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Calvin University testing students, staff before reopening

Calvin University Burton St Sign.jpg
Posted at 5:44 PM, May 13, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Most college and university students finished up their years online, but by the time school starts again in the fall some could be back on campus. Calvin University announced they’ll be in that group and they’re ready.

On Wednesday… Calvin University president Michael Le Roy told students and staff they should expect to be back on campus come the fall.

“For us to resume learning on our campus we were going to need good access to testing.” Le Roy told FOX 17. And they’ve gotten it, thanks to a partnership with commercial lab Helix Diagnostics. The lab is starting with 5-thousand kits.

So if you go to Calvin, or work there, you’re getting tested in august.

“We’ll probably use about 4,000 of those for our students, faculty and staff,” Le Roy explains. “And then we’ll have access to an additional thousand for ongoing surveillance.”

Calvin will designate certain facilities for self-isolation in case someone does test positive. And they’ll be working closely with the state and the Kent County Health Department the entire way.

“We’re going to do all of this in accordance with regulations that the governor’s office may issue and in cooperation with our local health department.” Le Roy said.

Test results should take 72-hours at most to come back, so students and the university will know quickly whether in-person classes are a go or something that needs more time.

Regardless, Le Roy says class sizes will be smaller. Students may even have to rotate between in-person and online classes. But he also said having a small campus community will make social distancing and contract tracing much easier than at larger schools.

“[What] we have to demonstrate, and we believe that we can, is demonstrate that we have the ability to operate safely and effectively. And that’s what we’ll continue to do.” Le Roy says.

Le Roy told us other small schools in the area will likely do something similar in the fall. Calvin has a few hundred students on campus for the summer who haven’t been tested, but will be when campus re opens in August.