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Weekly COVID Newsletter

Posted in: Weekly COVID Newsletter

Weekly Covid Newsletter

Cases on Campus Remain Low

In the past week, the University Health Center has become aware of 15 new cases of COVID-19 on the campus (10 students, 5 employees). All have only mild symptoms and no one required hospitalization.

Our high vaccination rates – 94% of employees and 93% of students – are helping reduce the risk for everyone. Thank you for following our masking policy, and if you’re unvaccinated, for getting tested each week.

To see weekly case counts, visit the COVID-19 Dashboard.

Holiday Safety Tips

One of the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is to get tested, says University Health Center Director Patricia Ruiz, who recommends getting a PCR test before and after traveling or gathering with people outside your immediate household.

“Vaccinated people can be infected and not know it, and able to spread the virus to others – even those who are also vaccinated,” says Ruiz. “All employees and students can get tested for free on campus, and the testing center will be open Sunday through Wednesday next week.”

The University’s free COVID testing center in Webster Hall has convenient testing hours, including Sundays and evenings. No appointment is necessary, but please create a free account with our lab, Visit Healthcare before you come, and bring your Montclair State ID, insurance card and smartphone with you to the testing center. And remember, there’s never any cost to you. If you are insured, your health insurance will cover it. If you are uninsured, federal pandemic relief funding obtained by the University covers the cost.

For more holiday travel tips, take a look at the New Jersey Department of Health’s COVID-19 traveler’s health website for the latest guidance. Enjoy the time with friends and family, and please, stay safe out there!

Get Your Flu Shot

Help keep yourself, your family, your co-workers and our students safe from influenza by getting vaccinated. Most doctor’s offices and pharmacies are offering them, and most health insurance plans cover the full cost. Enter your zip code in the CDC’s Flu Shot Finder for a list of locations near you. Health experts say do it soon, so that you’ve got time to build immunity before holiday travel and family gatherings.

Requirements for Contractors

Effective October 20, contractors who work on the University’s property are now required to ensure their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide proof of a negative COVID test each week, under Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order 271. Procurement Services has created a contract addendum to fulfill this obligation. Contact Procurement Services if you have any questions.

Remember to Hawk Check!

It’s important to complete the Hawk Check self-screening application consistently. Complete Hawk Check every day, Monday through Friday, and do it on any weekends or holidays on which you plan to come to campus. If you live on campus, do it every day. If Hawk Check gives you the thumbs up, come to campus. If it tells you not to come, then please stay home and wait for a phone call from Occupational Health.

Why? Hawk Check is one of the most important ways that our health-care providers find out about potential cases. Reporting risks and symptoms accurately – and promptly – gives them a head start on helping keep the virus under control. Many thanks to thousands of Red Hawks who are doing Hawk Check every day.

Tips for Instructors

The University has a long tradition of supporting students – and their instructors – when illness or other life events cause a student to have unanticipated absences from courses. The Office for Faculty Advancement has prepared a detailed, helpful summary for what instructors can do, and what they can expect from the institution, when students say they cannot come to class due to COVID-19 or other reasons. Please take a look.

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 or

Thank you for reading this 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,