We trust you and your families had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year's break and are looking forward to the start of the spring 2022 semester.
The following message provides important information regarding the spring 2022 semester, particularly regarding classes and resident student move in protocols. The information provided affects all students, faculty, staff, and administrators across all three campuses. We encourage you to thoroughly read through the following announcement. The University remains open.
(1) Spread of Omicron
Throughout the nation and state, coronavirus infections continue to rise quickly. New Jersey reported daily positive case counts exceeding 25,000, levels not seen since the beginning of the pandemic. Our university has experienced an increase in positive cases as well.
NJ Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the state's modeling shows the current wave peaking on January 14. Fortunately, the Omicron variant appears to be less severe than its Alpha and Delta predecessors. However, the rapidity with which it is spreading has public health officials concerned, particularly for the strain it could impose on the health care system. Health officials have reiterated the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing or mitigating the effects of the virus.
You can read more at:
(2) University Announcement Regarding Spring 2022 Classes and Move-In Protocols
The changing nature of the Omicron variant is raising concerns across the country. Our Health Intervention and Communication Team (HICT) and University have been mapping associated data, monitoring government guidance and CDC recommendations, and making modifications to reopening plans to comport with the characteristics, projected path and timing of the virus.
Guided by the University's many health and safety protocols, along with a careful and continued analysis of COVID-19 public health statistics and the projected near-term path of the virus, the University is announcing two adjustments to its spring 2022 semester:
Temporary Pivot to Remote Modality
All three campuses – South Orange, Newark and Nutley/Clifton – will begin the spring 2022 semester as scheduled, but in an all-remote synchronous teaching and learning modality from the start of most classes on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 and continuing through and including Sunday, January 30, 2022. We anticipate returning to fully in-person classes on Monday, January 31, 2022.
Individual degree calendars may differ, so please check the Spring 2022 Academic Calendar and the School of Law calendar. If you have questions regarding your course of study, please contact your dean's office.
Certain in-person laboratory and clinical experiences are exempt from this remote modality and will be conducted in-person. For example, College of Nursing students should continue to expect to be in person for clinical experiences. Faculty and students with laboratory and clinical sessions will be provided additional direction by their academic deans about further adjustments, if any, to the delivery format of these sessions. Students who are enrolled in off-campus clinical rotations or fieldwork should follow the guidelines and standards of individual clinical sites.
Students and faculty will be provided additional details through separate communications from their academic Deans, the Provost, and the Vice President of Student Services.
Resident Student Move-In Procedures
Residence halls will reopen, as scheduled, on January 16.
All resident students (vaccinated and unvaccinated) are required to test for COVID-19 and submit a negative test result taken prior to arriving on campus. Students unable to show a negative test will not be permitted to move into the residence halls.
Please note: The COVID-19 test must be a PCR or antigen test; home tests are not acceptable. PCR test must be within 72 hours of arrival on campus; antigen test must be within 48 hours of arrival on campus.
We are extending the Move In period to accommodate students who are unable to move in due to a positive test or who wish to delay their return to campus.
Additional move in details and information about how to provide your test results will be sent in a separate email to resident students from Student Services.
(3) University Actions to Promote Your Health and Safety
In accordance with CDC and NJ Department of Health guidance, we continue to implement numerous health and safety protocols that align with or exceed the guidelines for a fully vaccinated campus. In addition, please note:
- The cafeteria will resume normal operations. Tables and serving areas are monitored and wiped down. All GDS employees are masked. Restrooms receive added cleaning and attention. Dining areas passed all South Orange health inspections.
- The Department of Athletics & Recreation will continue to provide a wide array of services in the Richie Regan Recreation & Athletic Center's fieldhouse and fitness center for full-time students and benefits-eligible faculty, staff and administrators.
- University Libraries are open.
- Hand sanitizer stations are regularly refreshed, particularly at the entrance to dining areas.
- We continue to conduct comprehensive contact tracing in coordination with local health officials. Individuals who test positive are provided isolation protocol information, and contacts of infected individuals are provided quarantine information. The University also makes isolation and quarantine space available to resident students. Any student who tests positive for COVID-19, vaccinated or unvaccinated, should be immediately referred to Health Services (973-761-9175).
- We are providing free masks at various locations on the South Orange campus: Walsh Library (circulation desk- 2nd floor); Schwartz Hall (2nd floor – student welcome desk); Bethany Hall (1st floor- student welcome desk); Mooney Hall (Center for Academic Success- student desk).
Upload Your Vaccination Information by January 14
All faculty, students, staff, and administrators who have previously declared or are currently vaccinated should upload their vaccination information. 80% of you have uploaded your information. Thank you.
No-Cost Covid Testing for all New Jersey Residents
The NJ Department of Health and Vault Medical Services have partnered to offer a free, at-home COVID-19 saliva test kit that is available to every New Jerseyan who thinks they need a test – even if you don't have symptoms.
To order a free test kit, visit https://learn.vaulthealth.com/nj/.
Testing Is Available
The University is following CDC and State of New Jersey testing guidance, and Health Services has an ample amount of testing supplies. Students (vaccinated and unvaccinated) may request to be tested for COVID-19 as frequently as once per week.
Indoor Mask Requirement
All individuals (vaccinated and unvaccinated) are required to wear a mask at all indoor, nonresidential, on-campus University settings, except when alone or dining.
The CDC provides valuable guidance regarding mask wear and care:
We found these articles interesting:
- With omicron, you need a mask that means business
- Most people are still wearing cloth masks. Here's why that's a problem with omicron
Booster Shots Are Available. Get One.
We emphasize what we have said before: If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you received your initial vaccination, get boosted. Beyond the health benefits, boosted individuals who are close contacts are exempt from certain quarantine protocols.
Vaccines are widely available – at pharmacies, hospitals, health facilities, and other locations. See where you or a loved one can find a vaccine appointment at covid19.nj.gov/finder
The University is working to organize transportation to a community vaccination site and is working with a potential partner to provide another on-campus vaccination clinic.
Flu Season Arrives; Get a Flu Shot
Officials are anticipating a stronger than usual flu season, given last year's almost nonexistent spread. Like COVID, your best defense is to get vaccinated. Health Services provides flu vaccinations for students. We strongly encourage you to get a flu shot.
(4) CDC Provides Helpful Information
- COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know
- Quarantine and Isolation
- International travel
- Stay Home When You Are Sick
- Omicron Variant: What You Need to Know
- CDC Updates and Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population
- Use Masks to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
- Improve How Your Mask Protects You
- COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots
(5) University Update
- There were 28 new cases since December 20, 2021 through January 3, 2022.
- As of January 3, the five-day moving average of positive cases is at .2
- 0 on campus quarantine and isolation beds are occupied.
- The entire campus community has a vaccination rate of 91.5% with 99% of those fully vaccinated. We are particularly grateful to our students, faculty, and staff for doing their part; through their efforts, we have a highly vaccinated University community.
In closing, we appreciate the efforts of our entire University and all the work each of you has put into keeping our community safe as we prepare for the start of the spring 2022 semester. Thank you for your patience, your understanding, and your care for yourselves and each other. Our shared sacrifices and shared determination will see us through to the post pandemic days that are sure to come.
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.
Vice President of University Relations
Co-chair, Health Intervention and Communication Team
Monica N. Burnette, Ph.D.
Vice President, Division of Student Services
Co-chair, Health Intervention and Communication Team
Categories: Health and Medicine