Calvin University is partnering with Helix Diagnostics in planning for in-person classes this fall.
The partnership will give Calvin access to 5,000 tests for faculty, staff and students to be tested and screened for COVID-19 as they return to campus.
“At Calvin University, our goal is to demonstrate that we are willing to adapt to the conditions, act quickly and do what it takes for a safe and healthy return to learning on our campus,” said Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin University. “We recognize that reliable and timely access to testing for infection is an essential component of our overall strategy. Our partnership with Helix Diagnostics is one example of a number of initiatives we are undertaking to serve our students well and keep faculty and staff safe.”
The majority of the tests will be for initial screening; the remainder will be used over the balance of the school year to test members of the community who are symptomatic and will help to support the university’s contact tracing efforts.
“I think it shows Calvin’s leadership in this area to be at the front of this challenge on how to get back to normalcy,” said Brian Tierney, president of Helix Diagnostics. They have taken this seriously on how they can get their students back to campus and provide them the best care that’s out there.
“I’ve talked with a lot of other schools, and I am impressed with both the depth and how far along Calvin is in their plan for opening. They are doing everything they can to ensure that the students are in a safe environment.”
Le Roy, who also serves as chair of Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities, said this approach could be an effective model for others across the state.
“We believe this approach provides a pathway for colleges and universities similar to Calvin, like members of Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities, schools that have smaller campus populations, smaller class sizes, a nimble ability to implement campuswide changes quickly and strong collaborative community relationships,” he said.