Seton Hall University

Governor Considering Restrictions, University Declarations and Vaccination and Levels, Our Health and Safety  

The HICT continues to closely monitor government guidance and public statistics to refine safety protocols to address the changing health environment. We have often noted the many "twists and turns" we expect the virus to throw at us over time. The rise of the Delta variant has many public health statistics trending in negative directions.

We repeat what we have said before: There are numerous benefits to getting vaccinated. Vaccines are free, widely available, and effective. Additionally, vaccinated individuals appear to have an extremely low probability of becoming seriously ill or worse.

The HICT continues to closely monitor government guidance and public statistics so we are fully prepared to address the changing health environment.

Recent Public Health Developments

Governor Murphy Reportedly Considering Implementing Restrictions Similar to NYC

On Wednesday, Governor Murphy noted he continues to consider every option related to public health decisions. He specifically noted the announcement by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio who announced that entrance to many indoor venues will require proof of vaccination beginning in mid-August with enforcement of the mandate to start on September 13. Many have noted the announcement may be an effort to spur the unvaccinated to get vaccinated.

Murphy also noted the State may need to raise its vaccination goal to “80-85%” from its current 70%.

University Vaccination Levels Exceed Revised State of New Jersey Goal Levels

Through the Confidential Vaccine Declaration (CVD) announced on May 14, the University is gaining a clear picture of vaccination levels across its populations. As of August 2, 2021, current Seton Hall data are indicating that fall 2021 vaccination rates are hovering at 85% for students, 89% for staff and administrators, and 95% for faculty, well above the NJ and national rates.

To put these figures in perspective, compared to each state's adult vaccination (1/2 and full) levels, Seton Hall ranks ahead of every state in the nation for the percentage of its eligible population that is vaccinated.

Only 10% of the colleges throughout the nation have a vaccination requirement for students. Fewer still have a vaccination requirement for students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Nearly all of those colleges provide exemptions.

By including students, faculty, staff, and administrators, Seton Hall is among just 5% of colleges in the nation with such a comprehensive vaccination requirement.

Response Rate to Declaration Approaches 90% Across Entire University

  • 525 or 99.2% of full-time faculty have declared their vaccination status.
  • 862 or 97.3% of staff and administrators have declared their vaccination status.
  • 10,545 or 96.7% of current and incoming students have declared their vaccination status.
  • 644 or 56.7% of adjunct faculty who taught in any term last year have declared their vaccination status.

We expect to have 100% compliance with the CVD reporting requirement. Individuals who do not complete the Declaration will be blocked from PirateNet access and unable to complete their tasks.

Declaration Data Highly Reliable

The Confidential Vaccine Declaration is not a survey. Rather, it is an official attestation of vaccination status. Announcing the vaccination requirement and the Declaration in May enabled us to quickly and efficiently gather important data about the University community’s vaccination levels, giving us valuable information with which to make plans for the fall 2021 semester.

We conducted additional verification of the student data reported through the Declaration by consulting the State of New Jersey Immunization Information System vaccination database. The results of that analysis indicate the data reported through the Declaration is highly reliable.

We are reviewing additional measures to further confirm reliability of the vaccination declaration data across all populations.

Copying and Uploading Vaccine Information

The announcement by New York City that vaccination cards will be required for entry to indoor venues reinforces the importance of having your card readily available. We suggest all members of the community carry their card and/or take a picture of it with their mobile phone. It is probable that additional venues will require individuals to show their card to gain entry.

Students should upload their vaccination cards on the student Health Portal.

You may also access further information at:

Our Health and Safety

Through the weekly HICT communication, the University has announced several actions to further protect the community’s health and safety. These include:

  • Implementing an indoor mask requirement through at least Friday, August 13. All individuals (vaccinated and unvaccinated) are required to wear a mask at all indoor nonresidential, on-campus University settings, except when alone. We continue to closely monitor the rapidly changing spread of the Delta variant, so this guidance will further evolve, depending on changing public and University health data, and government advisories. We will provide an update to the requirement next week.
  • Plastic shields are still in place in the classrooms and will remain for faculty to use at their discretion.
  • The Facilities team will continue its work, as it did last summer as well, to optimize an increase in outside airflow, intake, and circulation in buildings, and refit ventilation systems to higher grade filters wherever possible.
  • A substantial amount of testing and PPE supplies have been secured and we continue to work with our COVID-19 testing partners. Members of our community with exemptions are subject to mandatory testing and expanded surveillance testing protocols.
  • The University continues to conduct comprehensive contact tracing in coordination with local health officials. Contacts will need to provide proof of vaccination. Remember, per the CDC, people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms. Unvaccinated close contacts will be required to quarantine and subject to additional testing. It’s another reason to get vaccinated.
  • Housing and Residence Life has identified and prepared quarantine and isolation space, consistent with CDC and State of New Jersey guidance.
  • The Provost is working with the Deans and faculty to update and prepare instructional pivot plans should the need arise.

The CDC provides additional information

Remaining Vigilant and Prepared

While we do not know what circumstances the virus will throw at us next, we remain prepared. Our environmental health and safety protocols – created in consultation with numerous health and higher education experts – enables us to adapt to the rapidly changing situation. We remain in contact with local, state, and national health officials.

Please know that all we say and do is with your safety – and that of our entire University community – foremost in mind. We persevered through the challenges of 2020. We continue to move, Hazard Zet Forward, through 2021. We are in this together.

Your health and safety remain paramount in Seton Hall’s planning and actions. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact the HICT here.


Matthew Borowick
Vice President of University Relations
Co-chair, Health Intervention and Communication Team

Monica N. Burnette, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President, Division of Student Services
Co-chair, Health Intervention and Communication Team

Categories: Faith and Service , Health and Medicine

For more information, please contact:

  • Health Intervention and Communication Team
  • (973) 761-9000