Seton Hall University Restart Plan
On June 18, 2020, the state of New Jersey issued "Restart Standards for all New Jersey Institutions of Higher Education," which provides colleges and universities in the state with guidelines for developing re-opening plans.1 The standards encompass 10 key on-campus functional areas, including: instruction, residential housing, computer laboratories, libraries, research, student services, transportation, dining, international travel, and athletics. The document provides direction and clarification on requirements ("must" statements), examples of safeguarding practices, and items for consideration ("should" statements) in each of the key areas.
Re-opening Seton Hall University (Seton Hall; the University) to students, faculty, and staff is contingent upon the state of New Jersey's ability safely to enter Stage 3, as explicated in "The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health," in which "higher education may operate in person with reduced capacity."2 In accordance with state requirements, Seton Hall has developed a robust and thoughtful plan that accounts for public health concerns, adheres to state and CDC guidelines, outlines modifications to the academic program and student life, and describes how faculty and staff will safely work at the University. Seton Hall will continue to monitor federal, state, and local guidance regularly, and understands that the state will announce changes in the stages of "The Road Back" in response to the trajectory of the pandemic (incidence and prevalence of infection) until there is a proven and widely available vaccine or treatment.
Seton Hall will also continue to review current and evolving guidance, recommendations and considerations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)3 and the American College Health Association (ACHA)4 regarding re-opening. University leadership has also referred to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 Planning Guide and Self-Assessment for Higher Education for examples and best practices for re-opening.5
Seton Hall is a Catholic institution of higher education, sponsored by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark and staffed in part by the clergy of the archdiocese. Sharing with all higher education institutions the search for truth and its dissemination, as a Catholic university, Seton Hall is also committed to education in the Jewish-Christian intellectual tradition, to moral instruction and to the pursuit of human well-being and flourishing in all its beauty, richness, and depth. Seton Hall is committed to the whole person; dedicated to the common good; and enriched by local, national, and global communities. It welcomes individuals from all faith traditions and from none; Seton Hall's Catholicism is an enabling vision, not a basis for exclusion. These principles inform every element of the University's strategy and every aspect of its preparation for re-opening in fall 2020.
In response to the rising rates of COVID-19 infections in the region in mid-March, Seton Hall quickly transitioned to remote learning and immediately began planning for fall 2020. By late April, the University had convened three groups (and multiple sub-groups)6 of faculty, staff, and administrators to create contingency plans linked to early implementation steps for its new draft strategic plan. The groups were charged with determining a path forward for the 2020-21 academic year that safeguards the health of the Seton Hall community; is aligned with its mission, values, and strategic plan; supports the financial sustainability of the institution; prescribes appropriate modifications to the academic program; and reconfigures student life in ways that prioritize prevention and well-being while supporting a campus experience that students will value.
In mid-May, contingency planning groups appointed by the president developed, and the executive cabinet reviewed and adopted, critical recommendations concerning the academic program and financial operations. The cabinet approved a hybrid, flexible ("HyFlex") academic model7 that (1) allows students to choose between on-campus or remote learning options; (2) de-densifies academic spaces on campus by holding classes at a capacity that is equal to or lower than state guidelines; (3) ends in-person instruction for the semester by Thanksgiving break (finals would be completed remotely and students would not return to campus in 2020); and (4) prepares the University to effectively pivot to remote learning should the need arise.8.
The University has since charged a Re-Opening Operations Team (ROOT) with detailing the specific components of Seton Hall's plan9 for all three campuses10 in each of the key functional areas required by the state. The University provided deans, department chairs, and faculty with many opportunities to offer comments and input prior to the completion of this draft plan, and to submit local plans aligned with the guidelines of the University plan (see Appendix A for summaries of such plans).11
Components of Institutional Plan for Restart
The general safeguards mandated by the state are completely congruous with those recommended by the CDC and ACHA. Seton Hall has developed policies and protocols regarding the following safeguards and requirements for faculty, staff, and students when they return to campus. The University is committed to working with local and state officials to review the components of the plan and revise it as necessary. The plan includes:
- Training for students on COVID-19 sanitation (including handwashing and disinfection of spaces and surfaces) and social distancing practices and protocols as an expectation for returning to campus
- Training for faculty and staff on sanitation (including handwashing and disinfection of spaces and surfaces) social distancing practices and protocols, and institutional policies and procedures developed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
- Required use of face coverings (i.e., face masks) for faculty, staff, students, and visitors12
- Frequent cleaning and sanitation of all facilities (i.e., classrooms, residences, restrooms), including high-touch hardware and equipment, as well as shared surfaces
- Provision of adequate supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, as required, to faculty, staff, and students
- The availability of continued remote instruction for faculty and/or students who are unable to participate in in-person instruction13
- Social distancing in all indoor and outdoor areas of campus
- A limited number of students in residence halls and restricted residential common areas
- Designated quarantine and isolation rooms for students who live on-campus and (1) are identified as close contacts of a person who has COVID-19, or (2) themselves have symptoms or a positive diagnosis of COVID-19
- Use of daily health screenings for faculty, staff, students, and visitors prior to entering campus and education regarding self-monitoring for symptoms
- Modified food service and dining operations to comply with health and safety standards
- Established COVID-19 testing and contact tracing protocols, developed in consultation with local health officials and aligned with state and federal health privacy statues and regulations
- Limited gatherings in accordance with state guidelines, as defined and applicable at any time as the semester proceeds
In addition, Seton Hall has developed specific plans for the operation of research labs, computer labs, food service and dining, athletics, student services (including advising), and study abroad, the details of which can be found in later sections of this document.
Public Health and Prevention
Seton Hall has developed in-depth academic, residential, and facilities plans that account for necessary de-densification and social distancing, in accordance with requirements from the state and recommendations from the CDC and ACHA, and has adopted policies regarding the wearing of face masks and social distancing. Successful prevention of the spread of COVID-19 will require the active commitment of the entire Seton Hall community. A health education campaign that clarifies Seton Hall's expectations and promotes diligent prevention practices will begin prior to the start of the semester. The following conditions and protocols will be in place for the opening of the University:
- Communication: Seton Hall will launch a multi-media (i.e., website, email communications, signage, and educational videos) public health education campaign regarding risk mitigation and health and safety protocols, including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, limiting the size and frequency of gatherings, frequent hand washing, and cleaning and disinfection practices.
- Social Contract: Seton Hall has developed the Seton Hall Pledge, a social contract for all members of the University community, recognizing that they "will work to care for one another by minimizing the risk of exposing each other to COVID-19," and listing ways in which members will protect themselves and others.
- Education and Training: Seton Hall faculty, staff, and students who plan to return to campus are expected to complete COVID-19 health education training prior to entering.
- Personal Protective Equipment: The University will institute a mandatory mask policy requiring all faculty, students, and staff who return to campus to wear masks when in shared spaces indoors and when unable to maintain required minimum social distance both indoors and outdoors. Face masks are not required in private offices or student’s individual residential rooms.
- Seton Hall will require that essential interactions that cannot be conducted while consistently maintaining 6 feet of distance are limited to a duration of less than 15 minutes at a time whenever possible and/or include increased personal protective equipment.
- Seton Hall will provide faculty, staff, and students on all three campuses with a Back to Campus Package that includes two cloth face masks and hand sanitizer. The Seton Hall Pledge will also be part of the package.
- Seton Hall will equip campus buildings with a supply of disposable masks for individuals who do not remember to bring their own.
- The University will provide additional appropriate PPE for all employees who require it in order to safely perform and meet the expectations of their job; for example, Seton Hall will provide custodial and dining staff with gloves, in addition to masks.
- Social Distancing: Seton Hall will enforce state requirements regarding safe social distancing and will adjust expectations for conduct by students, faculty, and staff as stated in handbooks to reflect appropriate changes in policy; the principles of the Seton Hall Pledge will be incorporated into the relevant University policies. The University will expect students, faculty, and staff to abide by six-foot social distancing guidelines and/or necessary capacity restrictions in all campus facilities, including classrooms, laboratories, conference or other meeting rooms, residence hall common areas, dining spaces, libraries, and offices.14
- The University will require that all visitors to any of its three campuses comply with its mask-wearing and social distancing policies.
- The University will utilize and maintain a log of all visitors to any of its campuses to facilitate contact tracing, should that become necessary.
- Facilities: The University's Facilities team will install floor markings and signage to guide pedestrian traffic patterns and to facilitate and encourage social distancing.
- The Facilities team will optimize an increase in outside airflow, intake, and circulation in buildings by refitting ventilation systems to higher grade filters.
- Similarly, the Facilities team will adjust points of egress in campus buildings to control the flow of pedestrian traffic and facilitate appropriate social distancing.
- Seton Hall will institute required self-screening for faculty, staff, and students using a mobile app.15 The self-screening app will enable individuals to consult a symptoms checklist each day that they plan to be on campus, prior to leaving their residence and engaging with others.16 Self-screening will help students, faculty, and staff monitor their own symptoms and protect the safety of others. Seton Hall will use the data for early ID of potential outbreaks. Seton Hall will require members of the community who are experiencing any of symptoms of COVID-1917 to stay home and follow up with their medical provider as needed.
- The University will direct students who develop symptoms while on campus to Health Services; staff and faculty who develop symptoms while on campus will be required to leave campus and encouraged to see their personal primary care providers.
- Health Services will be prepared and able to assess, screen, and test any students who are experiencing symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
- If Health Services is closed for any reason, students will be directed to the following resources: local urgent care facilities, United Health Care Physician Hotline, Health Services Telehealth.
Testing for COVID-19 is an important means of identifying and treating people who have been infected, while also mitigating the spread of the virus. Seton Hall has adopted protocols regarding testing and contact tracing of students following the identification of positive cases in accordance with state and CDC guidelines.18 Testing protocols include the following:
- Point of Care (POC) testing of symptomatic students or contacts of infected or symptomatic persons at Health Services: Seton Hall will encourage students who show symptoms of COVID-19 or have had known contact with someone who tested positive for the virus to get tested at Health Services. Students from all three campuses—South Orange, the Law School, and the Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus—will be able to access testing at Health Services and area testing centers.19
- Surveillance testing for higher-risk subgroups of students: Through Health Services, the University will perform tests of students who are at higher risk due to activities in which they participate (i.e., athletics, health clinicals). These students will be tested at the beginning of the fall semester, in accordance with CDC guidelines, and/or as required by clinical or field placements.
- Seton Hall Student Health Services staff will notify the local health departments of South Orange, Newark, or Nutley, as appropriate, about any students who test positive for COVID-19.
- Seton Hall will provide isolation housing, food service, academic support, health monitoring, required transportation and other essential services for residential students who test positive for COVID-19.
- Seton Hall will also provide quarantine housing, as well as food service, academic support, health monitoring, required transportation, and other essential services to residential students who are identified as close contacts of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Seton Hall will encourage faculty and staff to seek testing from their personal providers if they (1) are symptomatic, or (2) have been in contact with an individual (student, faculty, staff, or others) who tested positive, as determined by contact tracing protocols (below).
Contact tracing protocols include the following:
- Seton Hall will develop and maintain an ongoing log of students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus to facilitate contact tracing. Visitors will be given the Seton Hall Pledge and the University's COVID-19 checklist.
- Health Services staff will coordinate with the local health departments of South Orange, Newark, and Nutley, as appropriate, to conduct contact tracing when a Seton Hall student is infected or is named as a close contact of another person who is infected. Contact tracers will interview the infected persons to determine with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe since their exposure and infection. The contact tracers will then inform the potentially exposed individuals (contacts) about their possible exposure and assist those individuals with arrangements for quarantine, medical care, or social work services.
- Contacts are required to stay home, quarantine, and maintain social distance from others until 14 days after their last exposure, while monitoring symptoms.
- Contacts who develop symptoms should seek medical attention20 and get tested for COVID-19.
- Health Services staff will maintain the confidentiality of any students who test positive for COVID-19 while conducting contact tracing protocols.
When New Jersey successfully enters Stage 3 and modified in-person instruction can resume, Seton Hall will implement the Hybrid-Flexible (HyFlex) model of instruction. In HyFlex classes, students will be able to choose their mode of instruction, online or in-person, as both synchronous online and fully classroom-based instruction are provided. Large format courses may be offered completely online.21 The HyFlex model will enable maximum flexibility for faculty and students, will facilitate social distancing, and can accommodate necessary adjustments for either faculty or students as health conditions emerge. In the case of a resurgence of COVID-19, the HyFlex model can be transitioned to a fully remote model for a period of time or for the remainder of the semester. Each school and college at the University will adopt the HyFlex model. However, local adaptations will be necessary based on the pedagogical needs of each program. Appendix A details how schools and colleges will align with the University guidelines.
- To comply with CDC and state considerations, recommendations and guidelines, instructional activities will be limited to reduced capacity classes and activities. This will be accommodated by the HyFlex teaching modality, incorporating student choice of remote versus in-person instruction, rotating in-person instruction schedules and hybrid approaches, thereby supporting CDC and state recommendations and guidelines for capacity.
- Students will be split into groups that will alternate online and in-class participation based on the last digit of the student ID.22 The registrar will create a sample website that will explain ID-based attendance flow clustering that will be available to all students and instructors.
- Faculty will engage actively and equitably with both the students online and those in the classroom, building opportunities for communication and collaboration among all learners.
- All course materials, assignments, and assessments will be housed in Blackboard. The live synchronous sessions will be facilitated using an online videoconferencing platform, such as Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.23
- The University will implement a modified fall 2020 calendar. The University will open the fall semester on August 24, 2020, earlier than usual, and end in-class instruction at Thanksgiving to mitigate the increased risk of an outbreak of COVID-19 that might occur when students return to campus after the Thanksgiving holidays. Instruction, exams, and assessment will be completed remotely according to the calendar schedule available at https://www.shu.edu/academics/academic-calendar.cfm
- Student accommodations will be managed locally at the classroom level, as long as the maximum classroom capacity is not exceeded. In the HyFlex model, students will be able to elect in-person or fully remote learning at the start of the semester and will have the option to switch between the two should the need arise.
- Faculty accommodations due to unexpected unavailability during the semester will be managed at the department, dean, and academic affairs level with preparation of back up options, adjunct and teaching assistant support, and a pool of faculty/adjuncts who can support emergencies and changes.
- Faculty and students who are immunocompromised or at high-risk for COVID-19 according to guidelines from the CDC will have the option to provide or receive instruction remotely.
- All instructional spaces have been vetted and, when necessary, modified to determine maximum capacity in alignment with state guidelines. Seton Hall facilities teams have developed layouts for each space to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements where applicable and practicable.
- Signage in all classrooms will indicate maximum occupancy and required layout for each space.
- Students will be required to wear masks in all shared indoor spaces in compliance with state requirements. Masks will not be required in a student's own residential room.
- Disinfecting supplies will be maintained in the classrooms to manage sanitizing between classes. Faculty and students will be asked to wipe down their own surfaces and any other high touch surfaces at the start of each class.
- Instructor podia will be protected via plexiglass.
- Office hours and advising will be offered online. When in-person advising is necessary, such as for example group advising for special programs and/or academically at-risk students, it will be done in a location that allows compliance with social distancing regulations.
- Seton Hall has installed additional sanitation stations in highly trafficked buildings.
Seton Hall offers residential housing for a limited number of undergraduate students, though students are not required to live on-campus. Residential living spaces will operate with reduced occupancy in alignment with state guidelines. The University’s Department of Housing and Residence Life will be responsible for implementing and enforcing all necessary health and safety protocols related to the residence halls at Seton Hall.
- The University will limit the number of students in the residence halls by restricting occupancy to no more than two students in a room, even if the room was designed for higher occupancy. Seton Hall's overall occupancy includes 2508 beds; the reduced occupancy rate will allow for 2202 beds.
- Housing and Residence Life will use the housing application system and work with the Dean of Students Office to identify students for whom residential housing is necessary for an equitable education. These students will be prioritized for housing.
- The University will limit the use of common residential areas and abide by social distancing and related health and safety precautions. Appropriate signage will be placed in common areas about required distancing and other health and safety precautions.
- The University will not permit non-University visitors into residence halls except for maintenance or emergency. All University visitors will be logged through the front desk sign-in system.
- Housing and Residence Life has designated quarantine and isolation rooms for individuals residing on campus who have been identified as close contacts of a person with COVID-19 (quarantine) or display symptoms consistent with or have a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 (isolation). The quarantine and isolation spaces have private bathrooms. A plan for remote learning and meal delivery has been developed to serve these students.
- The University will generally hold video or teleconferencing meetings in lieu of in-person meetings between staff or between staff and students. When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not preferable or possible, Housing and Residence Life will hold appointments in open, well-ventilated spaces (if possible) or in spaces that ensure individuals maintain 6 feet of distance between one another.
- The University will develop and disseminate clear protocols that promote social distancing measures and mask-wearing within residential facilities and shared common spaces.
- In addition, Seton Hall will reduce the capacity of shared spaces by removing furniture, monitoring the use of those spaces, and limiting gatherings of students.
- Move-in and move-out days will occur in scheduled shifts to reduce the number of people on campus and inside a given building at any one time. Seton Hall will also limit the number of family members or friends who may accompany a student and assist with moving that student and their belongings into a residence hall.
- The University will limit bathroom user density to 4-6 users per fixture.
- Facilities will institute increased sanitization measures, including regular cleaning of all common or high-touch residential hall areas, including common bathrooms, elevators. and stairwells. Facilities will clean bathrooms following CDC protocols and industry best standards, regularly using enhanced safety precautions.
- The University will require residents to remove all personal items from shared bathrooms when they are not present.
- The University will post signs in bathrooms to notify residents of high-risk areas, such as sinks, toilets, shower areas, with suggested best practices to prevent infection.
- Residents, residential directors, advisors, and those working in residence halls will receive educational training through the Seton Hall Pledge campaign regarding appropriate cleaning and distancing protocols prior to move-in.
- Signage reinforcing general health and safety precautions will be hung throughout residence halls.
Seton Hall University usually operates four general computing labs which are open to the University community. However, these laboratories will be closed during fall 2020 except for supervised activities connected to in-class instruction. Computing facilities can be closed without impact to student learning and access to technology since all Seton Hall undergraduates receive a laptop with the same software configuration used in the computer labs. When in use for selected activities, computing lab spaces will be modified to adhere to general capacity rules and the social distancing guidelines issued by the state. As in all shared indoor spaces, students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks in all computing labs at all times.
- Seton Hall will modify furniture or block off terminals to maintain adherence to social distancing requirements in computing labs.
- Where possible, the University will install plexiglass dividers between workstations to maintain capacity while in accordance with guidelines. Where this is not possible and students might therefore be within less than 6 feet of each other for long periods of time, the University will block off certain workstations.
- Students will be required to check out a keyboard and mouse when they enter the labs and the equipment will be sanitized between uses.
- Signage in all computing labs will direct individual users to disinfect the terminals before and after usage with equipment provided to use for cleaning;
- Individual computer labs will only be utilized if they are subject to modifications that adhere to guidelines and compliance with guidelines is monitored.
- Labs that are unmonitored will remain closed.24
- Labs that cannot be appropriately modified for general use will instead only be scheduled for specific events;25 keyboards and mice will be sanitized before and after each use and social distancing guidelines and capacity rules will apply.
- Library labs will have a reduced density of workstations to ensure students and faculty are working at a safe distance in accordance with social distancing rules.26
- Department labs in the colleges that are used for specific instruction will remain open, only for scheduled classes that must use the specialized equipment/software in the labs.
Seton Hall Libraries
The Seton Hall University Libraries plan to safely re-open facilities using a phased opening process that aligns with state, local and federal guidelines and can be modified as guidance changes. A summary of the protocols for opening in Stage 3 appears below and is further detailed in Appendix B; more detailed plans for the Interprofessional Health Sciences-IHS Library and the Seton Hall Law School Library (Rodino Center) are included in Appendix B.
- Libraries will open, with modified hours. Each library will have limited areas for checking out materials.
- The libraries will work with the University to identify and provide service hours that accommodate the needs of immunocompromised or otherwise at higher-risk faculty, students, and staff.
- Libraries will implement and enforce social distancing, mask-wearing, and maximum occupancy policies for patrons, in accordance with state restrictions for all shared indoor spaces.
- Signage in the library will reinforce requirements for social distancing and health and safety precautions and protocols.
- The Libraries will adhere to health, safety, and sanitation guidelines in place for the University. Hand sanitizing stations will be available, and University staff will routinely clean tables and other surfaces in accordance with prescribed health and safety guideline.
- The Libraries will implement procedures to clean computers that search catalogs using the same sanitization methods University IT implements for computer labs.
- Library staff will encourage patrons to request physical materials online and pick them up at a scheduled time.
- Curbside pickup of materials will be available. Employees will have protective face coverings and gloves, and will place materials in a patron's vehicle whenever feasible.
- Materials returned to the libraries will be sanitized or quarantined, as appropriate.
- Library staff will provide remote/online assistance to all students, faculty, and staff. This will be done using chat software, e-mail and FAQ service(s), Microsoft Teams videoconferencing, and Blackboard course shells. In addition, the library is aiming to provide a larger number of materials electronically, when possible.
- One-to-one in-person reference consultations can be provided in special circumstances, provided faculty and patron wear appropriate PPE and maintain appropriate social distance.
- No food will be allowed in the library. Covered drinks will be allowed.
- Group study rooms will be closed; social distancing of these spaces cannot be observed or enforced.
- Any other library spaces where social distancing cannot be observed or enforced will be closed.
The University plans to re-open research labs following standard operating procedures in accordance with state guidelines. Faculty will be informed by the respective deans and chairs about the re-opening procedures and laboratory supervisors will also post the communications in each lab. Across departments, research that can continue to be conducted remotely will be required to do so.
Standard Operating Procedures:
- Each research laboratory will develop a weekly working schedule listing the laboratory members who will be working, along with alternative schedules to limit the number of people present in a laboratory at the same time in accordance with state guidelines.
- Whenever possible, only one researcher will be in a laboratory room at a time.
- In shared laboratories that accommodate multiple groups, an alternating schedule will be adopted to maintain laboratory personnel below critical capacity and in accordance with state occupancy restrictions.
- Faculty, staff, and students will clean and disinfect shared laboratory equipment before and after utilization.
- Additional laboratory safety training procedures related to health and safety precautions will be enacted in addition to the existing laboratory safety training procedures that are conducted by the environmental health and safety administrator on the South Orange campus.
- Research-related meetings will be held remotely whenever possible.
- All laboratory personnel must stay home if they are sick. All personnel must also self-administer the University's COVID-19 checklist on a daily basis. If any laboratory personnel answer positively to these questions, or have been in contact with someone diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19, or were advised to quarantine by a medical provider or public health official, they are prohibited from entering the lab. Furthermore, those individuals will be advised to reach out to Health Services or their own physician to determine next steps and inform the primary investigator. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 and is known to have entered the laboratory, notify Health Services and the primary investigator as soon as possible.
- Laboratory occupants will maintain a minimum 6-foot distance between each other during work hours in accordance with state guidelines.
- In work or study areas that are less than 6 feet apart, plexiglass panels and/or shields will be installed as separational and safety barriers. In situations where plexiglass cannot be used, lab personnel will take extra precautions to reduce/minimize exposure, including further reductions in density and enhanced screening.
- To appropriately manage both traffic and density in higher occupancy teaching labs:
- Protocols for entering and exiting the teaching laboratories, in particular, have been established as a means of managing traffic and density while ensuring the maintenance of social distancing requirements.
- Where necessary, an alternating schedule of in-person and virtual labs that is in accordance with the University's HyFlex model of course delivery will be implemented to ensure that all students are accommodated while also maintaining appropriate social distancing.
- Daily decontamination procedures will be adopted in accordance with CDC guidelines. These procedures will be applied to all laboratory surfaces, including floors, capital and smaller equipment, reagents, solvents and waste containers, gas cylinders and any other surface (organic or inorganic) that may allow COVID-19 to spread.
- All lab doors and fume hoods (at their restriction level) will remain closed to allow proper air ventilation within the labs during and after operations hours.
- The enhanced cleaning protocols that are applied across the University will also be applied in the laboratories.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
- Standard PPE (i.e. gloves, eye protection, mask/face covering) must be worn at all times by all laboratory occupants.
Seton Hall has developed a robust plan to provide student support services that address the necessary de-densification and social distancing, in accordance with state, CDC and University guidelines.
- Student Services staff will abide by general safeguarding measures detailed in Executive Order No. 155 (face coverings, social distancing, cleaning protocols, etc.).
- In accordance with state occupancy guidelines, where possible, the University will provide student services remotely to help reduce density on campus and mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
- Spaces frequented by students, such as study spaces, lounges, etc., will be modified (including by the removal of some furniture) to reflect social distancing protocols. Signage will reinforce health and safety precautions in all shared indoor spaces.
- Student Services will minimize both the number and size of gatherings and will ensure such gatherings are in compliance with state limits that are current at the time by using signage about maximum capacity and blocking areas off to limit the size of the gatherings.
- Student traffic will be redirected throughout shared indoor spaces using signage to limit contact and interactions.
- Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be provided in break areas for students to clean surfaces before and after utilization. Signage will be used to restrict occupancy when social distancing cannot be maintained in such areas. The respect of these requirements will be monitored.
- Student Services will stagger daily work schedules for employees to promote social distancing.
- Facilities will maintain adequate personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies and distribute these supplies throughout frequently used, shared indoor spaces.
Campus COVID-19 Education Plan
- Seton Hall will develop a multi-media health education and training campaign for students and community members regarding COVID-19 health and safety precautions, including sanitization, mask requirements, and social distancing practices. This campaign will include education on ways the University community can protect themselves, others, and the Seton Hall community on and off-campus. Precautions include daily monitoring of symptoms before coming to campus, washing hands well and often, following all medical directions regarding diagnosis or exposure, adhering to social distancing guidelines, wearing a face mask at all times, indoors and outdoors, except in their residence hall rooms, observing informational and directional signage, keeping personal and shared spaces clean and disinfected, and being respectful of the rules and regulations that Seton Hall has put forth to keep the community safe. The Seton Hall Pledge information will be added to the New Student Checklist.
- To limit in-person interactions, Student Services will encourage use of a virtual appointment system to help reduce capacity in waiting areas. The system allows for virtual check-in procedures to minimize person-to-person contact as well as contact with high-touch surfaces.
- Student Services will implement video or teleconferencing in lieu of individual in-person advising in the areas of academic advising, career counseling, academic support and tutoring, and appointments in the Offices of Disability Support Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Campus Ministry, and Division of Volunteer Efforts.
- When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not advisable or possible, Student Services staff will hold appointments in open, well-ventilated spaces in which individuals can maintain 6 feet of distance.
- Group meeting sessions will be offered virtually.
- Where possible, waiting areas in student support offices will be modified to allow for social distancing and help reduce traffic flow. Students will be encouraged to come to appointments on time and schedules will be strictly adhered to so as to minimize wait times.
- When necessary, extra turnover time will be scheduled between appointments, events, or scheduled gatherings to allow for increased cleaning between events and to minimize crowding.
- Social gatherings and in-person event capacity will be limited based on state guidelines for indoor and outdoor spaces for student engagement activities including community service and spiritual offerings. Outdoor spaces will be encouraged and utilized for student programming and events.
- Social gatherings and events are only approved for members of the Seton Hall community. There will be no conferences or gatherings permitted on-campus for those outside of the Seton Hall community.
- For community service events or programs, online or virtual outreach will take place in lieu of in-person outreach.
- Departmentally supported student organizations will continue to communicate and meet virtually. Virtual office hours and streaming meetings will be offered. When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not preferable or possible, student organizations can hold appointments in open, well-ventilated spaces (if possible) or spaces which ensure that individuals maintain 6 feet of distance between one another.
- Student services will offer online training to student leaders and advisors to communicate and inform students of health and safety best practices, protocols and new policies.
- All students who attend on-campus events are required to wear a face covering and adhere to the social distancing guidelines. Restrictions will be the same for on-campus and off-campus gatherings. Students who do not adhere to these requirements will be required to leave the event.
- Student Engagement will work with Public Safety to develop a protocol for managing gatherings of students.
- The Seton Hall Pledge campaign will provide a way to reinforce and educate the campus community specifically as it pertains to student gatherings.
- Student Engagement will encourage contactless card swiping to track attendance at events to mitigate the risk of person-to-person spread.
- The Student Code of Conduct outlines procedures, guidelines and policies that address student behavior on and off campus. The Dean of Students office enforces the Code of Conduct and holds students accountable for actions that violate the Universities policies.
- The Student Code of Conduct will be updated to reflect the expectations outlined in the Seton Hall Pledge. Failure to comply with policies that help to ensure the health and safety of the community will be addressed by Student Affairs staff through an educational model that includes escalating sanctions for more egregious violations.
- Student Affairs staff will emphasize health and safety education and community standards protocols through student leaders’ training and through passive and active residential programming.
- Public Safety and Security will share the Seton Hall Pledge and educational campaign with local law enforcement.
- All New Jersey state and local regulations will be enforced on all three Seton Hall campuses.
- Public Safety and Security will monitor on-campus areas to encourage mask wearing and social distancing guidelines.
- Public Safety and Security will adhere to the statewide guidance on transit available for each stage in compliance with Executive Order No. 125.
- Public Safety and Security will track all vehicles, including visitors, through the NuPark license plate recognition system.
- Public Safety and Security will utilize their services to transport sick students residing on campus to appropriate quarantine space and appointments to Health Services. Staff will adhere to all safeguard measures and protocols, including use of higher level PPE, in these circumstances.
- When possible, Public Safety and Security will adjust schedules/routes for running during peak times to help limit and reduce capacity.
- All vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected regularly between shifts. When possible, individuals will try to consistently utilize the same vehicle.
- Public Safety and Security will encourage contactless boarding to prevent person-to-person spread.
- The Seton Hall Pledge education campaign and signage will be posted in shuttles and at on-campus stops to encourage passengers to monitor for symptoms and not to board if they have any common symptoms of COVID-19.
- Whenever possible, vehicles will open windows to increase ventilation.
The Campus Dining program and its operation will adhere to social distancing guidelines and promote community health and safety in all dining venues on campus. Seating capacity has already been rearranged by spacing out tables and chairs and removing the excess chairs. Seton Hall is working with Gourmet Dining Services to guarantee the appropriate level of supervision and dynamic line management, which will include creating separate lines during peak hours.
- Maximum capacity in dining facilities will be reduced to allow for appropriate social distancing in accordance with state guidelines. Any dining spaces that do not allow for required social distancing, even with appropriate modifications, will be closed.
- Students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks to enter dining spaces, and while in all dining spaces when not eating or drinking.
- Dining employees will wear face masks and gloves while in dining facilities or providing food outside of the facilities for the purposes of outdoor dining and delivery. Exceptions will be made only for medical reasons.
- Dining employees will be trained in health and safety precautions, as well as necessary food handling, cleaning, and disinfection protocols. Additional employees will be hired to assist wiping down and sanitizing dining tables between use.
- Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be available in all dining locations for students to wipe down areas before and after use.
- All interior dining seating arrangements have been modified to provide a 6 foot separation from one seat to the next or are being provided with clear barriers* (vinyl or plexiglass) where 6 feet cannot be maintained.
- Outdoor dining areas in tents will be erected to provide students, faculty, and staff with alternate locations to eat meals or snacks as well as to compensate for seats lost in maintaining social distancing requirements.
- Additional, non-dining indoor spaces will be modified with the addition of tables to provide additional table capacity lost by social distancing.
- Clear barriers (vinyl or plexiglass) will be erected along each service counter separating staff from customers. Barriers will also be placed at locations where customers may be waiting in line near circulation or at tables to provide protection to both those standing in line, circulating, or sitting.
- Floor markings at 6 foot intervals will instruct customers where to stand while waiting.
- Directional signs will guide students through lines and help to manage the flow of traffic through the dining area.
- Mobile ordering will be required to reduce lines and improve the flow of traffic through dining spaces. The app will show wait times and will alert customers when their orders are ready for pick up.
- Take out or "grab and go" options will remain available at all open dining locations.
- Dining facilities will use disposable food service items and eliminate the use of shared items (i.e., reusable condiments).
South Orange Campus
- In order to spread customers out and provide more seating within the board plan dining area, the adjacent retail space will be utilized as part of board dining. Jersey Mike's will become a second grill and beverage counter. Pizza will be served from the Pizzeria only, Pirate Express will be altered to provide smoothies, 'Health and You', bakery, and cereal options previously provided in other bays. Swipe-in points will be relocated to the entry of the Galleon Room. The back entrance by the College of Arts and Sciences will still be available for entry.
- The C-Store (Pirate Express) will move to the Living Room in place of Pirate Bowls, which will not be available this fall semester.
- The University Club will be closed, as its size does not make social-distance dining possible.
- Dunkin' Donuts, Jubilee Café, and The Cove will be open with their normal schedule.
Law School – Newark Campus
- Dining Services will only provide grab and go meal options.
- There will be no catering.
Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus
- Seating will be blocked off to allow for distancing while eating.
- Markings on the floor will be provided for queue lines at 6 foot intervals to guide customers about where to stand while waiting. Entrances and exits will be marked on doors to create enter only and exit only pathways.
- Mobile ordering: There will be a mobile app available for express pick up. Once alerted the entrée is ready, the customer will proceed to the proper line and pick up their meal. This will reduce the amount of people standing in line at a time.
The University will continue its restrictions to non-essential travel throughout the Academic Year 2020-21.
- Study abroad will be suspended for fall 2020 and spring 2021. In spring 2021, considerations and changes may take place for summer 2021 programs.
- Any third-party sponsored trip that students elect are at the student's risk, and they will be advised of travel advisories. Students who elect third-party study abroad programs will need to be quarantined at home before returning to campus as recommended by CDC guidance.27
- Both Student Services and the Office of International Programs (OIP) will continue to monitor the CDC website to comply with most recent quarantine recommendations.
- OIP will keep students and employees informed about changes to guidelines both on its website (https://www.shu.edu/international-programs/) and via frequent email communications.
- The Office of International Programs will also provide links to locations where students and faculty may find information regarding COVID-19, FAQs, and travel advisories, for example:
- Department of State website
- Department of State travel warning:
- International students will be able to study remotely in their home country. Those who are currently prevented from entering the United States due to federal restrictions may be able to transition to the HyFlex model during the semester depending on changes in travel restrictions.
- The Office of International Programs (OIP) will continue to monitor the requirements for international students to ensure compliance with all regulations, and the office will communicate with international students as appropriate.
- New students may not enter the U.S. to engage in remote learning. For new students, their F-1 status is delayed until they enter. For those entering for the spring 2021 semester, their eligibility for off-campus internships/ employment will be delayed until January 2022. F-1 students must study for one year before they are eligible for those opportunities.
- International students who will be residing on campus in the fall will be provided with housing for self-isolation consistent with quarantine requirements recommended by the CDC.
Athletics at Seton Hall will resume in accordance with state, DOH, NCAA, and conference guidelines. The Department of Athletics will be responsible for implementing and enforcing all health and safety protocols.
Prior to Return to Campus
- Prior to the return to campus, Seton Hall will hold online/virtual education sessions for student-athletes, coaches, and staff on health and safety precautions, including mitigation strategies, reporting of symptoms, and testing. Athletics will supplement these education sessions with written materials.
- Athletes and staff must be able to state that they have had no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and that they do not live with or have not had close/sustained contact ( less than 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes) with anyone who is sick within 14 days of returning to campus.
- Student-athletes and staff who are experiencing or have experienced symptoms or have had close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to get tested and/or self-quarantine before returning to campus.
Testing, Tracing, Quarantining, Isolation
- PPE will be distributed to all student-athletes and staff. Use of masks will be required throughout the athletics department.
- Student-athletes, coaches, and staff will undergo COVID-19 testing upon return to campus in addition to regular surveillance testing.28
- Student-athletes who experience symptoms must contact their athletic trainer. The athletic trainer will instruct the student-athlete to self-quarantine and will set up a telemedicine appointment with the ill student to review symptoms and make determination on the next steps. When self-quarantining, student-athletes will be instructed to stay separated from others and avoid all movement outside of their home or current residence. Sports Medicine and Health Services personnel will work with student-athletes who are quarantined and their roommates to ensure everyone's safety and encourage testing, when necessary. Student-athletes may be directed to an Athletics Team Physician or University Health Services for follow-up care.
- Any student-athlete with a positive/presumed positive COIVD-19 test or clinical suspicion independent of a test will be required to quarantine and self-isolate from roommates and teammates. Student-athletes living in on-campus housing will be relocated to University identified quarantine rooms. Student-athletes residing in off-campus housing will be asked to self-isolate within their place of residence. When self-isolating, student-athletes will be instructed to separate themselves from others by staying in a specific "sick" bedroom or space and using a different bathroom (if possible).
- Student-athletes who are considered contacts with a COVID-19 patient may be removed from participation in athletics and asked to quarantine for an appropriate time as they undergo testing.
- Athletics training facilities usage will be limited to training PODS. No outside visitors will be permitted in athletic facilities.
- Student-athletes will be grouped in training PODs based on team and housing unit. A POD may consist of an entire team depending on team size and training style. Training PODs will be maintained over the course of the semester to limit frequent and close contacts to a specified group.
Facilities and Equipment
- All athletic facilities that accommodate spectators will follow state occupancy guidelines to limit attendance and adhere to social distancing guidelines. All concession stands will remain closed.
- Social distancing guidelines will be enforced throughout Athletic Department in all facilities.
- Wayfinding signage will be placed throughout to support adherence to social distancing requirements.
- Equipment-sharing will be limited.
- Athletics Facilities will increase cleaning materials and will distribute sanitization and cleaning protocols to TEMCO, the University cleaning vendor, and department staff.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be installed at various Athletic Facility locations.
- Prior to entering the athletic facility, student-athletes will be required to follow facility gating procedures including, but not limited to, a COVID‐19 Risk Assessment Questionnaire, temperature assessment, and/or other recommended items. Proof of clearance will be needed to participate in athletic-related activity.
- Team travel restrictions will include elimination of air travel for all fall sports, more localized competition schedule, and limited travel roster sizes. Sports administrators and trainers will communicate with opposing institutions regarding campus protocols for visiting teams to ensure adherence to health and safety precautions.
- Athletics will continue to communicate with local, state, and Big East partners to ensure the safety of student-athletes, employees, and other athletic stakeholders as guidance evolves.
Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfecting
Seton Hall has developed protocols for enhanced cleaning and disinfection of facilities throughout campus. These protocols apply to shared spaces described in the sections above.
- The frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, in high traffic areas, such as light switches, buttons, handles, handrails, doorknobs, countertops, and rooms will be increased and monitored daily.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout campus for use by the campus community.
- Restrooms will be monitored throughout the day, with increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
- Restrooms will be monitored and sanitized every night, seven days per week.
- Cleaning in residence hall common spaces will be increased. This means the cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, in high traffic areas, such as light switches, buttons, handles, handrails, and doorknobs.
- Unassigned and general use bathrooms will be cleaned and sanitized twice a day, seven days a week.
- Dining areas will be sanitized nightly, seven days per week.
- Tables will be sanitized after each use during daily dining hours.
Offices and Administrative Space
- Offices and administrative spaces will be cleaned and sanitized nightly Monday through Friday. Any occupant who wishes to maintain their own office space can do so by placing their waste can outside their door nightly.
- Classrooms will be sanitized every night, Monday through Friday, and on weekends as needed. Housekeeping will use an electrostatic fogger that will sanitize and cover surfaces with a sanitizing agent for 24 hours.
- Faculty and students will participate in cleaning their own teaching/seating area with disinfecting wipes supplied to each classroom by the University.
https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/nj-schools-and-universities/are-colleges-and-universities-open-are-summer-programs-open-what-are-the-safety-requirements; on July 1, during stage 2, universities are permitted to begin in-person clinical, lab, and “hands-on” academic programming, subject to the submission of the institution’s re-opening plan to the state 14 days prior.
6 Contingency Planning Group A, Contingency Planning Group B, the Health Intervention and Communications Team (HICT), and five subgroups of Planning Group B and as many as 19 subgroups of HICT; https://www.shu.edu/health-intervention-communication/teams-and-committees.cfm
7 Details of the HyFLex model and the reconfiguration of facilities to accommodate classroom and other requirements created by that model are included in this document.
9 Some of this work was completed by the Health Intervention and Communications Team (HICT) and the Contingency Planning Groups; the Re-opening Operations Team (ROOT) has aggregated this information, refined and augmented some components of the plan, and submitted all recommendations to the Cabinet for approval.
10 The ROOT has representatives from all three campuses among its membership.
11 Four virtual Town Halls were conducted to collect questions and comments from all 3 campuses during the week of June 15.
12 Except when doing so would inhibit the individual's health
13 According to the state's re-opening guidelines, "Throughout all stages, students and employees who are immunocompromised, or otherwise in an at-risk category, should be allowed to do work or meet remotely rather than in-person."
14 See "Facilities," "Residential life," "Instruction," and "Dining" sections for greater detail.
15 The University is currently considering several possible apps to adopt for screening purposes.
16 A similar screening checklist will be instituted at all three campuses.
17 According to CDC, symptoms include the following: (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html) Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
18 CDC prioritizes testing for persons with symptoms of potential COVID-19 infection, or those without symptoms who are "prioritized by health departments or clinicians, for any reason, including but not limited to: public health monitoring, sentinel surveillance, or screening of other asymptomatic individuals according to state and local plans." The CDC guidelines advocate for "promoting behaviors that reduce spread" and "maintaining healthy environments." 18 CDC. Priorities for COVID-19 Testing. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/clinical-criteria.html
19 At present, Seton Hall does not provide student health services at the Newark (Law School) or Nutley (IHS) campuses but local providers are being contacted to provide assistance.
20 At Seton Hall, if they are a student, or from their personal health care provider, if they are members of the faculty or staff.
21 Some large format lecture courses that enroll more than 100 students and were successfully implemented during the transition to online instruction this spring will remain online for the fall.
22 Depending on the classroom capacity and consistent with capacity regulations, for a class offered on Monday-Wednesday, students with an ID ending 0-4 will attend a class in person on Monday, then they will attend the online version on Wednesday. Students with an ID ending 5-9, will attend online on Monday and in-class on Wednesday (smaller or larger groupings are possible by clustering student ID numbers in three or more groups).
23 More information about the classroom technology and layout is available at https://www.shu.edu/technology/hyflex-classroom-technology.cfm
24 I.e., the Schwartz computer lab
25 The Jubilee eSports lab will only be scheduled for specific events such as, team practice, matches or tournaments.
26 I.e., The Information Commons in Walsh Library and the IHS Library
27 CDC guidance recommends 14 days of quarantine after international travel and recommendations for monitoring health. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html
28 Student-athletes, coaches, and Athletics department staff are considered at higher risk of COVID-19 because of the difficulty in maintaining social distancing requirements during play.
Appendix A: Seton Hall Schools and Colleges Plans HyFlex Implementation Highlights
Stillman School of Business
- The curriculum accommodates the HyFlex format for courses previously scheduled as in person; faculty have experience in teaching remote students.
- Faculty will plan virtual meetings with students in their classes a week before the start to explain the HyFlex modifications and the need for social distancing.
- Learning labs will remove furniture to account for social distancing and maximum capacity.
School of Diplomacy and International Relations
- The curriculum accommodates the HyFlex format based on the experiences and satisfaction levels evidenced by student evaluations in spring 2020.
- Advising sessions and office hours will be online, and if there is a need for in limited person sessions, those will be held in a large room appropriate to the size of the group.
- Professional internships are a requirement in the program and virtual versions of these internships will be offered in the fall and spring. Two in-person meetings that are normally required in the courses in order to facilitate the internships will move to virtual meetings.
- All external events for the fall will be hosted virtually.
- In-person visits with prospective students will take place once University plans allow for this type of interaction.
College of Communication and the Arts
- The faculty have experience teaching remote students from spring 2020 and are actively engaged in a series of steps to prepare and train for the HyFlex model.
- To comply with social distancing and recommendations from professional organizations, music classes (both group and private lessons) will be offered completely remotely.
- For art classes, the college will expand its use of cameras and software to ensure safe instruction.
- TV Studio – the college has worked with facilities to create a social distancing plan for the TV studio.
- Radio Station (WSOU) – The college has developed a very detailed, two-stage approach to "re-opening" the WSOU studio in a way that will comply with social distancing requirements.
- Arts Council – The college oversees a number of arts programs for the University
(choir, concert series, theatre, etc.) and is planning on adapting to comply with University, state and local requirements, as appropriate. For example, the college is planning for socially distanced theatre performances, with minimum characters on stage at a time, and social distancing in the audience.
College of Education and Human Services
- The college is well positioned to offer the HyFlex model and has experience teaching remote students, but some modifications might be needed due to the nature of the programs offered.
- For undergraduate students in the Educational Studies programs, the college will use guidance from the state on the re-opening of K-12 schools and will then work with its accreditors to gain appropriate access for undergraduate students.
- Similarly, graduate students in various programs may need placement in community agencies. Alterations to standard contracts might be needed to address off-site placements.
- Supervision of both undergraduate and graduate students in school and clinical settings will also be adjusted. The college is actively engaged in working on alternative methods of supervising students in these settings, if necessary.
- The college has some courses that are offered off-campus. The college and the University are working to ensure that the HyFlex model can be implemented at those sites. This may, in some cases, require going completely remote.
Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology (ICSST)
- Like other colleges, the seminary has experience teaching remote students from spring 2020 and is actively engaged in a series of steps to prepare and train for the HyFlex model.
- The ICSST has some courses that are offered off-campus. The ICSST and the University are working to ensure that the HyFlex model can be implemented at those sites, with respect to health and safety guidelines.
College of Arts and Sciences
- The College of Arts and Sciences anticipates being broadly able to implement the key elements of the HyFlex model.
- Adaptations to the plan will be necessary for lab components of courses. Labs that deal with hazardous materials (that make even home lab kits unfeasible) will be offered in person while following social distancing guidelines whereas other labs will be offered in a virtual environment. The college, in some instances, will need to offer additional lab sections.
- To make room for social distancing, lab rotations and set-up will be modified. For example, biology lab stations will have one student instead of a group of two students and the labs will run at 50% capacity; Likewise, programs intend to use online resources and materials and pre-recorded lectures for lab-based courses.
- Program like social work will have modified field placements by shifting some placements (graduate) to the spring 2021 semester.
School of Health and Medical Sciences (Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus)
- The School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS) will follow the HyFlex delivery model but a combination of online virtual didactic; virtual hybrid; complete face-to-face instruction and supervised, face-to-face practical assessments might be necessary to comply with accreditation requirements.
- SHMS operates at the Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus, which will follow operational modifications of space layouts in compliance with state guidelines.
- SHMS will promote the need for adequate distance between individuals engaged in experiential learning opportunities and ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible (or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of students at a time and clean and disinfect between uses).
- Due to requirements for social distancing, the school anticipates: 1) reduced class/lab size and resultant more sessions for hands-on clinical training, 2) increased simulation and standardized patient sessions, 3) due to personal health concerns and accommodations of full-time faculty due to COVID-19, increased need for more adjunct faculty in assisting lab sessions and training of clinical skills, and 4) more intensive clinical training to make up for missed clinical hours due to lack of face-to-face clinical skills training on campus and/or in clinics.
- A major part of instruction in SHMS is clinical placements which may not be available because many off-campus clinical sites may not accept interns in the fall.
- The directors of clinical education are investigating alternate ways of teaching clinical skills and providing experiences that will supplement and/or replace some of the face-to-face rotations that have been suspended while meeting clinical education standards promulgated by their respective accreditation bodies. Some of the activities being planned and/or in progress are: 1) standardized patient/simulations, 2) remote support and training activities offered by preceptors, and 3) involvement in tele-practice where available.
- SHMS is addressing its extensive PPE requirements, both for the IHS campus location and off-campus clinical sites. Equipment includes gowns, gloves, face shields, and masks (ranging from cloth to N95). Education and training for PPE (e.g., importance of the equipment, how to fit and wear them) is being planned.
College of Nursing (Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus)
- The majority of graduate programs offered by the College of Nursing, specifically the NP and HSA programs are delivered exclusively online under normal circumstances. Therefore, the college's fall 2020 online curricula and courses are consistent with the college's normal operations.
- The Ph.D. in Nursing program is not offered online and will continue to be delivered in-person. Classes generally have fewer than 10 students, making it easy to achieve HyFlex delivery with sufficient social distancing.
- The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences (IHS) campus will follow operational modifications of space layouts in compliance with state guidelines.
- The College of Nursing will ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible and clean and disinfect between uses. Likewise, students will consistently have the same partners in labs to decrease exposure and will participate in necessary hand hygiene and wear masks and gloves in the labs.
- All didactic courses for both the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Clinical Nurse Leader programs will follow the HyFlex delivery model with a combination of online virtual didactic; virtual hybrid; complete face-to-face instruction and clinical assessment to comply with accreditation requirements. Classes will be recorded for students who test positive for COVID19.
- Students in the B.S.N. program who did not complete their clinical work in spring 2020 will do so the week prior to the commencement of the fall 2020 semester in the IHS clinical and simulation laboratories with special attention to CDC guidelines for cleaning and safety.
- Exams will be remote and proctored.
- Student advisement will occur remotely through Teams or Blackboard Ultra.
- In all face-to-face clinical experiences, students will follow protocols for testing and screening as prescribed by each clinical agency. Clinical experiences that cannot occur in person will be replaced with virtual simulations and/or alternate clinical assignments.
- Any student who cannot complete the clinical component of the course will receive grades of incomplete until the experiences can be made-up.
Seton Hall Law School (Newark Campus)
- The Law School will implement the HyFlex model in a modified format.
- All first-year law students (1L) may apply to be remote students for the fall semester. Applications will be reviewed, and counseling sessions will be scheduled with the applicants in July. All applications will be approved. Remote students will participate synchronously in all courses. Faculty will be teaching classes in-person. Student in class will be seated six feet apart across the rows, and plexiglass will be installed between the rows.
- All upper-class students may apply to be remote students for the fall semester. Applications will be reviewed, and counseling sessions will be scheduled with the applicants in July. All students requesting to be remote in doctrinal courses will be approved. Requests for remote learning in skills or clinical courses will be approved for students who require a reasonable accommodation for a disability or medical condition. Others will be approved if it is feasible given the requirements and structure of the particular course—some skills courses do not easily allow for remote participation, particularly those which focus on trial/court room skills.
- Students and faculty will be socially distanced within the classrooms with doctrinal courses using the same methods as 1L courses. Skills and clinical courses will use a combination of marking 6 foot areas for students to stand and present from, removing furniture, and seating students and faculty 6 feet apart.
- Regular housekeeping practices will be performed in all public areas, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the facility. Cleaning chemicals that are EPA-approved in preventing emerging viral pathogens will be used to disinfect the building. Cleaning personnel schedules will be modified and augmented to accommodate the heightened cleaning timetable. All surfaces including podiums, computers, remotes, etc. will be disinfected. Supplies will be deployed throughout the space for self-serve cleaning.
- Traffic patterns have been created throughout the building to assist with social distancing guidelines. In addition, depending on the location, furniture is either being added or removed from spaces throughout the building to ensure proper social distancing protocols.
- More details about the Law School-Newark campus health and safety standards and re-opening are available in Appendix C.
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University (Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus)
- The School of Medicine will transition to independent status (Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine) in early July and will re-submit separate re-opening plans then.
- However, the School of Medicine is currently submitting the request for a waiver to send its second-year medical students to their clinical rotations throughout Hackensack Meridian Health System. A copy of the request and the related health-and-safety training procedures are included in Appendix D.
- A copy of the Re-opening Plan is also included in Appendix E.
Appendix B: Detailed Plans for Opening of Seton Hall Libraries
Detailed Plans for a Stage 1 Opening of Seton Hall Libraries
- Select circulation staff will process returns, quarantine returned materials for three days, and then reshelve.
- All other on-site admin/faculty/staff will prepare spaces for Stage 3; shifting chairs, removing soft seating, taping off desks.
- The Libraries will work with University IT Department to implement safety measures for the Information Commons.
- Acquisitions will work with incoming mail onsite and/or mail to home as practicable to reduce the number of employees on site.
- The gallery will be prepared for repurposing as a temporary classroom.
- Research self-checkout system to reduce person-to-person exchange of materials.
Detailed Plans for a Stage 2 Opening of Seton Hall Libraries
Space & Social Distancing:
- Soft seating in the Information Commons will be removed or spread at least 6 feet apart.
- Elevator use will be restricted to 1 person traveling inside the car at any time. All chairs will be placed at least 6 feet apart.
- A plexiglas barrier will be installed at the circulation desk and other areas where face-to-face interaction will frequently occur.
- Any area where patrons queue (circulation desk, printers, elevators) will be clearly marked for social distancing in preparation for Stage 3.
- Modifications will be made to the entrance to the building, encouraging one entrance and one exit.
- Requirements for maximum occupancy will be determined with guidance from state and federal authorities.
- Hygiene stations will be strategically located throughout the building, as per state guidelines.
- Only one person will be allowed in the elevator at a time.
- The Libraries will consider designating certain stairwells for Up/Down.
- Health and hygiene reminders will be posted throughout the building.
- No food will be allowed in the library. Covered drinks will be allowed. Water fountains will be turned off except for the hydration station feature.
- Frequent sanitation of all areas of the library will be conducted by housekeeping per state guidelines.
- The Libraries will coordinate with IT for printing sanitation.
Removal/Handling of High-Touch Items:
- There will be a continued suspension of print magazines and newspapers. These materials will be removed from public spaces in preparation for Phase 2.
- The Libraries will have sanitizing wipes and spray available at each public workstation, with instructions for patrons to clean the keyboard and mouse before and after using the computer. Elevator buttons should be frequently cleaned, and users should be encouraged to wash/disinfect hands upon leaving an elevator, which could be done by placing hand sanitizing stations outside of the elevators.
Detailed Plans for a Stage 3 Opening of Seton Hall Libraries
Modification of Services at Walsh Library:
- Library hours of operation will be modified.
- No guest access will be allowed. Only Seton Hall students, faculty, and staff are permitted to enter the building.
- Library staff will encourage patrons to request physical materials via the Hold button feature in the catalog. Staff will have materials ready for pickup at either the Circulation desk or curbside pickup.
- One-to-one in-person reference consultations can be provided in special circumstances, provided faculty and patron wear appropriate PPE and maintain appropriate distance.
- Only two areas will be open for book checkouts: one at either end. Books are passed through lowered part of circulation desk.
- No food will be allowed in the library. Covered drinks will be allowed.
- Social distancing policies for patrons will be implemented and enforced.
- Group study rooms will be closed; social distancing of these spaces cannot be observed or enforced.
- Close or re-purpose the 24/7 room to ensure occupancy limits are not exceeded, and because social distancing of these spaces cannot be observed or enforced.
- Health and hygiene reminders will be posted throughout the building.
Special Collections and Gallery
Along with the general distancing and sanitation requirements described above, these specific steps will be taken in the Special Collections & Gallery area:
- Remove center of each long table, leaving 6 separate tables that can be used by 1 person each.
- Remove excess seating in conference room to allow for 6 researchers with spacing between them.
- Install 4 carrels along the Gallery side of hallway, which will be overseen by staff at the front desk of the archives reading room.
- Special Collections will require 24 hours between researchers, using a single collection, to allow for any contamination to dissipate from the materials. Delicate archival materials will not otherwise be sanitized in any way.
- Follow overall guidance for printing.
- Social distancing of all on-site work will be required.
Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) Library
Along with the general distancing and sanitation requirements described above, these specific steps will be taken at the IHS Library:
- Remove every other seat where applicable to maintain distancing. Remove couches.
- Individual study room doors should remain open to maintain air flow and also ensure that distancing is in effect.
- Large quiet study room will have seats removed to allow for social distancing.
- The IHS library common area will have a reduced density of PC workstations to ensure students and faculty are working at a safe distance, in accordance with social distancing rules.
- Signage will direct individual users to disinfect the terminals before and after usage; equipment will be provided to use for cleaning. Between uses, keyboards and mice will be cleaned and sanitized.
- Signage will be used to enforce social distancing at the printing station and other areas where patrons queue (including IT/AV service desk).
- The room-booking kiosk touchscreen will be turned off.
- Privacy shields will be installed at countertop seating areas where applicable.
- Specific entryways and exits into the library will be designated.
- The Print Reference Collection will be available, but books will be quarantined between use, following current recommendations and best evidence for print material sanitation (http://oc.lc/realm-news1-phase1).
Law School Library - Rodino Center
The information below highlights how the Rodino Center at Seton Hall Law is addressing the OSHE Restart Standards related to computer labs and libraries. (Computers are available for use inside the library facility.)
- Furniture in the Rodino Center is being rearranged to meet social distancing guidelines and provide adequate space between tables, chairs, and other furniture. Excess furniture will be placed in storage until it can be returned to the space. Additional communal spaces have been added elsewhere in the building to account for reduced seating in the Rodino Center.
- The Rodino Center will be cleaned on the same schedule as the rest of the law school building. Disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizing stations, and plastic gloves will be available for use between cleanings. All patrons will be required to wear gloves and masks when using shared equipment, such as printers, keyboards, and computers. Signs about these requirements and general information about COVID-19 will be posted throughout the space. Staff will be given adequate break time for handwashing.
Curbside Pickup/Book Sanitization
- Patrons will be able to borrow items from the main collection once the Rodino Center re-opens. Patrons will be able to request items through the catalog. A staff member will retrieve the item and place it in a sealed, labeled bag. Items can be picked up/dropped off at the front of the library or, at the patron's request, the first-floor security desk. A three-day self-quarantine of items at home is recommended before use. All returned items will be quarantined for the recommended three days before being returned to the collection.
Accommodating Students Who Lack Adequate Technology
- Students at Seton Hall Law are required to have adequate technology at school and at home. Student Services and Financial Aid personnel are available to assist in these purchases when necessary. A limited number of computers are available in the Rodino Center on a first-come, first-serve basis. To date, we have found these computers sufficient for use. Should a computer not be available for someone without adequate technology, a student can request to borrow a laptop from the IT collection or ask a staff member to free up a computer currently in use.
ILL, Electronic Materials
- The Rodino Center continues to process ILL requests and is particularly responsive to requests for materials in electronic format. As other libraries are able to share physical books, we will borrow items (and quarantine them appropriately). We encourage all patrons to provide specific page number information with their requests, as libraries may be more likely to scan/email limited numbers of pages rather than mail physical items. The Rodino Center is currently prioritizing the purchase of electronic materials for the collection rather than physical items.
Service for Immunocompromised Individuals
- Because the Rodino Center is integrated into the law school facility and is open at times when staff is not present, it is difficult to limit access hours. Individual requests for access can be sent to the executive director, Deborah Schander (firstname.lastname@example.org), and will be accommodated through private appointment.
- In accordance with law school and University recommendations for meetings, reference assistance will be offered remotely. Patrons can schedule an appointment with a librarian by emailing email@example.com. Teams allows for two-way screen sharing and other video conferencing tools. Information about library services will be posted on the Rodino Center website and on each SHL Blackboard page.
Appendix C: The Law School HyFlex and Re-opening Plan
Seton Hall Law has prepared multiple contingency plans for a HyFlex Fall semester with an instruction plan that offers both in-person and remote options. Decisions regarding HyFlex will continue to be made based upon public health and University guidance to ensure the best interest of the Seton Hall Law community.
The New York Court of Appeals has waived its limit on distance education credits for fall 2020; the Law School has applied for a waiver from the ABA for fall and spring.
Seton Hall Law remains steadfast in its mission to provide an outstanding legal education and produce graduates who are prepared to pass the bar.
Overview of Implementation Plan
Academic Calendar and Class Schedule
The Law School fall classes begin on Monday, August 24, 2020; we have made three significant changes to the academic year 2020-21 academic calendar including:
- Canceling fall break
- Completing the full-time semester including all instruction before Thanksgiving (the Weekend Schedule remains unaffected except that exams will be remote)
- Moving fall on-campus Interviewing (OCI) to January 2021
The class schedule has been revised slightly to enable students to enter and exit rooms according to social distancing guidelines, and to enable cleaning between classes in rooms where self-cleaning doesn't make sense. In addition, a handful of classes for which there are no rooms have been converted to wholly remote or online offerings.
Opt in for Remote Learning
The University has approved the Law School providing students with several options for fall 2020 classes. By Friday, June 19, 2020, all students will be made aware of the HyFlex options below and will have the opportunity to opt into a fully remote fall semester by July 15, 2020.
In-Person with Social Distancing
- Accommodations for remote attendance will be available for those so designated by the Office of Disability Services; those whose current health precludes their attendance under University health and safety guidelines; and those unable to obtain VISAs in time for the start of the semester.
- Further, we will have the ability to convert entirely to remote if required by public health authorities. The goal is for 1L classes to be substantially in-person with some remote experiences so that if we are required to convert to a remote format for some portion of the semester, the transition will not be jarring as it was for students in the spring 2020 term.
- 1L classes may be required to employ a rotation system whereby a different 1/3 of the class attends remotely every two weeks. Another hybrid model we could employ for upper-division students would comprise 1/3 online and 2/3 live. We will have a better sense of this once we know class size and the proportion of students who elect remote learning.
- Faculty teaching courses with a remote component will be asked to adhere to best practices promulgated by the Nimble Pedagogy Committee. Online courses will be asynchronous Quality Matters (QM) compliant and undergo the extant processes for QM review by Dean Foerst or Professor Coleman. Unless sick, remote students will be required to have their cameras activated; the Law School will will provide all students with Seton Hall Law backdrops to protect their privacy.
Student Advising, Formative Assessments, and Community
The ABA has required a certification guaranteeing "regular and substantive interaction between faculty members and students." These will occur by ZOOM, consistent with the guidance of the Nimble Pedagogy Committee. The ABA requires "regular monitoring of student effort by the faculty member through formative assessments or other appropriate means and opportunity for communication about that effort." We have established a Creating Community Committee to produce a plan to ensure student co- and extra-curricular engagement.
All in-person courses will have simultaneous remote access for students who have so elected or are precluded for health reasons from attending live. The Nimble Pedagogy Committee is assessing the relative merits of Blackboard vs. Teams. Throughout the summer, all faculty (including adjuncts) will receive additional advanced training on the deployment of the selected learning management systems to enable, if possible, the use of split screens, gallery views of classes, break-out groups, polling, and more sophisticated and varied use of demonstrative tools such as video. As determined, faculty members teaching wholly remote or online may receive additional equipment and training.
Plexiglass will be installed in classrooms on the 200 and 300 levels to enable maximum seating with social distancing in each room. All 1L doctrinal classes will occur in rooms 273 and 373. Pop-up classrooms will be created in the former computer lab, the Rodino reading room, and the faculty library. The use of masks, and, in some instances, plexiglass, may require professors to use microphones. Faculty members assigned to rooms where microphones may be needed will each receive their own microphone mouthpiece.
Each classroom will require a forward-facing camera and room microphones so that students attending class remotely can see and hear what transpires in the room and participate in class discussions.
Students will be assigned or select seats they must use for the whole semester. To record attendance, students will utilize the "Shifts" function through Microsoft Teams. The regular attendance policy will apply, except that students who must log in remotely into class because of health issues will still be counted as present; students who are too ill to attend will be counted as absent. As always, any student who exceeds the allowed absences will be withdrawn from the class.
Fall Exams & Grading
For the fall 2020 semester, exams for all required Day (1L, 2L), and Weekend (1WW, 2WW, 3WW) courses, bar courses and other highly enrolled courses for the fall 2020 semester will be done remotely starting on Monday, November 30, 2020. The remote security that will be utilized on these exams will be the Exam ID and Exam Monitor add-ons to the Examplify exam software. All other courses will be either take-home or self-scheduled exams through ExamSoft.
We are returning to regular grades, ranking, and academic policies beginning this summer. The faculty will discuss whether to suspend discretion at its June 26 faculty meeting.The required 1L curve will be extended to Constitutional Law for rising 2L students in the fall. Dismissals, academic probation, and scholarship retention decisions will occur at the conclusion of the fall 2020 semester, with no faculty appeals.
The Rodino Center will be prioritizing electronic resources for the foreseeable future. Available print resources from the main collection will still be available for patron use, with access subject to increased sanitization procedures. Patrons will be instructed to not re-shelve materials but to return them to a centralized location for sanitizing. Staff will return materials to the collection after the appropriate sanitization period. All requested items will be delivered in a sealed manner. A central drop off location will be available for returned items, which will be subject to sanitization before being returned to the main collection. Patrons checking out items from the collection will be provided with best practice suggestions for quarantining items at home prior to use. Research and reference support will be available to Seton Hall Law School students and faculty as usual throughout the period of social distancing. Librarians will be available via email, chat, video conferencing, phone, and in-person, as needed. Research services will be promoted on each course page on Blackboard and on the redesigned Rodino Center website.
Center for Social Justice (CSJ) Off-Site Operations Including Externships & Pro Bono Service Program
- CSJ faculty and students will follow all court orders regarding in-person vs. remote appearances before the respective courts. Each case will be evaluated based upon the best interests of the client and the safety of faculty, students, and clients. Similarly, attorneys working in the detention center will evaluate whether to meet with clients in person at the detention center based on safety and the practices of partner organizations.
- All externship classes will be held via Blackboard. Pending contrary advice from the University, if a placement site permits students to work on-site and the student is comfortable doing so, then the student is permitted to work on-site. However, if a student is not comfortable working on-site, and the placement supervisor agrees to a remote placement, such a placement will be permitted.
- Pending University advice to the contrary, students will be permitted to do volunteer service on-site if the placement site allows the student to do so. Remote placements are permitted for pro bono service, without the completion of an MOU, given the positions are unpaid and uncredited. Trainings for Pro Bono Service projects will be scheduled online when possible.
- Road to One L will run a remote program starting on June 19, 2020, with iterative summer sessions delivered through Zoom Webinar throughout the summer.
- Legal Education Opportunity (LEO) Program is scheduled for August 3 – August 14, 2020. The program will be delivered in an entirely remote forum utilizing Zoom and Blackboard.
- One L Orientation has been scheduled for August 17-21, 2020. The Program will be divided over 5 days, one for each first-year section, with Lawyering Day activities being held concurrently for alternating sections. Daily program length will be shortened. Some components of orientation may be delivered remotely (or undecided) even if the rest is done in-person, such as: President Nyre's welcome, Character & Fitness, Alumni Panel, Creating a Legacy, etc. Any student who opts in for a remote semester will receive orientation in a remote format.
- All extra-curricular/co-curricular events will move to remote for the fall semester.
Office of Career Services (OCS)
- On-Campus Recruitment (OCI), has been postponed from July 2020 to January 2021 for the rising 2L class.
- Strategic Career Services events, including Big Law New York and New Jersey
"Summer Dinners;" Public Interest Fair/Public Interest Programming; and Workshops will be hosted virtually. A "Public Interest Guidebook" for students, which includes an informational page describing each participating employer along with employer's relevant contact information, will accompany the Public Interest Fair. Certain Workshops will also be available in person, following social distancing guidelines.
- Applications for judicial clerkships for the 2021-22 term will open on June 15, 2020, and interviewing will begin on June 22, 2020.
- Students will have access to in-person, remote and telephone counseling appointments.
Visits and tours will be by appointment only, allowing for one reservation/registration for each time slot with the prospective student (and limited family members). Walk-ins will only be allowed if there is an open time slot; tours will not be stacked. All visitors, along with staff (or students) conducting the tour/visit, must wear masks and any other necessary PPE as set forth by the University and Law School.
The Financial Aid Office expects to experience an increase to the number of Professional Judgement Requests as a result of COVID-19. These circumstances may be related to a change in housing arrangements, increased cost of technology (including hot spots if inconsistent internet capacity exists at home), printing costs, etc. We will attempt to fund the increased costs in the first instance through the Dean's Emergency Fund or other donor/endowed funds, increasing the discount rate only as a last resort.
Housing and Transportation
For students (especially incoming 1Ls) searching for housing, we are working on updating our information on local apartments and creating a FAQ page on our website to guide students in making a housing decision that is right for them. It is expected that more students will be living at home and fewer will be taking public transportation, thereby increasing the need for parking spaces. We will work with the management team of the garage for flexible billing arrangements. Staggering of classes throughout day will help to ease pressure on the garage if more students are driving. Our van service will continue to operate as usual with adherence to social distance guidelines.
Health Services and Security
During this time of social distancing and HyFlex learning, the Law School building will be open to students and employees, prospective students, graduates studying for the bar, Westlaw and LEXIS representatives, bar prep representatives, vendors who require access, CSJ clients, and delivery personnel (Permitted Entrants). The building, including the Office of Career Services and the Rodino Center, will remain closed to guests or alumni. In addition, we are suspending all building rentals and the usage of the auditorium by friends of the Law School. Our ultimate safety rules will comply with those issued by the University.
Reports of any violations of the mandatory mask policy should be made to security, which will offer the violator a mask, or, if the person declines, evict the person from the building. Reports of violations of any other policy contained herein should be made to Dean DeAlmeida (building, staff, administration) or Dean Foerst (faculty or student).
Our Facilities Team will continue to work maintain high levels of cleanliness at the Law School. In order to do so, regular housekeeping practices will be performed in all public areas, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the facility. Cleaning chemicals that are EPA-approved in preventing emerging viral pathogens will be used to disinfect the building. Cleaning personnel schedules will be modified and augmented to accommodate the heightened cleaning timetable. All surfaces, including podiums, computers, remotes, etc. will be disinfected. IT will supply all professors with their own microphone mouthpieces. In the Rodino Center, students will be asked to wear gloves and masks when using computers and equipment. Supplies will be deployed throughout the space for self-serve cleaning. Traffic patterns have been created throughout the building to assist with social distancing guidelines. In addition, depending on the location, furniture is either being added or removed from spaces throughout the building to ensure proper social distancing protocols.
Resumption of daily Mass in the St. Thomas More Chapel will depend on directives from the Cardinal's office regarding resumption of the public's attendance at Mass. Once Mass resumes, attendance will be limited to members of the Law School community. The chapel and Multi-Faith Prayer Room will remain available for private prayer. Father Nick is working with Facilities to ensure social distancing and placement of hand sanitizer near the Chapel and Multi-Faith Prayer Room doors.
We will continue to engage with alumni and friends remotely and through social media until a travel and in person plans can be made.
We plan to convert both the Global and U.S. Compliance Programs to remote delivery through the end of 2020. The compliance group will continue to assess based on circumstances and guidance, when to hold live events again at the Law School or elsewhere.
The Law School will continue to work and coordinate with the Health Intervention and Communications Team and Matt Borowick, Interim Vice President of University Advancement.
The Law School will adopt policies promulgated by the University.
Dining / Vending
While students will be encouraged to be in the building solely to attend class, we do anticipate that students will want to eat in the Law School and not leave the building to obtain their meals at local restaurants. The Law School will work with our food vendor, F&B Fine Catering, to ensure it is operating in accordance with food guidelines set by the University.
Appendix D: The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University Return to Clinicals Training Protocols
This section is included in lieu of a waiver application requesting authorization for Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine to return its 57 second year medical students to their clinical rotations throughout Hackensack Meridian Health System. All students were summarily removed from clerkship responsibilities on March 15, 2020. They rotate in hospitals throughout the Hackensack Meridian Health System in the following departments: Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Surgery.
The School of Medicine's return to the clinical setting training includes training in the correct use and management of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), how to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission, what to do in case of exposure or illness, universal precautions, and how to enter and work in the clinical setting. The components of the training include: (1) completion of a training packet which includes readings and videos, (2) participation in two live training meetings, and (3) completion of a quiz on which students must achieve a minimum score of 85%. A copy of the training packet is attached: "School of Medicine (SOM) Return to the Clinical Setting Training Document—June, 2020."
The Office of Student Affairs and Wellbeing and the Office of Medical Education monitor the New Jersey Department of Health website, along with many other state and local resources, to ensure compliance with best practices for supporting and protecting our medical students in all clinical settings. Students attend a weekly, virtual Town Hall with the deans of the school where updated clinical guidelines for COVID-19 treatment are reviewed by leaders in the COVID-19 Command Center of Hackensack Meridian Health (see attachment COVID 19- Command Center). Opportunities exist during this meeting for students to ask questions and raise concerns.
At this time, we believe it is appropriate to return our medical students to their clerkships with the expressed directive that they are not to treat any patient with, or suspected of having, COIVD-19. Our efforts consider the health and safety of our students and patients first. We respectfully request a waiver from the prohibition in Executive Order No. 104 that bars in-person instruction at our institution of higher education. Thank you.
Bonita Stanton, MD
Founding Dean and Professor of Pediatrics
Robert C. and Laura C. Garrett Endowed Chair for the School of Medicine Dean Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University
President, Academic Enterprise, Hackensack Meridian Health
340 Kingsland Street, Suite 3110
Nutley, New Jersey 07110
School of Medicine Return to the Clinical Setting Training Document Updated June 10, 2020
Please read the content in this packet in detail. Go to the indicated websites and watch the videos as described. You will have the chance to ask questions at our training session on June 15. After that you will take a quiz covering the content in this packet on which you will need to score 85%.
We are providing you with a lot of information here. We know that it may feel overwhelming. We don't want you to feel overwhelmed, but are intentionally giving you more information so that you are knowledgeable and prepared.
As always, reach out to your clerkship directors, OME, or SAW with any questions.
Table of Contents
- Introduction and overall guidelines
- Process for entering the clinical setting
- Universal precautions
- PPE requirements and training
- What to do in case of COVID-19 exposure
- What to do if you are sick
- Guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and minimize risk to household contacts
- NJ The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health through Public Health
HMH COVID mepage
Introduction and Overall Guidelines
Welcome back to the clinical setting! You are important and contributing members of the clinical team, and the faculty, residents, and staff at our clinical sites have missed having you there.
Experiencing the COVID-19 global pandemic during your training will have been a defining feature of who you are as a physician. COVID-19 is and will be part of the
clinical (and overall) world going forward. Our goal is to enable you to learn and practice medicine in this new clinical world. This is the same as what has happened in the past when dramatic and new diseases, treatments, and entities have entered medicine. Many of us lived through and remember when HIV/AIDS appeared, overwhelmed many healthcare settings in heartbreaking ways, and eventually and thankfully became a treatable illness. We all care for patients with TB, HIV, and many other infectious diseases. COVID-19 is now part of that list.
As with many aspects of life, we cannot remove all risk Our goal is to minimize risk as much as possible and give you the skills and knowledge you need to be able to do this.
As always, there are many people and resources here at the School of Medicine to help and support you. Please reach out to your Clerkship Directors, site directors, preceptors and faculty, and the Offices of Medical Education and Student Affairs and Wellbeing at any point with questions or concerns.
General Guidelines and Tips
- Given the uncertainty and rapidly growing knowledge base about COVID-19, at this point, students should NOT participate in DIRECT patient care of patients with known or suspected COVID-19.
- It is possible that students may unknowingly be involved with a COVID-19 patient and should always follow the CDC and hospital guidelines.
- Students should follow PPE and safety protocols at each clinical site. PPE will be provided by each clinical site. Please remember that PPE is a valuable resource.
- If you are feeling sick, you should not enter a clinical setting. Please follow the instructions below.
- Core curriculum sessions will be held virtually whenever possible, to allow for social distancing. Many departmental meetings and lectures are conducted over video conferencing as well, to allow for social distancing. In some instances, in-person discussions are held based on the number of attendees, keeping social distancing in mind.
- Please be as attentive as possible to social distancing when in the clinical setting.
- Make a checklist for yourself, get observed doing your PPE and precautions routine (ask a fellow student, resident, attending, nurse to observe you), pair up with a buddy if you can. It will take a little time to get used to the routine. Remember that the residents and attendings you will be working with are used to it now. You will get there with a little time and practice.
Process for entering the clinical setting
At all clinical sites, students should follow the standard procedures for the staff at the site.
Entering an HMH facility
Effective Monday, May 11, 2020, all people entering an HMH facility will have their temperature taken. Anyone with a temperature of 100°F or greater will not be allowed to enter except in the case of patients who are seeking medically necessary, time sensitive care.
This new protocol applies to anyone entering care locations including team members, physicians, patients and their permitted caregivers, vendors, clergy, volunteers, students, etc.
Please remember to continue self-monitoring your temperature and yourself for COVID-19 symptoms at home before reporting to work. If you have a fever of 100°F or greater or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay home, call your clerkship site director and call the Occupational Health COVID-19 hotline at 732-897-3800.
Students will be given a 3-ply surgical mask upon entry to all HMH facilities. Masks should be discarded at the end of the day. Cloth masks are not permitted.
Please watch the CDC training on hand hygiene. Knowledge on these topics will be assessed on the quiz you will take.
Using the link below please review the module 6 section on being mindfully
Please read the summary, key concepts and review sections 1, 2 and 3. Knowledge
will be assessed on the quiz.
- Follow your site's instructions about waring (or not wearing) your white coat. Keep in mind frequent cleanliness and laundering to prevent spread of infection.
- Wear your ID badge at all times regardless of if you are wearing your white coat or not
PPE requirements and training
As described above, the goal of using personal protective equipment is to minimize the risk of transmission of infectious agents in the healthcare setting.
- Isolation signs will be posted outside the patient's room which will outline proper PPE to wear.
- Do not touch the outside of a respirator when wearing one.
- Always perform hand hygiene after touching the outside of the respirator.
- What to do if there is not enough PPE
- Don't do something you are not comfortable doing, or that is not appropriate.
- Talk to someone: your resident, attending, primary preceptor/site director, clerkship director, OME/SAW. There are multiple people that you can reach out to, so please do.
- Students will be given a 3-ply surgical mask upon entry to all HMH facilities.
- Masks should be worn at all times.
- Mask should be discarded at the end of the day.
- Cloth masks are not permitted.
- Full PPE
- Full PPE (N95 respirator, face shield, gloves, gowns, etc.) will be used in the following settings:
- Emergency Trauma Departments
- Procedural or Operating rooms
- Obstetrical suites
- Full PPE will be provided to the students in these settings.
- Directions on proper use will be provided by the specialty specific clinical team.
- Full PPE (N95 respirator, face shield, gloves, gowns, etc.) will be used in the following settings:
- Given the high risk for exposure at codes, and the modified staffing and structure of code teams, for now we are instructing students to not participate in codes.
- If you are instructed to save and reuse and/or disinfect a PPE item, store it in a paper bag as instructed.
- You may see team members not following PPE protocols (wearing too much or too little PPE). Please follow clinical site protocols. Reach out to your primary preceptor, site director, or clerkship director with any questions.
- Special considerations for Obstetrics
- Active Labor and Delivery of COVID+ or COVID PUI patients
- Only members of the clinical team should be present during delivery. The medical student with primary responsibility for the laboring patient is part of the clinical team.
- Patient should wear procedural face mask (if able to tolerate).
- All team members present during active delivery must wear N95 respirators
(if available), gown, face shield, and gloves.
- Place facemask over N95.
- Continue to wear N95 respirators within delivery room for 1 hour after birth.
- Infants born to mothers who are COVID + or COVID PUI should be considered PUIs and managed by pediatric team.
HMH COVID-19 Contingency Guidelines for Procedural Face Mask and Respirator Use
The following guideline allows HMH to provide a safe environment for our team members while providing effective clinical care to patients with COVID-19 infections.
- Universal masking of all team members was implemented on March 20, 2020.
- Procedural face masks are to be worn continuously by all team members in
- HMH inpatient, outpatient, radiology and long-term care facilities.
- Exception: Respirators should be used continuously in the Emergency
- Department, and on COVID-19 units. Students will be instructed to use N-95 respirators and other appropriate PPE if there is a possibility of aerosolization during surgery or a procedure. This will be modified as needed.
- Use an N95 or (half or full facepiece) respirator.
- Always perform a proper fit and seal check when donning a respirator.
- All team members, regardless of location, will wear an N95 when entering the
- room of confirmed COVID-19 patients or COVID-19 Patients Under
- Investigation (PUI).
- From 2nd stage of labor to delivery for all obstetric patients.
- Other personal protective equipment (PPE) must be donned as well.
- Face shields and/or goggles to protect eye exposures.
- Isolation gown and exam gloves for contact precautions.
- Do not touch outside of respirator when wearing. Mask should be discarded at end of the day.
- Always perform hand hygiene after touching the outside of the respirator.
Optional Resource: Useful information can be found on this blogpost: http://www.emdocs.net/personal-protective- equipment-ppe-pearls-covid-19/
Watch this video on how to don and doff your PPE. It is essential that you follow the proper procedures for this.
What to do in case of COVID-19 exposure
What to do in case of COVID-19 exposure Immediately inform your clinical supervisor and call the COVID-19 hotline at 732-897-3800.
What to do if you are sick
You should not report to work and contact the Occupational Health COVID-19 hotline at 732-897-3800 if you are experiencing a fever ( ≥100) OR if you are experiencing two (2) or more of the following symptoms following an exposure to someone with a positive COVID-19 test: shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, malaise, vomiting or diarrhea.
If a fever (≥100) or COVID-related symptoms develops while at work, tell your leader and you will be sent home. Once home, you should contact the Occupational Health COVID-19 Hotline.
If Occupational Health determines you should be seen by a physician, they will refer you to one of the HMH designated Urgent Care Centers. These designated Urgent Care Centers are working directly with our Occupational Health teams and are prepared to expedite team members, ensuring you receive timely care.
Additionally, please follow the Phase 2 Attendance Policy and inform your clerkship director, site director and SOMabsence@shu.edu of your absence and any anticipated absences per the instructions of Occupational Health.
If you are instructed to quarantine, please contact the Office of Student Affairs and Wellbeing to discuss any changes in schedule that may be required.
Guidance on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and minimize risk to household contacts
To Prevent Spread of COVID-19:
- Take into consideration the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 when you are getting dressed. We recommend choosing clothing that can be easily laundered.
- Limit personal items that you bring into the clinical setting. Bring only what you need to the workplace (such as ID, money, and food) to decrease the risk of transmitting the virus when you return home.
- Consider keeping your cell phone in a Ziplock bag.
- When returning home after patient interactions, consider your exposure to COVID-19 and launder clothes.
- Consider showering/bathing when you return home. Keep in mind you may have been exposed to an asymptomatic person. (Note: these guidelines are for students not working in COVID-19 units and high-risk areas.)
- Disinfect phones, pens, credit cards, and other things that you brought with you to the clinical setting.
- Guidelines for disinfection, from the CDC:
- "For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted."
- Guidelines for disinfection, from the CDC:
- In the clinical setting and in the community:
- Wear masks and follow safety precautions at all times
- Adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Alternatively, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Soap and water should be used instead of sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty.
- It is preferable to use disposable paper towels to dry hands. If these are not available, use clean, dry cloth towels and replace them when they become damp from repeated use.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.
- Immediately wash your hands.
- Avoid sharing personal household items.
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, or towels with other people or pets in your home.
- After using these items, was them thoroughly with soap and water.
- Disinfect surfaces daily.
- Clean all "high-touch" surfaces everyday: light switches, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
- Use household cleaners to clean and disinfect surfaces that you have come in contact with.
- Protect your pets.
- You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick.
- If you do have contact with pets, wash your hands before and after the interaction and wear a face mask.
- The items below are intended for health care professionals working in high-risk settings (for example in a COVID unit). We are providing you with this information for you to be aware.
- Bring a change of clothes and shoes to work, change before leaving work or before entering your home.
- Leave work shoes in a designated place (ideally, the car or garage).
- Change your shoes before you get into the car and put them in a bag in the trunk or garage. Clean them weekly with a strong disinfectant.
- Don't have physical contact with your household members until you have taken the steps above.
Optional resource: Guidance on the Contact of a Close or Casual Contact of a Confirmed or Suspected Case of COVID-19 (NJ Department of Health)
Appendix E: The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University Academic Plan
School of Medicine – Academic Year Plan 2020-21
Table of Contents
The School of Medicine Student Body Actions to Date
School of Medicine Overview
COURSE: Human Dimension and Immersion Orientation (HDIO) (July 13- July 24, 2020) COHORT 2020
COURSE: Human Dimension (HD) (July 13, 2020- July 3, 2021) COHORTS 2018, 2019, 2020
COURSE: Nutrition, Metabolism and Digestion (July 20 – September 11, 2020) COHORT 2019
COURSE: Molecular and Cellular Principles (July 27 – September 18, 2020) COHORT 2020
COURSE: Neurosciences & Behavior (September 14 – November 14, 2020) COHORT 2019
COURSE: Structured Principles (September 21-November 13, 2020) COHORT 2020
COURSE: Immunity, Infection and Cancer(November 16, 2020 – February 14, 2021) COHORT 2020
Assessments, Exams, and Grading
Rooms and Spacing
Laboratory and Simulation
Student and Faculty Feedback
Facilities and IHSC
Areas for further Analysis
The School of Medicine has been preparing a response to the pandemic of COVID-19 since early March 2020. With second-year medical students assigned since November to many of the Hackensack Meridian Heath (HMH) hospitals, we learned of the increasing threat to all healthcare practitioners first-hand. We immediately began contingency planning for both our clinical education and small and large group sessions for our 2018 and 2019 COHORTs, and the 2020 COHORT, entering July 2020.
Given the nature of our competency-based education, the accelerated pace of much of the delivery, the accreditation requirements and an increasing student body in a shared building with limited space, we moved all of our teaching remote, synchronous and recorded. This proposed School of Medicine - Academic Year 2020-21 Plan presents the strategies we believe will allow for the most successful and safe continuation of classes throughout the summer, fall and into the spring. Academic activity at the School of Medicine continues uninterrupted yet transformed in its delivery and plans to continue this implementation with further adjustments are underway.
The School of Medicine Student Body
The school currently has the following students matriculated:
2018 Cohort (entered in July of 2018) = 57 students in Phase 2 of the curriculum.
2019 Cohort (entered in July of 2019) = 91 students in Phase 1 of the curriculum.
On July 13, 2020, the new 2020 COHORT (=128 students) will enter the School of Medicine in Phase 1 of the curriculum.
Actions to date
Effective March 11, 2020, all Phase 1 courses for all students in the 2019 COHORT class were offered entirely remotely. Small and large group activities, proctored quizzes and summative exams have all been maintained. All accommodations for students with documented disabilities have been provided in both class activities and the testing environment. All on-site clinical education for students in Phase 1 was suspended or reformatted to include remote only activities. All activities in the clinical setting for students in Phase 1 were suspended. Activities in community-based settings were shifted to remote/virtual.
Effective March 15, 2020, all Phase 2 students assigned to clerkship rotations throughout the HMH Network were withdrawn from the clinical sites. Students were instructed not to return to their clinical assignments. Subsequently, 14 weeks of remote instruction, including electives, a required telehealth course and virtual clerkships, were offered to all 57 Phase 2 students. In preparation for returning to their clinical rotations, all 57 students were provided with a two-session orientation (see attached "Return to Clerkship Training Guide") reviewing aspects of safety, PPE use, access to occupational health and additional self-care instructions. Training was also provided for all clerkship directors on the return of students to their clinical sites.
Leaders of all U.S. medical schools meet weekly (and continue to do so) to review
strategies for adjusting delivery of required curricula and to assess current conditions for return to the clinical setting, among other topics. The AAMC, LCME, MSCHE, HMH
COVID Command Center, the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey
Office of the Secretary of Higher Education are among many resources regularly
reviewed for guidance on such matters.
School of Medicine Overview
The educational program at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall
(HMSOM) uses competency-based, standardized learning outcomes, with an opportunity for students to individualize their fourth year (Phase 3) experience based on their own professional and developmental needs and goals.
The HMSOM has a 3+1 curriculum, with a three-year core curriculum and an Individualization Phase (Phase 3) during the fourth year. Phase 1 (Fundamentals) spans the first 16 months of the curriculum and includes classroom, clinical, and community-based experiences. Phase 2 (Immersion) spans the following 20 months, and includes clerkships, sub-internship, electives, selectives, and the United States Licensing Medical Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and Step 2.
Phase 3 (Individualization) is a customized phase that starts after the three-year core curriculum. During this phase, students select a personalized pathway that can include a dual degree, clinical immersion, research-intensive, community-based project, or entry into a residency program, immediately after completing satisfactorily Phase 2.
The general structure and curricula for each Phase has been reviewed in detail to offer contingency instruction methods given reduced learning space and restrictions on clinical opportunities due to the COVID -19 pandemic while abiding by all learning objectives and outcomes. The following is the plan for providing a HyFlex experience for our students in the fall and possibly spring semesters of 2020-21.
Schematic of Phase 1 of the HMSOM Curriculum
Sciences/Skills/Reasoning Courses: Seven courses are included in the Phase 1, accounting for the first 16 months of the curriculum.
COURSE: Human Dimension and Immersion Orientation (HDIO) July 13- July 24, 2020 COHORT 2020
HDIO is a two- week introductory curriculum that prepares incoming students with an overview of the curriculum and the School of Medicine and familiarizes them with how to attain success in their studies.
Usually run in-person, HDIO has been reconfigured to be delivered remotely. A schedule (See Attachment # 1: HDIO Schedule) of required components is attached and regular communication with all students is ongoing. All entering students have been informed in writing that there is no requirement for in-person academic activity before September.
In-person engagement is being planned for their arrival on campus in September to allow the new students to be oriented to the campus and communities in which they will work with assigned patients and to become acquainted with their classmates and the other students and staff located on the campus. This orientation will be designed in accordance with distancing regulations at that time.
COURSE: Human Dimension (HD) (July 13, 2020 – July 3, 2021 (2018, 2019, 2020 COHORTS)
The Human Dimension is a three-year course composed of two sequential elements (Human Dimension-Phase 1 and Human Dimension-Phase 2). In this immersive community-based experience, pairs of students are linked to families in the community, with a focus on four domains of health: social, environmental, psychological, and medical.
Core to the mission and vision of the HMSOM is the concept that all physicians need to understand the significant impact of community and context on health outcomes, including societal problems and social determinants of health. While these concepts are emphasized throughout the curriculum, it is through HD that the students understand their roles in health and sickness, and disease prevention and treatment. Further, students understand through this experience that their role exceeds treating and preventing illness, encompassing the responsibility of helping every individual under their care to achieve their full potential. Students are linked with groups of families and communities from the very beginning of the HMSOM curriculum. They meet with, learn, and begin to understand their patients’ and families’ context and circumstances, including the location of support and risk elements in their families’ communities. They participate in the patients’ interactions with the medical world, and assist them in navigating their medical, legal, and social systems.
The experiential and service-learning curriculum of the Human Dimension is integrated with the other content students learn in Phases 1 and 2.
- Activities in this course include meeting and interacting with families in various settings, assessing a range of relevant social factors (including household and community safety, resources, availability of nutritious and affordable food, transportation, medical access), meeting, sharing, and discussing their experiences with a faculty mentor and peers, and participating in small- and large-group teaching sessions. Students also screen for, and talk with, families about social needs that are impacting their lives. Students are trained to perform these screenings and are provided resources and access to information about resources so that they can help families access available services.
- In addition to being matched to individuals and families, groups of six to eight students partner with, study, and help selected communities address issues identified by the communities as potential or actual threats to the health of the community. Each group of students is matched with a local community and completes a community assessment project that culminates in a community health project. Through a series of activities such as community mapping, attendance at community meetings, interviewing community leaders, and service-learning experiences, along with longitudinal in-home visits to families in these communities, students gain a robust understanding of their communities’ assets and strengths. Subsequently, they synthesize their learning and propose, plan and implement a community health project in their community to address an identified gap.
- A capstone project at the end of Phase 2 is developed by the students based on their experiences in this course.
The essence of the Human Dimension (HD) course is contact in and with the community. Given the restrictions provided by COVID-19, alternative activities, with social distancing requirements in place, are currently being planned to meet the educational objectives of the curriculum. These include:
- Work with community partners continues, using tele-communication including phone and video calls. Stakeholder interviews will be via video calls. Service learning will be planned for virtual experiences with possibility of converting to in-person if safe/appropriate.
- Families will be recruited from various clinical and other settings that allow establishment of the relationship in-person (e.g. in clinical office visit), with follow-up visits performed using phone/video calls, and in-person visits when safe.
- Resequencing of some curricular content to be delivered earlier in the curriculum, providing additional time later in the curriculum for community-based activities when for feasible given the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Delivery of large and small group teaching sessions using synchronous remote instruction. Course components have been reformatted to be offered remotely while maintaining educational objectives.
- Restructured community-based activities will occur when safe and feasible given current COVID-19 restrictions.
COURSE: Nutrition, Metabolism and Digestion (July 20 – September 11, 2020)
An eight-week course that focuses on the structures and processes required for metabolism as presented in the context of the digestive system. Biochemistry and normal and defective metabolic pathways (and the resulting disease states) are a major component of this course, building upon content from Molecular and Cellular Principles. Nutrition is a longitudinal curricular thread but has a concentration within this course.
All basic and health systems science course components have been reformatted to be offered remotely while maintaining educational objectives. The requirements include all weekly proctored quizzes, small group activities, large group learning activities and remote, proctored summative exams.
Most clinical skills instruction has been reformatted to be offered remotely while maintaining educational objectives. Some clinical skills content has been re-sequenced, to be provided later in the curriculum.
Work in the clinical setting (e.g. Longitudinal Clinical Preceptorship) will resume when safety and educational factors allow; some restructuring of these experiences may be required. For example, students may be divided into groups to participate in the experience for a few months at a time, based on the number of sites able to accommodate students. Factors such as COVID-19 prevalence, sufficiency of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and educational experience will be monitored closely to determine when students can participate and if any modifications are needed during the experience.
COURSE: Molecular and Cellular Principles (July 27 – September 18, 2020)
An eight-week course that introduces students to fundamental concepts in cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics/epigenetics, immunology, pathology, and pharmacology.
All basic and health systems science course components have been reformatted to be offered remotely while maintaining educational objectives. This includes delivery of all of the teaching materials previously covered in each course, all weekly proctored quizzes, all small group activity, all large group learning and, remotely, a proctored summative exam covering the same material in the same format that was established prior to the arrival of COVID-19. Most clinical skills instruction has been reformatted to be offered remotely while maintaining educational objectives. Some clinical skills content has been re-sequenced, to be provided later in the curriculum.
COURSE: Neurosciences & Behavior (September 14 – November 14, 2020) 2019 COHORT
An eight-week course that addresses the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous system, from the cellular to the societal level. In light of the emerging understanding of the biologic basis of psychiatric disease, including its interactions with external societal and environmental influences, neuroscience and psychiatry are presented in an integrated fashion.
Most basic and health systems science course components have been reformatted to be offered remotely while maintaining educational objectives. This includes delivery of all of the teaching materials previously covered in each course, all weekly proctored quizzes, all small group activity, all large group learning and, remotely, a proctored summative exam covering the same material in the same format that was established prior to the arrival of COVID-19. Labs will be conducted remotely with the exception of one in-person lab day scheduled for late October; small group activity may resume as restrictions allow.
Most clinical skills instruction has been reformatted to be offered remotely while maintaining educational objectives. Some clinical skills content has been re-sequenced, to be provided later in the curriculum.
Selected small group activity may be delivered in-person as COVID-19 restrictions allow. Work in the clinical setting (e.g. Longitudinal Clinical Preceptorship) will resume when safety and educational factors allow; some restructuring of these experiences may be required.
COURSE: Structured Principles (September 21-November 13, 2020) 2020 COHORT
An eight-week course that introduces students to fundamental concepts in anatomy, histology, and medical imaging. Content from this course is elaborated upon in subsequent systems courses as appropriate.
All basic and health systems science course components have been reformatted to be offered remotely while maintaining educational objectives. This includes delivery of all of the teaching materials previously covered in each course, all weekly proctored quizzes, all small group activity, all large group learning and, remotely, a proctored summative exam covering the same material in the same format that was established prior to the arrival of COVID-19.
The division of Anatomy Lab instruction space with the School of Nursing and SHMS is in progress. Labs will be conducted remotely with the exception of selected in-person labs; small group activity may resume as restrictions allow.
Most clinical skills instruction has been reformatted to be offered remotely while maintaining educational objectives. Some clinical skills content has been re-sequenced, to be provided later in the curriculum.
Selected small group activity may be delivered in-person as COVID-19 restrictions allow.
COURSE: Immunity, Infection and Cancer (November 16, 2020 – February 14, 2021) COHORT 2020
An 11-week course that builds upon the fundamental principles of the immune system that are presented in Molecular and Cellular Principles. The essential role of the immune system is addressed as it relates to maintaining health, as well as disease states resulting from its dysfunction. The focus on immunity provides a natural home for concepts in rheumatology and dermatology. Fundamental concepts in infectious disease and microbiology are included in this course; whereas specific pathogens are addressed in other courses. The end of this course transitions into major concepts in neoplasia, spanning the implications of this suite of pathologies from the molecular to the social/systems levels. As is the case for pathogens, additional specific types of neoplasia are addressed in subsequent courses.
All basic and health systems science course components have been reformatted to be offered remotely while maintaining educational objectives. Labs will be conducted remotely with the exception of selected in-person labs; small group activity may resume as restrictions allow.
Selected clinical skills and small group activity may be delivered in-person as COVID-19 restrictions allow.
Work in the clinical setting (e.g. Longitudinal Clinical Preceptorship) will resume when safety and educational factors allow; some restructuring of these experiences may be required.
Phase 2 of the HMSOM Curriculum
Orientation to the required clinical experiences, including the level of student responsibility, tracking student progress, and alternative experiences, occurs during the Transitional Clerkship, as well as during each clerkship's specific orientation.
The Transitional Clerkship includes an overall orientation to the list of required clinical experiences, with a focus on goals of the clerkship year as a whole. Students review the required clinical encounters, the goals they are required to achieve, and the different clinical settings and levels of student responsibility for each encounter.
Each clerkship has a list of required clinical experiences and procedures, as well as the corresponding clinical setting and level of student responsibility for each item. This material is included in each clerkship's orientation and materials, syllabus, and LMS page. The list is reviewed during each clerkship's orientation, as well as during the clerkship; that is, both before and at the mid-way point of the clerkship.
The required clinical experiences and procedures and the corresponding clinical setting and level of student responsibility are included in all faculty guides and manuals for each clerkship, and are discussed with new faculty when they join the teaching faculty for a clerkship. Faculty who teach students in the clinical setting receive an initial and annual communication package in writing from the clerkship director. This includes the list of required clinical experiences with all the relevant details, instructions for faculty supervision, and guidance for how to address situations in which students are not meeting requirements.
Clerkship directors have been asked to provide didactic presentations virtually as much as is possible, and to limit the request for classrooms through the fall and spring.
Assessments, Exams, and Grading
Remote delivery of all quizzes and exams, with additional technology purchased for proctoring, will continue through the fall and spring. There is no change to the grading policy at this time. Accommodations for a later exam date in the event of student illness are available through contact and planning with the Office of Student Affairs and Wellbeing.
Greater flexibility in the remediation process has been implemented by the associate dean of student affairs and wellbeing. The many stresses placed upon students and their families from the pandemic has required creative problem solving and planning to allow for adjustments to both clinical assessments and written exams.
Course directors and faculty have provided extended office hours to support student adjustment to remote learning. In addition, Academic Support provided peer teachers for the current Phase 1 course who provided weekly review sessions for struggling students.
Rooms and Spacing
Building 123 has extensive space for the teaching and assessment of clinical and procedural skills. In total, approximately 30,000 square feet of space, primarily on Floor 2 of Building 123, is dedicated to the teaching and assessment of students’ clinical and procedural skills.
These are dedicated education spaces that are not used for patient care or research activities. Consistent with the HMSOM's interprofessional education curriculum, the facilities, including the clinical skills area, are shared with the College of Nursing
(CON) and the School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS). The School of Medicine has created plans that accommodate the shared space requirements and physical restrictions due to COVID-19.
To accommodate face-to-face learning that aligns with distancing requirements and the need to provide remote instruction for some or all students, all learning sessions are synchronous and recorded for future review. Attendance is mandatory for all School of Medicine courses and clinical assignments. Large group active learning sessions can be held partially or completely remotely as needed so that clinical skills, laboratory, and small group sessions have priority for in-person instructional space.
Scheduling meetings and discussions have already begun with CON, SHMS and the Seton Hall University registrar to allocate sufficient space with considerations of social distancing.
Skills Laboratories (Floor 2):
The three skills laboratories are located on Floor 2 of Building 123, for a total of approximately 3,600 square feet of learning space. Each skills lab includes eight patient bays in which a variety of learning and assessment experiences are conducted. All beds are equipped for audio/video/data capture, and have Associated touchscreen vitals monitors.
Task Training Laboratories (Floor 2):
The two task training laboratories are located on Floor 2 of Building 123 for a total of approximately 2,400 square feet of learning space. These are flexible use spaces that have dedicated areas for audio/video/data capture.
Exam Table Laboratories (Floor 2):
The three exam table laboratories are located on Floor 2 of Building 123, for a total of approximately 3,500 square feet of learning space. Each exam table laboratory includes 10 beds. These rooms are functionally similar to the skills laboratories, but have only one bed/room outfitted for audio/video/data capture, making them most suitable for learning activities, as compared to assessment.
Clinical Skills Center (Floor 2):
The Clinical Skills Center (CSC) occupies approximately one-quarter of Floor 2 of Building 123, for a total of approximately 9,500 square feet of space. It includes 16 examination rooms, each designed to look and function as outpatient medical office space. An external corridor for student use surrounds the examination rooms and a central corridor for faculty and standardized patient (SP) use that is connected to the CSC Control Room, SP lounge, and storage areas. Each of the examination rooms has identical equipment, including an exam table, examination equipment, sink, and computer station, and can be used for teaching and learning, as well as formative and summative assessment.
The CSC includes full digital video/audio recording for all exam rooms. B-Line simulation management software is used to manage data from the CSC, and recordings can be fully annotated. Faculty observers are stationed in a central control room and can also be stationed outside of the individual examination rooms with the ability to observe and listen to activity in the rooms.
The CSC also has four dedicated debriefing rooms and a reception area.
Medical Simulation Center (Floor 2):
The Medical Simulation Center (MSC) occupies approximately one-quarter of Floor 2 of Building 123, for a total of approximately 9,500 square feet of space. It features seven simulation rooms designed as: medical/surgical inpatient units (two), intensive care units (two), post-anesthesia care unit, operating room, and labor and delivery (with capability for newborn care simulation).
The MSC includes full digital video/audio recording for all exam rooms. B-Line simulation management software is used to manage data from the MSC, and recordings can be fully annotated. Each of the simulation rooms has dedicated control room space for mannequin control and student observation, and all rooms are designed to be flexible for modification of use to other types of inpatient simulation as needed.
The MSC also has four dedicated debriefing rooms, a reception area, and a mannequin repair workroom in Building 123A.
Pediatrics Lab (Floor 3):
The Pediatrics Lab is a flexible learning space on Floor 3 of Building 123, totaling approximately 1,200 square feet of learning space. It is a flexible clinical skills learning and assessment area that is primarily focused on training for pediatrics.
Rooms for fall 2020 were reviewed for all three COHORTS and the request below for rooms was submitted to the Seton Hall University registrar. This is a request given a 100% in-person return. Given that this is unlikely, we intend to remain remote for all but scheduled small group activity with social distancing in the CSC and MSC centers once the IHS campus is opened. To accommodate restrictions related to COVID-19, our room requests are modified for the fall semester to include:
Flex classrooms and learning studios are available for small group instruction (Wednesday and Friday mornings). Simulation center and anatomy labs time will need to be scheduled in a fashion spread over multiple days to allow for smaller numbers of students in the simulation center and lab at a time.
Laboratory and Simulation
Simulation is a proven, effective way to teach clinical skills and risk of COVID-19 exposure can be mitigated in a variety of ways. However, multiple alternate teaching modalities can be utilized for clinical experiences during distance learning including various electronic simulation and cases-based learning platforms (e.g. Oxford Simulation and Aquifer) as well as remote delivery of standardized patient and simulation case experiences. These were utilized over spring and will be utilized during summer 2020 for clinical learning in multiple courses and clerkships. It provided an excellent learning environment within the distance learning boundaries. While this is an effective way to teach clinical reasoning, history and communication skills, and limited components of the physical exam (e.g. heart sounds) in a remote environment, students cannot have 100% of their clinical time in a remote environment. Studies have shown it is feasible to replace up to 50% of face-to-face clinical hours with the same competency level achieved.
The School of Medicine is planning multiple contingencies which may or may not alter the method of disseminating the material to the students in the simulation laboratory. All contingencies will take into consideration occupancy restrictions, social distancing, and laboratory cleaning in between student encounters. All core curriculum sessions that can be provided remotely (remote synchronous) are being provided remotely.
- Contingency 1: Provided students are able to be placed clinically, we should schedule their on-campus simulation experiences later in the semester to maximize the ability to complete hospital or community-based clinical experiences early. If students are removed from clinical sites due to COVID-19 restrictions, but still allowed on campus, small group simulation experiences will be scheduled in late October/early November.
- Contingency 2: If some students are placed in clinical settings, and some are not, the School of Medicine will schedule several in-person simulation experiences for students who need clinical site placements and cancel in-person simulation for students who were able to be placed in clinical settings.
- Contingency 3: Utilizing one of the above contingencies, there remains a possibility that students are removed from clinical sites as well as on-campus activities. If this were to happen several remote and online options are available to help students meet the course objectives.
The list of required clinical encounters and procedures has been finalized and approved by the Phase 2 curriculum subcommittee. There have been no change to these learning outcomes due to COVID-19.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the Phase 2 Working Group and Phase 2 Curriculum Subcommittee met regularly to develop evolving plans to address challenges at each point in the crisis (e.g. before students were completely pulled from the clinical setting, once they were pulled, and as virtual experiences were developed and implemented, etc.). The Phase 2 Working Group is comprised of clerkship directors, longitudinal content leads, clinical skills and other longitudinal content leads, student affairs representatives, and administrators. Additionally, there are representatives of clinical departments, academic affairs representatives from major clinical sites, and others. These groups developed, reviewed, and approved the changes to the curriculum (e.g. change in length of clerkships, implementation of virtual clerkships, etc.). There were no changes to the required clinical experiences or learning objectives for any clerkship. Mechanisms to address deficiencies in required clinical experiences remain the same; for example, alternative experiences utilizing Aquifer and other virtual cases. The Phase 2 curriculum subcommittee reviewed, discussed, and approved all changes to the curriculum.
These groups were guided by the School of Medicine COVID Clinical Setting Task Force. This group monitored numerous factors weekly (e.g. current status of COVID-19 prevalence, sufficiency of PPE, learning environment and educational factors, etc) and provided guidance on what it would be safe and appropriate for students to return to the clinical setting. Once students return to the clinical setting, this group will continue to meet to monitor safety and educational factors, COVID-19 prevalence, and to identify when possible future modifications are needed.
If there are delays/postponement of clinical rotations due to a second wave of the pandemic, students will be scheduled at a later time and commence remote instructional activity.
Return to the Clinical Setting Training and Guidance
Caring for patients with any illnesses, including infectious disease, is part of the training and practice of medicine. Universal precautions and specific safety procedures are a component of clinical training. Before students return to or enter the clinical setting, they will be provided with specific training and guidance on how to minimize risk to themselves, patients, and their family/household members. They will also be instructed in what to do if they become ill or are exposed to COVID-19. Clinical setting and site-specific instruction will also be provided. Faculty and staff at the clinical sites will be provided with this information and guidance as well.
Students (and all other persons) entering the IHS campus will be required to self-screen prior to attending any lab, simulation, or other experiences. If a student has any of the symptoms including a cough, severe headache, weakness or fatigue, history of a temperature >100 degrees Farenheight in the the last 24 hours, they are expected to remain home and if they come to the campus, would not be allowed in the IHS campus. Temperatures will be taken from all persons entering the building; those exceeding 100 degrees will not be permitted to enter. We recommend they follow up with their primary care provider (see attached COVID-19 Policy). If students miss clinical, lab, simulation, or other experiences, they must notify the course faculty, their small group facilitator and the Office of Student Affairs and Wellbeing (See Phase 2 Attendance Policy).
Course and clerkship directors as well as deans and staff in the Office of Student Affairs and Wellbeing and the Office of Medical Education are always available to answer students’ questions and to address concerns.
Please see the attached "Return to the Clinical Setting Training Document." This was used in combination with two live training sessions and a required quiz to train clerkship students prior to the return to in-person clinical work.
As described above, the School of Medicine COVID Clinical Setting Task Force continue to meet, monitoring safety and educational factors, and determining when and how students can work in the clinical setting. This task force integrates closely with the HMH COVID Command Center and includes School of Medicine administrators and deans, representatives from HMH, School of Medicine chairs, and faculty.
Facilities and the IHS Campus
The School of Medicine is committed to working closely with the Facilities Department at the IHS campus to ensure the greatest safety for all students, staff and faculty. Measures for social distancing, creating healthy environment and minimizing exposure to COVID-19 are priorities. As implementation guidelines are finalized by the Building owner, they will be communicated to School of Medicine students, faculty, staff.
The School of Medicine and the IHS campus have consulted on a return to the building plan that is currently being developed. The directives of the Governor’s Executive Order 155 require the following considerations:
- Provide physical barriers (such as moveable barriers, plexiglass, etc.) where unable to maintain social distance.
- Adjust entryways and exits in buildings to control flow of pedestrian traffic.
- Mark 6-foot intervals in high traffic areas to help students, faculty, staff, and any other individuals who may be on campus visualize appropriate social distancing.
- For any campus elevators, take steps to minimize traffic, such as limiting the number of individuals permitted on the elevator at one time or designating pathways in one direction.
- Elevator buttons should be frequently cleaned, and users should be encouraged to wash/disinfect hands upon leaving an elevator, which could be done by placing hand sanitizing stations outside of elevators.
- The use of water fountains should be discontinued and water fountains should be converted to water bottle fill stations where possible.
- Institutions should encourage, through orientations, signage, and other communications, frequent handwashing by all employees and students.
- Rearrange spaces frequented by students, such as study spaces, lounges, etc., to reflect social distancing protocol and to help students/employees visualize 6 feet.
- Redirect student traffic to limit contact and interactions.
- Social distancing is required and should be encouraged through signage, spacing of tables, chairs, or desks. Institutions should be mindful of entryways and exits that could be sources of crowding. Institutions must take steps to ensure students and instructional staff are able to maintain at least 6 feet distance while engaged in classroom instruction. Institutions may need to change classroom arrangements, capacities, and class enrollment sizes to adhere to social distancing protocols.
Student, Faculty and Staff Feedback
Student, faculty and staff feedback has been solicited in virtual Town Halls held weekly for both COHORTS since March 20, 2020. All regular Standing Committee activity has continued remotely including the various mechanisms for receiving feedback from students, faculty and staff including:
- Dean Stanton's virtual lunches (two per month, one to replace her monthly lunch meetings alone with members of the students entering in 2018 and the other for students in the class entering in 2019) during which time there are encouraged to bring up issues, concerns and ideas in a safe environment;
- Student Advisory Group (SAG) meetings concerning feedback from students on curriculum delivery;
- Weekly student government representative (SGO) meetings; and
- ASK the DEANS, an anonymous write-in question line that drives the agenda for virtual Town Hall discussions.
In addition, the Office of Student Affairs and Wellbeing has directed additional resources on the support of students in the areas of wellness, self-care, academic support, and advising and career planning. Two weekly newsletters, numerous virtual small group activities and multiple one-on-one check-ins have met with positive feedback from the students and will continue through the fall and spring. As each student has an academic advisor, routine contact with each student continues.
Areas of further analysis
The greatest concern for the School of Medicine relates to clinical educational assignments and adherence with all accreditation requirements, specifically clerkships. We need to return our students to clerkships to ensure sufficient time is spent in the clinical practice. Our second priority is to ensure sufficient clinical skills assessment and lab assignments are completed in person in small groups and in the IHS campus facilities with a limited, shared space.
July 15, 2020 Addendum:
Responses to Questions from the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education
The following information was supplied to the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education in response to a request for additional information.
Reserving spaces for students to isolate and quarantine and the amount of housing space available for such individuals.
Ora Manor is a separate residence facility of 104 beds which Seton Hall will hold for quarantine/self-isolation as needed during at least the fall semester. The University has developed a detailed plan for the use of Ora Manor by resident students diagnosed with COVID-19 or exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19. These plans include:
- Transportation from the student’s residence hall or Health Services to Ora Manor.
- Access to wi-fi to allow students to continue with classes remotely.
- Continuous monitoring of students’ symptoms by University Health Services clinical staff.
- Ora Manor rooms will be outfitted with basic needs packets (thermometers, linens, symptom trackers, etc.).
- The University will provide contactless delivery of meals, fresh linens, and other necessary supplies directly to the rooms in Ora Manor.
- Students will remain connected socially to the University through virtual programming.
- Students will be medically cleared to return to residence hall from Ora Manor by University Health Services clinical staff.
Resuming athletic programs on campus.
Factors and Guidelines for Student-Athlete Return include:
- Use of masks in public and throughout the athletics department.
- Maintain social distancing guidelines throughout the athletics department.
- Communication and education on infectious disease prevention to all staff and student-athletes.
- Acquisition and distribution of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Align use of PPEs with CDC guidelines: masks, gloves, shields, gowns.
- Proper cleaning materials and protocol for cleaning.
- Install hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes at various building locations.
- Student-athletes will be grouped in training PODS based on team and housing unit. A POD may consist of an entire team depending on team size and training style.
- Wayfinding signage placed throughout the facility.
- Prior to entering any athletic facility, all individuals will be required to follow facility gating procedures as described. Gating procedure screening may include, but not be limited to, a COVID‐19 Risk Assessment Questionnaire, temperature assessment, and/or other recommended items. Proof of clearance will be needed to participate in athletic-related activity.
- Upon returning to campus, all student‐athletes must complete a pre‐participation physical examination prior to being cleared for all athletic-related activities and permitted to use Seton Hall University Athletics facilities. The pre‐participation physical examination process will include COVID-19 testing.
- All staff and coaches working directly with student-athletes will also receive a COVID-19 test.
Limiting athletic equipment sharing as much as possible, and ensuring the team meets social distancing protocol.
- All athletic equipment including, but not limited to free weight benches, utility benches, barbells, dumbbells, and all other pertinent equipment and areas will be sanitized before and after use. Following a group of student-athletes, staff members and student-athletes will implement disinfecting protocols to clean equipment.
- Upon completion of disinfecting protocols, staff members and student-athletes will be required to wash hands with appropriate hand hygiene protocols or use hand sanitizer (greater than 60% alcohol). A 30-minute buffer will be given between groups to allow time for attention to disinfecting and drying time for disinfectants.
- Student-athletes will be separated into PODS based on team and housing arrangements for the purposes of limiting training and exposure to follow social distancing guidelines. All training must be scheduled, and no walk-in training will be permitted.
Limiting nonessential visitors, staff, volunteers, vendors, and media for athletics.
Indoor student-athlete facilities would be off-limits to any non-athletics department staff, general students, or outside visitors until further notice. In the event where access must be granted to someone from any of these categories, a mask will be required, and social distancing guidelines will be followed.
Traveling for games or hosting teams in athletic competition.
- Limit roster size for team travel purposes.
- Injured, ineligible or sick student-athletes remain behind.
- Provide PPE for all student-athletes and staff on trip.
- Non-conference schedules have been altered to reflect bus travel and eliminate as much air travel as possible.
- Social distancing practices on bus (i.e.: one student-athlete per seat).
- Disinfect seats prior to and following competition.
- Overnight trips would have only 2 student-athletes per room.
- Provide sanitized storage for game uniforms after competition to keep out of personal luggage.
- Develop policy for student-athlete interactions with parents or families when at road games (masks and social distancing).
- Sports Admins and Trainers to communicate with opposing institutions regarding campus and department protocols for visiting teams.
- Testing staff and student-athletes on return from away games.
How the institution will work with local, state, and conference partners to ensure the safety of student-athletes, employees, and other athletic stakeholders.
Seton Hall University Athletics will follow National, State, Local and University Guidelines to reopen. Additionally, Seton Hall University athletics will follow guidelines set by The NCAA and BIG EAST Conference.
July 27, 2020 Addendum:
Addendum to July 2, 2020 Restart Plan
Founded in 1856, Seton Hall University is one of ten Catholic U.S. diocesan colleges and universities incorporated in civil and canon law and is an integral part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark apostolate. As such, the University’s commitment to the spiritual, mental and physical health of students, faculty, clergy, staff and administrators remains absolute.
Seton Hall University's Restart Plan filed with the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) is the product of months of contingency planning, multivariate modeling, discussion, review and updating by medical experts and more than 140 members of the Seton Hall community. The Plan is comprehensive, inherently flexible and designed to accommodate any emerging scenario, as the University continually incorporates the latest public health information and expert guidance into its preparations.
Towards implementing the Restart Plan, the University has developed or deployed the multitude of extensive health and safety improvements in accordance with, or exceeding, OSHE NJ Guidelines and the Centers for Disease Control Considerations for Higher Education. Further, the University has acquired and installed all necessary technology to support the HyFlex instructional approach, which provides students the choice to learn remotely or on significantly reduced-density campuses.
Therefore, whether in Stage 2 or Stage 3, the HyFlex modality and related course scheduling dramatically reduces density on Seton Hall's campuses by an estimated 65% to 77% on any given day. Through the HyFlex teaching and learning model, with the exception of currently approved waivers for clinicals, the University's courses will be taught entirely or partially remote. Dining options will resemble the State's Stage 2 guidelines — with prominent takeout and outdoor dining options.
Seton Hall's preparedness and significantly reduced density align with the State of New Jersey's Stage 2 guidelines, which include the restart of "moderate" activities and call for extensive use of face coverings, employment of social-distance protocols and flexible work environments. Staff and administrators will resume modified and rotating in-person and remote work schedules beginning August 10, 2020. The University will welcome a portion of students back to its campuses beginning August 16, 2020 in preparation for classes to begin remotely or via HyFlex reduced density on August 24, 2020. The University will remain ready to pivot across New Jersey's reopening stages as the semester progresses and is prepared to move to fully remote instruction if directed by the State of New Jersey.