Earlier today, resident students were notified that, beginning on the week of September 28, we will be increasing the level of COVID-19 random surveillance testing we conduct. This is designed to provide an additional level of care and complements existing health and safety measures.
We will be testing 5% of the resident students each week. Students will be notified by email that they have been randomly selected for testing and that they are requested to make an appointment with Health Services for testing that week. There will be no cost to students for the testing.
Increased Level of Testing
Every decision the University has made related to COVID-19 has been with the safety of students and our entire community first in mind. We have worked and consulted with numerous international, national, regional, local, and campus healthcare experts in making the decisions that formed our University Restart Plan.
The University's Health Intervention and Communication Team (HICT) continues to rely on these experts and the monitoring of several indicators to guide our decisions. One of those indicators is the trend in new cases of COVID-19. Over the last 14 days, there has been a 14% increase nationally in new cases. This trend is similar to what we saw this summer when the University made the decision, in an increased duty of care, to test all resident students for COVID-19 upon their arrival to campus. For the same reason – an increased duty of care – the University is taking these additional steps.
The increase in cases nationally, and the approach of colder weather, an increase in indoor activity, and the onset of flu season provide good reason to implement this increased level of testing.
Testing Procedures and Availability
Testing will be conducted through the collection of saliva samples. The HICT has been reviewing random test options over the past few weeks and believes this is the appropriate type of test for surveillance on our campus. Test results will be received within 48-72 hours.
- All students – residential and off-campus - are reminded that Health Services offers testing, in conjunction with support, to students who need to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19.
- Students who develop symptoms of illness can be reassured that Health Services now has resources to administer rapid COVID testing, providing test results in 20 minutes.
- Testing is also available to any student who requires testing to participate in a program, and for those who request a test because they are returning home and have concerns about bringing COVID-19 to their family.
We continue to emphasize that ongoing testing is just one component of our comprehensive plan to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. State and federal health officials overwhelmingly and strongly recommend mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing as the keys to defeating the virus. That is why we continue to promote adherence to the Seton Hall Pledge . We are grateful for the students' and entire community's efforts to maintain the health and safety of our campus community.
The University is providing seasonal flu shots free of charge to all employees and students. Please consult the University Calendar to make your appointment.
Essex County is offering a regular county-wide testing service for residents. The service is available to resident students who show their Seton Hall photo ID. More information may be found at: https://essexcovid.org/
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/
Local government officials created www.southorangecovid19.com as an additional resource you may wish to consult.
Updated Spring 2021 Academic Calendar
The Spring 2021 Academic Calendar has been approved. Classes will begin on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 and continue through Tuesday, May 11, 2021. There will be no Spring Break, but we will close for Holy Thursday, April 1 and Good Friday, April 2 and classes are cancelled on Easter Monday, April 5, 2021. More information from Provost Passerini will follow.
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