are not yet allowed, but on-campus students will be receiving a more detailed set of new guidelines for residence life.
“Our collective efforts to help slow the spread of COVID-19 are working,” the CRT email said, “As we assess the impact of these measures, we are eager to continue to roll out phased, incremental changes that will allow us to return to the aspects of living and learning on campus that we all appreciated before this most recent spike in cases.”
Asymptomatic surveillance testing will begin again Feb. 24.