Thursday, August 12, 2021
We look forward with great anticipation to the upcoming fall 2021 semester, the start of classes, and vibrant, safe learning and living experiences across all three campuses.
The HICT continues to closely monitor government guidance and public statistics, refining safety protocols to address the changing health environment.
Indoor Mask Requirement Extended Until Further Notice
The existing indoor mask requirement, originally announced on July 29, is being extended until further notice. All individuals (vaccinated and unvaccinated) are required to wear a mask at all indoor, nonresidential, on-campus University settings, except when alone or dining.
Our Health and Safety
The University continues to take multiple actions to further protect your health and safety. These include:
- Implementing an indoor mask requirement.
- Plastic shields remain in place in the classrooms 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 additional verification of vaccination. 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, but they will need to get tested 3-5 days after exposure. 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.
- Signage throughout campus is being regularly updated to reflect the latest health and safety protocols.
- We regularly update information on COVID-19 cases through the University dashboard on the web site and this weekly communication.
- Students: remember that Health Services offers a wide array of testing and other health and safety services. They are here to help you. Students may request to be tested as frequently as once per week.
These University actions meet and/or exceed CDC and State of New Jersey recommendations. We remain in regular contact with national, state, and local health officials.
Recent Public Health Developments
- Track COVID-19 in New Jersey: Maps, graphics, regular updates
- Mobile Vaccine Clinic at CHS August 17 for South Orange-Maplewood Residents Age 12 & Up
- Docket is a new app from the NJ Department of Health that makes it easier for you and your family to securely access your COVID-19 vaccination record
Response Rate to Declaration Exceeds 90% Across Entire University
- 99.2% of 530 full-time faculty have declared their vaccination status.
- 97.3% of 888 staff and administrators have declared their vaccination status.
- 96.8% of 13,090 current and incoming students have declared their vaccination status.
- 57.2% of 1,140 adjunct faculty who taught in any term last year have declared their vaccination status
Those who have not completed their Declaration are being contacted individually to remind them to complete this required health and safety protocol. Individuals who do not complete the Declaration will be blocked from PirateNet, email, and related access and unable to complete their tasks.
University Vaccination Levels Exceed Revised State of New Jersey Goal Levels
Through the Confidential Vaccine Declaration (CVD) announced on May 14, current Seton Hall data are indicating that fall 2021 vaccination rates remain near 85% for students, 89% for staff and administrators, and 95% for faculty, well above the NJ and national rates.
By including students, faculty, staff, and administrators, Seton Hall is among just 5% of colleges in the nation with such a comprehensive vaccination requirement.
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.
August 26 Move In
We eagerly anticipate the arrival of most resident students on August 26. We remind students and families to check their email for important Move In protocols.
Independent Study Confirms Declaration Data Highly Reliable
The University has independently verified the reported vaccination status of students who are New Jersey residents through a random sampling analysis. The analysis compared information gathered through the Confidential Vaccine Declaration to information in the State of New Jersey Immunization Information System vaccination database.
The analysis confirmed that at least 95% of students accurately declared they are vaccinated.
The remaining 5% of students whose records could not be verified in the State's database may be due to the timing of the database updates, and not necessarily to misreporting of student declaration data. With this information it is clear that the students are overwhelmingly compliant and accurate in their declarations.
The analysis further indicated minimum variability across student cohorts or campuses, with no statistically significant difference across groups.
Given the confirmed high rate of Declaration data reliability, continued communication about further Declaration verification, and the implementation of specific verification actions (i.e. additional verification collected from anyone identified as close contacts), there is no valid reason to presume honor code violations. The data continues to be monitored for validity and in compliance with local, State and Federal guidance.
Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe and healthy.
Copying and Uploading Vaccine Information
All members of the community should carry their vaccination card and/or take a picture of it with their mobile phone.
Students should upload their vaccination cards on the student Health Portal.
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.
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: Health and Medicine