Virus Action Team update: Random testing begins on campus

Grand Valley has launched a COVID-19 random testing program for residential students at the Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids campuses. 

Jean Nagelkerk, vice provost for Health, said Grand Valley was able to coordinate random testing on campus with Spectrum Health.

"Being able to start random testing during move-in week will help us gather real-time data regarding the residential community's prevalence of COVID-19, leading to informed decisions on interventions and response," said Nagelkerk.

A randomly selected sample of 2,000 residential students are being tested this week. Students who were selected received an email or text from the Virus Action Team with information about the time and location of their testing appointment. 

Tina Barnikow, senior director for health, said the test method is noninvasive and self-administered by swabbing the lower area of each nostril. The cost for random testing is covered by the university. 

Beginning the first week of classes and regularly through the Fall semester, the university will test a randomly selected sample of about 1,500 students, faculty and staff.

More information can be found on the Testing and Tracing webpage on the Lakers Together website. 

Photo of a student holding a test swab.
Student Nina Romzek, a junior studying human resource management, was randomly selected to take a COVID-19 test. Romzek said she wasn't concerned about taking the test in the Fieldhouse on the Allendale Campus. She said she has been wearing a face covering, social distancing and washing her hands frequently.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills


Completing the online self-assessment each day contributes to the overall safety of the Grand Valley community and should be completed by all students, faculty and staff every day, even if not coming to campus. If coming to campus, completing the self-assessment is required. 

Barnikow said the daily self-assessment is simple and quick to complete. 

"The self-assessment is the primary means for us to collect daily information about how the virus is affecting the GVSU community, minimize its spread, promote public health and make sound decisions," she said.

There is a box to check within the self-assessment to sign up for email reminders or calendar alerts. 

COVID-19 Indicators and Priority Metrics 

Grand Valley will monitor key local and regional health metrics in order to quickly detect that transmission of COVID-19 may be increasing either regionally or on our campuses.  

The dashboard of self-assessment data, test data and local health information is expected to be posted on the Lakers Together website by early next week.