Virus Action Team update: GVSU to begin antigen testing

Testing vile.
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson

Since the start of the Fall 2020 semester, the GVSU COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program has utilized PCR testing to detect the virus. Beginning March 1, Grand Valley will expand testing capabilities by switching to antigen testing, also known as rapid testing, as the primary testing method for surveillance and symptomatic programs.

This will allow for additional testing hours and a quicker turnaround time of approximately one hour for test results. More information about antigen testing can be found on the CDC website.

With the initiation of antigen testing:

  • Students, faculty and staff who are invited to test will be able to schedule up to two tests per week.
  • GVSU will transition to one-time electronic testing consent through the online self-assessment, replacing the need to sign a consent form each time. 
  • The process of obtaining a specimen will remain the same: by a self-administered nasal swab.

Those who have a positive antigen test, but do not have symptoms, will be required to complete a confirmatory PCR test and must isolate until the PCR results are received. Confirmatory testing will be available at GVSU testing sites.

Antigen tests will also be offered for those who have symptoms, have a known exposure, or who have recently returned from international or domestic travel. Symptomatic tests will be offered in a different location from surveillance testing.

COVID-19 & Vaccine Town Hall

Faculty, staff or students are encouraged to schedule a vaccination appointment with their local health department, participating pharmacy or health system. Local information is available at Vaccinate West Michigan.

Grand Valley is working with both the Ottawa County and Kent County health departments, and local health systems, to offer vaccine clinics on campus once vaccines are readily available. Vaccinations would be offered for individuals who qualify based on their priority level. Information on vaccines can be found on the Vaccine Page on the Lakers Together website.

GVSU will host a virtual town hall with local health and medical experts to answer vaccine-related questions on February 23 from 11 a.m.-noon. Register for a link to the Zoom webinar.