Governor Strongly Recommends Mask Wearing; University Announces New Protocols
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. And that is exactly what has happened. The elation from the great news about the efficacy of vaccines has been replaced with concern about the spread of the Delta variant across the unvaccinated and the vaccinated.
The good news is that vaccinated individuals have an extremely low probability of becoming seriously ill or worse. And while New Jersey has met its vaccination goal, much of the nation lags. This fight is not over. Better days are ahead. But they are not here yet. Please continue to do your part. Do not let your guard down. Do not fall victim to pandemic fatigue.
Governor Murphy and Commissioner Persichilli Strongly Recommend Masking in Indoor Settings with Increased Risk
Following the recent announcement by the Centers for Disease Control regarding masking, Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli strongly recommend that vaccinated and unvaccinated residents wear masks in indoor settings when there is increased risk.
The Delta variant has led to cases more than doubling in the past two weeks, and Murphy has repeatedly emphasized that "this is a pandemic among the unvaccinated."
Through the HICT, we are closely monitoring the spread of the virus and any changing government guidance.
There are numerous benefits to getting vaccinated. Vaccines are free, widely available, and effective. Becoming vaccinated is your best defense against becoming seriously ill.
University Announces Two Week Mask Mandate beginning August 2
Mindful of recent government guidance, increased spread of the virus, the start of some Law School classes on August 2, and Summer Session III beginning August 9, we are announcing that, for at least the next two weeks (Monday, August 2 through 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.
It is important to note that we continue to look forward to and plan for a fully in-person living and learning experience across all three campuses this fall.
Seton Hall Vaccine Mandate
On May 14, 2021 we announced that all students, faculty, staff, and administrators are required to be vaccinated for the fall 2021 semester, with certain exemptions, and are required to report their vaccination status through the University Confidential Vaccine Declaration Portal.
Only 10% of the colleges throughout the nation have a vaccination requirement for students and less than 5% have a vaccination requirement for students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
Seton Hall is among the 5% of colleges in the nation with such a comprehensive vaccination requirement.
University Vaccination Levels
Through the Confidential Vaccine Declaration the University is gaining a clear picture of vaccination levels across its populations. As of July 26, 2021, current Seton Hall data are indicating that 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 Massachusetts (80.6%), Vermont (80.3%) Hawaii (78%), Connecticut (76.6%) and New Jersey (75.1%), the top five in the nation.
We expect to have 100% compliance with the reporting requirement. Individuals who do not complete the Declaration will be blocked from PirateNet access and unable to complete their tasks.
Students Upload Vaccine Information
Students are able to upload their COVID-19 vaccination cards on the student Health Portal. Students may upload their vaccination cards.
You may also access further information at: https://www.shu.edu/health-services/requirements.cfm
Contact Tracing and Quarantine
The University continues to conduct contact tracing in coordination with local health officials. Contacts claiming to be vaccinated may be asked to provide their vaccination cards in the contact tracing process.
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.
It's another reason to get vaccinated.
The CDC provides additional information
- Families with Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Members
- Quarantine and Isolation Information
Taking Care of Yourself and Others
Please continue the smart hygiene habits that keep each of us safe. This includes staying home when sick – COVID or not. The CDC provides a good reminder at Stay Home When You Are Sick.
Plexiglass will remain in the classrooms for faculty who wish to use it.
Return to Campus "Frequently Asked Questions" for Employees
Updated Frequently Asked Questions and answers have been posted on the Department of Human Resources website in response to questions from the University community. A direct link may be accessed at https://www.shu.edu/human-resources/employee-resource-center.cfm.
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.
Shawna Cooper-Gibson, Ed.D.
Vice President of Student Services
Vice President of University Relations
Co-chairs, Health Intervention and Communication Team