News this week has been focused on the continued rise in cases throughout the nation and state, with New Jersey adding more than 1,000 new cases a day and exceeding 800 hospitalizations for the first time in two and a half months. Outbreaks identified by health officials have largely come from indoor gatherings. Governor Murphy has indicated that while everything is on the table, there are no immediate plans to reinstate any restrictions.
Two members of Governor Murphy’s senior staff tested positive and the governor is in quarantine for a few days, and tested negative.
Former Governor Chris Christie was released from the hospital and is advocating mask compliance in an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal.
The rise in cases within the state and region led Governor Murphy to advise against unnecessary travel to other nearby states, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Connecticut, saying such travel is "highly discouraged."
New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said unless NJ residents “double down” on hand hygiene, social distancing, and face coverings, the spread of COVID-19 could jeopardize how residents spend the holiday season. Please use such news as a reminder to each of us that the tenets of the Seton Hall Pledge: mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing – are all proven keys to keeping each of us, and those around us, safe and healthy. Remember to use #CampusClear every day, whether coming to campus or not.
Federal CDC Update
The most recent CDC newsletter provides 8 Things to Know about Vaccine Planning, Wearing Masks, Travel, Testing, Workplace Protections, and a Dashboard.
The CDC released revised guidance regarding who is at risk of contracting the coronavirus. It redefines “close contact” as anyone who spends at least 15 minutes within six feet of an infected individual over a 24-hour period.
County/Local Area Updates: Testing Locations and Halloween Guidance
Health officials statewide continue to caution about a “second wave.” Their sentiments were seconded by Essex County officials.
Essex County is expanding its COVID-19 testing initiative to include satellite testing sites throughout the County in addition to continuing to operate its drive through testing center in Weequahic Park. The tests are by appointment only and are being offered to Essex County residents free of charge. To make an appointment, please visit www.EssexCovid.org or call (973) 324-9950.
The Village of South Orange also advises us of a testing facility in Maplewood, available to all Essex County residents.
Union County residents can now walk to a free COVID-19 test site, provided by the Union County COVID-19 Mobile Test Unit. https://ucnj.org/covid19/testing/walk-up-locations/
The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders is offering FREE COVID-19 testing for residents throughout the County. Please visit the Passaic County website.
Holidays are important traditions, but this Halloween, please don't let your guard down. South Orange Village President Sheena Collum, the Village Trustees, and local health officials remind us how we can make Halloween enjoyable and safe at the same time. South Orange has created a Halloween Guidance packet for residents; it contains good information and advice for all, including an invitation to a free Halloween movie.
Seton Hall Updates: Health Services Hours, End of Semester and Flu Shots
Health Services is expanding its testing in response to the increasing rate of transmission in NJ. Staff is available to provide testing for students with symptoms or contacts of positive cases. The testing is held at 525 South Orange Avenue, at the doors leading out to the side parking lot. Contact Health Services at (973) 761-9175 for further information.
Thanksgiving will mark the end of fall 2020 semester in-person classes through the HyFlex model. We will provide students the option of being tested before they go home, starting two weeks before Thanksgiving. Testing will be available to residence hall students and students living in the local community. More information will be provided over the coming weeks.
It is not too late to get vaccinated for the upcoming flu season. Students who missed the University’s free clinics may still get a flu shot by contacting Health Services at (973) 761-9175 to set an appointment. Employees and students are reminded that most pharmacies also provide flu shots. To learn more about protecting yourself from the flu, the State of New Jersey provides valuable information at https://powertoprotectnj.org/
COVID Alert NJ
New Jersey’s COVID-19 alert app has been downloaded more than 205,000 times since it went live on September 30, state health officials reported. The State asks that students, faculty, staff, and administrators download and use COVID Alert NJ, which is available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You may visit https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/app or contact COVIDapp@doh.nj.gov to learn more. This app does not replace #CampusClear but is a separate tool administered by the State of New Jersey.
Your health and safety remains paramount in Seton Hall’s planning and actions. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please contact the HICT here.
Shawna Cooper-Gibson, Ed.D.
Vice President of Student Services
Matthew Borowick '89/MBA '94
Interim Vice President of the Division of University Advancement
Co-chairs, Health Intervention and Communication Team
Categories: Health and Medicine