Testing and Contact Tracing

Fall 2021 Testing Program Overview

Testing of the GVSU community is a critical part of the work of the Virus Action Team to control the spread of COVID-19 on campus, mitigating risk. Funded by GVSU, testing began in late August 2020 and will continue until it is no longer needed. Purposes of the program include: 1) to identify individuals who are infected so that we can provide them support, isolate positive individuals, and identify others who need to be quarantined; 2) to monitor and anticipate the spread of COVID-10 on campus, including in comparison to the spread in Ottawa and Kent counties.

Students, faculty and staff who are unvaccinated are required to be tested weekly. We will use information from the self-assessment to send notices for weekly testing.

GVSU uses Abbott's BinaxNOW™ Rapid Antigen cards in the asymptomatic test site. On March 31, 2021, the Abbott BinaxNOW™ Rapid Antigen cards received FDA Emergency Use Authorization for Asymptomatic, Over-the-Counter, Non-Prescription, Multi-Test use for people with or without symptoms.

An Introduction to COVID-19 Testing

Testing Center Locations and Schedules

NOTE: Holiday Testing Schedule

All testing sites will be closed when the university is closed for the holidays. This includes December 20, 2021, through January 3, 2022.


Allendale Campus 

  • Walk-in antigen testing for those WITHOUT symptoms or exposure is available in the Kirkhof Center, Room 0058, at the following times:
    • Monday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
    • Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Thursday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Friday: 9 a.m. to noon


Pew Grand Rapids Campus

  • Walk-in antigen testing for those WITHOUT symptoms or exposure will be held in the lobby of the Eberhard Center at the following times:
    • Monday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
    • Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


For those WITH symptoms or known exposure:

  • Walk-in testing will be in the Kirkhof Center, Room 0073, on the Allendale Campus.
    • Monday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    • Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Thursday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Friday: 9 a.m. to noon

What to do if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19

If you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and...

  • you are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms: you should wear a mask for 14 days and get tested in 5-7 days. You may get tested at the GVSU walk-in antigen testing sites on the Allendale or Pew campuses (as listed above).
  • you are not fully vaccinated, or you have symptoms: please update your self-assessment immediately and follow instructions for testing on the “Not Passed” screen. You may get tested at the GVSU walk-in symptomatic testing site in Allendale (as listed above).

Other GVSU-Associated Testing Locations

  • Location: The GVSU/Metro Health Campus Health Center is located on GVSU's Allendale campus, on 42nd Avenue across from the water tower, just south of Laker Village 
  • Hours: For up-to-date hours, visit www.gvsu.edu/campushealth
  • Call their office for an appointment (616) 252-6030.  View participating insurances here
  • Call their office to learn about participating insurances and potential costs before you visit.
  • Location: The GVSU Family Health Center is located at 72 Sheldon Blvd SE in Grand Rapids.
  • Hours: For up-to-date hours, visit www.gvsu.edu/fhc/ 
  • Call their office for appointments at (616) 331-9830.  View participating insurances here.
  • Call their office to learn about participating insurances and potential costs or copays before you visit.

Other Testing Options

If individuals prefer to arrange for testing through their health care provider, they may do so. Please report test results on your self-assessment. GVSU will not cover the cost of testing that is not performed or arranged by GVSU.  

If individuals do not have a medical provider, and feel that they need to be seen for their symptoms or other health care needs, you may contact either of the two university sites listed below, or call the GVSU COVID Resource Center at 833-734-0020.

Individuals, or their insurance company, are responsible for the cost health care services.

Non-GVSU Testing

You may contact your health care provider to inquire about testing. If they do not conduct screening tests, you can consult the State of Michigan testing site finder or find a testing site in Ottawa County. That State of Michigan page includes these filters: “no cost”; “people without symptoms (asymptomatic)”; “no doctor’s order needed”; and “tests uninsured individuals”.

Testing FAQ

Students, faculty and staff who are unvaccinated are required to be tested weekly. Our robust testing of the GVSU community has been highly successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19 on campus. We will use information from the self-assessment to send notices for weekly testing.

Grand Valley's testing program involves

  • Self-administered "anterior nares" swabs. 
  • Antigen tests, which are immunoassays that detect the presence of the virus to check for current infection.
  • Ability to provide results in approximately one hour.  

It depends on the situation:

  • For those with a GVSU-sponsored medical plan, those plans cover testing and related fees (processing/reading the tests) at 100%,.  If a COVID-19 test of any kind is ordered by a medical provider that is medically necessary, your member cost share (co-pays, coinsurance or deductibles) for this test will be waived.
    • The test must be ordered by a medical provider for your health plan to cover the costs of the test.
    • Your plan will cover the cost of the test as described above, whether the provider is in or out of network.
    • If you are experiencing symptoms, first speak to your health care provider to help you understand if you need testing and how to receive it.
    • Medically necessary is determined and appropriately coded by your ordering provider.
    • Medically necessary does not include tests as a condition of employment or returning to work.
  • When a GVSU employee or student does not pass the GVSU self-assessment due to symptoms and/or exposure, they will be directed to seek testing via the GVSU Symptomatic or Exposure Test Site. GVSU pays for those tests.
  • For those selected through our selected testing or random testing programs, GVSU will pay for those tests.
  • Individuals may also choose to seek testing through their health care provider.  GVSU does not pay for this testing.
  • Individuals who seek testing outside of the GVSU Testing Program will need to pay out-of-pocket or find a no-cost site.  The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHSS) website has locations that will test individuals who do not meet the criteria for medical necessary testing.

Although there is no out of pocket costs for testing conducted at GVSU, individuals who contract COVID-19 may incur other medical expenses.  Students who are uninsured are encouraged to discuss their situation with the billing office at the medical practice, which may have recommendations for coverage. One option might be the GVSU student plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

  • Retesting is not recommended for 3 months after your positive COVID-19 test nor do you need to quarantine if you are exposed, unless you develop new symptoms.
  • If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately, report your symptoms on your self-assessment and consult with a health care provider (or the GVSU/Spectrum COVID Hotline at 833-734-0020 if you don’t have one) to determine if you should retest.

Yes, we will be notifying instructors. The student should work with their instructors to ensure academic continuity.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is the process of quickly identifying, assessing, and managing people who have been exposed to a disease to prevent additional transmission. 

Contact tracing is the process of asking positive cases to help identify people who have been exposed to a disease, like COVID-19, to prevent it from spreading. It is not a way to “get people in trouble” – it’s a way to keep our community safe and provide necessary information and resources. Grand Valley has a close working relationship with the Ottawa and Kent County health departments and conducts contact tracing for all members of the GVSU community to more efficiently use our combined resources.

At GVSU, this is conducted by a team of nurses, called the COVID Assessment Team (CAT). The CAT first contacts individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 to provide information on isolation, ask about close contact during the period when they were contagious, and inform of available resources. Then, while maintaining the confidentiality of the person who has tested positive, the contacts are informed of the exposure, the need to quarantine (and instructions), and available resources.

The COVID Assessment Team will also discuss your isolation and quarantine timeframe and issue a release letter when it is completed. You must complete your self-assessment to receive this letter.

The government of the State of Michigan has published information about contact tracing in the State.

What is Contact Tracing?

Contact Tracing FAQ

This page is maintained by GVSU's Virus Action Team (VAT). Navigate to the other VAT-administered pages using the buttons above. For questions, concerns, or to report a non-emergency health/safety issue, email us at virusactionteam@gvsu.edu.  Information over the phone is available at the Lakers Together Call Center (general information) and the 24/7 GVSU-Spectrum COVID Health Line (personal health questions).  See the Contact Us page for details and hours of operation.