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Weekly COVID Newsletter

Posted in: Weekly COVID Newsletter

Weekly Covid Newsletter

Buildings Have Ample Ventilation

As we welcome more students and staff back to campus, Montclair State continues to operate its ventilation systems on settings that maximize fresh air circulation.

“All of our buildings have good ventilation, thanks to the high proportion of outside air we can use and the frequent turnover rates. We are bringing in a minimum of 33% outside air, and the entire air supply in every building is turned over at least six times per hour. In some buildings, turnover happens 12 to 15 times an hour. In addition, we have upgraded the air filters to MERV-13,” says Shawn Connolly, vice president for University Facilities.

MERV-13 filters are highly efficient at trapping tiny particles, including germs, allergens, dust and other irritants. They are recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency as a defense against the virus that causes COVID-19.

In indoor areas like the Music and Dance studios, where there may be a higher level of respiratory droplets due to the kinds of activities that take place there, Facilities has installed additional filtration systems that use ultraviolet light to kill airborne microorganisms.

The air handling systems in CELS, as well as in the labs and classrooms in Science Hall, were constructed to bring in 100% outside air. In all other buildings, the proportion of outside air that is continuously drawn in meets or exceeds recommended standards.

The Overlook Corporate Center is not operated by the University, but it follows similar protocols.

For more information about building ventilation and air filtration, please visit the Facilities FAQ page.

Question of the Week: What if I Forget My Mask?

Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey and the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant, the University is requiring everyone who comes to the campus, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, to wear a mask, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read the full mask policy on the COVID-19 Information website.

However, if you forgot to bring a mask with you, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

Anyone who forgets or damages their face covering may obtain a disposable mask free of charge at any vice president or dean’s office, the Student Center information desk, the Red Hawk Central desk in Cole Hall or the Overlook third floor reception desk.

As always, make sure your mask covers your nose and your mouth. Read the CDC guide to wearing masks and watch this video on proper mask wearing.

Testing for Unvaccinated Employees Starts Sept. 13

Employees who are not completely vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to get one PCR test per week at the University’s testing center on campus, starting Monday, September 13. This requirement, which parallels the rules for students who are not vaccinated, is designed to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus within the campus community.

The COVID-19 testing center’s hours will be:

Mondays – Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Fridays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The tests are free, and no appointment is necessary. Any employee can get a test at any time. Just come to Webster Hall and bring your University ID. For more information, visit On Campus COVID-19 Testing.

Remember to do Hawk Check!

With more people on campus now, it’s important that we all complete the Hawk Check self-screening application consistently. Hawk Check is now faster and more convenient – and you’re only required to complete it Monday through Friday (on weekends and holidays, complete it only if you plan to come to campus). If you live on campus, do it every day.

Complete Hawk Check before you leave for campus. If Hawk Check gives you the thumbs up, come to campus. If it tells you not to come, then stay home and wait for a phone call from Occupational Health.

All employees will now get a Hawk Check reminder email every weekday. You can also make an appointment on your calendar to remind yourself or use the reminder feature in the COVID Alert NJ app.

Cases on Campus

In the last week, the University Health Center has become aware of five cases of COVID-19 on campus. All are students. All are recovering in isolation, and no one required hospitalization. We will publish weekly case counts on the COVID-19 Dashboard. It’s updated every Friday, and reflects all confirmed cases where the person was known to be on campus during the period in which they may have been able to spread the virus to others.

New NJ App Shows Proof of Vaccination

The new Docket app from the New Jersey Department of Health allows individuals and families vaccinated in New Jersey to access their COVID-19 vaccination records digitally in case they lose their vaccination card or want quick access to their record. The Docket app is free, and it is now available in the App Store or on Google Play in English or Spanish.

For details, read the New Jersey Department of Health’s news release.

For More Information

For the most up-to-date information about Montclair State’s recovery from the pandemic, please visit the University’s COVID-19 information website, or send an email to reopen@montclair.edu or coronavirus@montclair.edu.

Thank you for reading this special edition of the Weekly COVID Newsletter, a production of the Office of University Communications and Marketing. Comments and suggestions may be sent to Vice President Joseph Brennan, brennanjos@montclair.edu.