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Health and Safety Updates and Frequently Asked Questions

As our understanding of COVID-19 evolves, Seton Hall works to update our plans and policies appropriately. The following frequently asked questions will be updated as new information becomes available.

Updates and Messages


All residential students will be directed to the University’s COVID-19 testing site when they arrive for Move-In. Testing is being provided to students through the University’s Health Services free of insurance copays and free of charge for students whose insurance does not cover testing. Testing of all residential students was enacted recently by Seton Hall in response to rising COVID-19 cases nationwide.

Voluntary Quarantine Order: As a service to our students, those arriving on campus from states on New Jersey’s quarantine list will be provided single-occupancy rooms for a state-advised, voluntary 14-day self-quarantine and will have access to campus services and supports. Unfortunately, the state has indicated that quarantining at home in any of the states on the list (prior to arriving in New Jersey) is no longer valid. 

To accommodate single occupancy for these students, it will be necessary to change existing room assignments of several students. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Health and Safety Considerations: General Safeguards


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.

Screening, Testing, and Contact Tracing Protocols


Screening

  • 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

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

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.

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.

Common Spaces

  • 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.

Public Restrooms

  • 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.

Residence Halls

  • 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 Spaces

  • 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

  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions



How do I protect myself from COVID-19?

Prevention is very important. Here are ways to stay healthy:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water.
  2. Increase your fluid intake.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth and face.
  4. Keep home/personal spaces clean; disinfect common surfaces.
  5. Avoid contact with sick people.
  6. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue/paper towel and discard it immediately. If neither are available, the crook of your elbow is acceptable. Do not cough or sneeze into your hand.
  7. If you have not received an influenza (flu) vaccine this year, get one as soon as possible.

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What if I feel sick?

COVID-19 causes a respiratory illness. Symptoms may include fever, cough and shortness of breath, runny nose, headache and sore throat. In severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia. There is no vaccine or treatment currently available for this or other coronaviruses.

  1. If you are off campus: Stay home and contact your medical provider over the phone.
  2. If you are on campus: call (rather than visit) University Health Services immediately.
  3. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, Seton Hall asks that you give due regard to the health and safety of others and self-quarantine.

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What if I’m unable to quarantine for 14 days?

If you are a residential student, you may take a COVID-19 test (polymerase chain reaction method) and submit the negative test results to your SHU health portal. The test must be administered no more than 14 days before your arrival on campus. Whether or not you will be living in residence halls, you must strictly follow guidelines regarding physical distancing of at least 6 feet from others and wearing a mask whenever leaving your residence, indoors and outdoors. All students must observe these precautions consistently and diligently beginning 14 days before arriving at Seton Hall, including during travel back to campus.


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What if I’m unable to access a COVID-19 test. Will Seton Hall provide a COVID-19 test for me?

If you are a residential student and are unable to access a COVID-19 test, follow the guidelines above to quarantine for 14 days. Students in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, and monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, as outlined in the screening questionnaire.


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I live in New Jersey. Why do I have to quarantine before I arrive on campus?

For the health and safety of our Seton Hall community, we are asking all students to quarantine before arriving on campus.


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Is Seton Hall prepared in case there are suspected or diagnosed cases of COVID-19 on campus in the fall?

Yes. Though we are excited and confident about the upcoming semester, we are equally aware that an unexpected, severe outbreak of COVID-19 remains possible. For this, we will stay ever vigilant and continue our comprehensive planning efforts so that Seton Hall is prepared for whatever the coronavirus throws at us. Even after New Jersey enters Stage 3, which will allow us to commence in-person instruction, no possible scenario will be overlooked, particularly those that anticipate the need to return to fully remote instruction. Our faculty and staff will be prepared to move instruction entirely online at a moment's notice, should this once again become necessary, and provide remote learning throughout the semester to students who may be in isolation, quarantine, or prefer to receive instruction away from campus.


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Will the University be testing for COVID-19 on a regular basis?

All residential students will be directed to the University’s COVID-19 testing site when they arrive for Move-In. Testing is being provided to students through the University’s Health Services free of insurance copays and free of charge for students whose insurance does not cover testing. Testing of all residential students was enacted recently by Seton Hall in response to rising COVID-19 cases nationwide.

Additionally, any student who is symptomatic for COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 can be tested at Health Services on campus. Consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College Health Association (ACHA), the University is not doing mass testing of asymptomatic individuals. However, through Health Services, the University will perform tests of students who are at higher risk due to activities in which they partake (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 will also institute required self-screening for faculty, staff, and students using a mobile app. 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. 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. 


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What happens if a student is diagnosed with COVID-19?

If the student can return home (within a day’s driving distance), they will be expected to do so until they are cleared by a medical professional to return to campus. If the student cannot return home, the University has identified a separate residential facility where the student will reside until they are medically cleared. The University will provide meals, health care, etc. on site for the student.


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Will you conduct contact tracing for those who are diagnosed with COVID-19?

Yes. Contact tracing protocols will include:

  • Developing and maintaining an ongoing log of students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus.
  • Interviewing 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.
  • Requiring contacts 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 attention 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.


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Will the school require students to take their temperature every day?

The University is developing plans to have all students, faculty, and employees do daily tracking of COVID-19 related symptoms. The details of how this will be done will be shared in the coming weeks.


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Are masks going to be required on campus?

Per the guidance from the state of NJ, masks will be required on campus at all times except when a student is in their residence hall room.


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Please explain how students receive health care at Seton Hall.

All students are encouraged to visit Health Services on campus for basic health care, wellness exams, and much more. Please visit our website for full listing of all the services available and the hours of service. Health Services at Seton Hall is staffed by a Physician, Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing staff. The Service is also accredited by Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care – one of only three Universities in New Jersey to have that distinction.


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What insurance is accepted at Health Services? If we choose to waive the Seton Hall insurance, can our son still utilize the medical services on campus with our personal insurance?

Health Services will accept any insurance that a student has and accepts the coverage provided by the insurance company. There is no further bill (or balance bill) issued. The only services that Health Services will bill a student directly for are prescription medications and vaccines (other than flu vaccine which is provided at no cost to all students) provided directly from Health Services


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How do I waive Seton Hall health insurance?

Before you waive the Seton Hall insurance, we encourage you to take the time to compare – be sure that the insurance you have will cover your student when they are in New Jersey if you are from out of the area. You can find details about the coverage of the plan provided through University here.

To waive the Seton Hall insurance, have your student log into PirateNet, click on the Pirate Adventure icon and scroll down to “Health Services.” Note that the waiver is not compatible with Firefox browser – please use IE or Chrome.


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If we opt out our student from the university health insurance plan, will they have access to insurance as an athlete? Are they separate plans?

Student health insurance and insurance for athletes are separate plans. Student-athletes must have student health insurance. Athletic insurance is secondary insurance and only applies to their participation in athletics.


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I assume that health insurance is also not needed for the Fall Semester if student select "Online".

Health Insurance is required of ALL students EVERY year. This a New Jersey state law.


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How is your child treated medically if they start their first semester and are not 18 years of age yet? My son won't turn 18 until the end of October.

You may complete a Minor Consent Form in advance and your student can place it in his Health Portal. If the form has not been completed when the student comes to Health Services, we will contact the parent at that time.


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I declined SHU's health insurance but do I still need to fill out medical records for my son?

Yes! All students must submit a medical history and immunization records (as required by the state of NJ). Visit our Health Services website for what’s needed and how to submit the information.


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Please advise if any medical tests are needed before starting semester and also about immunizations.

All requirements, including immunizations, can be found on our Health Services website.


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Where do we find health forms and when are they due to the health office?

All health forms are completed online through a secure portal. What is needed and how to complete are explained in detail on our website – there’s even a video to walk our students through the process. Health forms are due by August 1st.


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Is there a psychiatrist on staff on campus that can see students?

We have a part-time consultant in psychiatry on staff who works on a short-term basis with our department of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). The psychiatrist works with CAPS’ students to evaluate potential benefits of medication and prescribe as appropriate. A student must be engaged in counseling at a CAPS in order to access psychiatric services at CAPS. New students who are already receiving care for psychiatric medications should continue with their current prescriber or work with CAPS to find a local psychiatrist who can continue their treatment.


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What is security like?  Is the campus safe?

The Department of Public Safety is committed to helping members of our community enjoy a safe and secure environment on and off campus.  The Department offers extensive services including campus patrols, escorts, and transportation services such as Safe Ride.


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What is the Seton Hall Pledge?

The Seton Hall Pledge, which asks all of us to do our part to keep ourselves, each other, and our community members healthy and safe — is our shared responsibility. The University will require that all community members, including residents and those living in off-campus locations, as well as visitors, comply with symptom monitoring, mask-wearing, and physical distancing policies. Students who do not abide by the Pledge will be subject to the consequences outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.


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How do I monitor my symptoms?

All students, faculty, priests, employees, and visitors to campus must monitor their health daily for COVID-19 related symptoms. The University will utilize an App for this purpose to make it easy for users to do this. The App, along with details about how to use it, will be deployed in early August and all members of the University community will be expected to use it daily. The symptoms that will be tracked and recorded by users are those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control can be found here.


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I’m not a residential student. Do I need to quarantine?

We ask all students to self-quarantine for the two weeks before the first day of class on Monday, August 24. Classes will then conclude November 24 with review sessions, reading days, and final exams administered remotely in the following days. Residence halls close on November 24. Our Academic Calendar will be helpful in planning.


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Questions and Feedback


Seton Hall University continues to closely monitor and respond to the impact COVID-19. The health and safety of our students, faculty, employees and their families is of paramount importance in our planning to safely restart classes across our three campuses. If you have any questions, please submit them here:
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