Cases on Campus
The University Health Center reports that there were 47 new cases of COVID-19 on the campus in the last week. Visit the COVID-19 dashboard for a breakdown of cases by students, employees and contractors.
None of those infected have needed to be hospitalized, according to Patricia Ruiz, director of the University Health Center, and there are no indications of transmission in classrooms.
Masks Become Optional on May 16
Wearing a face covering on campus will soon become a matter of personal choice.
Starting May 16, the procedures section of the University’s policy on face coverings will be updated to make masks optional in all indoor and outdoor spaces except for clinical care settings, including the University Health Center, the Center for Clinical Services and the Center for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.
The update is being made because a growing body of evidence indicates that being fully vaccinated – including having your booster shots – is the best defense against the spread of COVID-19. Vaccination is required for students and employees, and more than 90% of us have been vaccinated.
In addition, the number of cases on campus remains low, and the CDC continues to recommend that masking be optional for both Essex and Passaic counties. For details, visit the CDC’s county-level data web page. Many employers and state and local governments have dropped mask requirements since the CDC issued new guidance in February recommending that mask-wearing become a personal choice under these conditions.
And although wearing masks will soon be optional, everyone is always free to wear one whenever and wherever they want.
The University asks that all members of the campus community carry a mask and when in close contact with another person, ask them if they’d like you to wear it. This is a courtesy to those who may be at higher risk, or who may live with people at higher risk, or who may simply feel more comfortable wearing a mask. Red Hawks take care of each other, so please respect their choices, and put on your mask if they would like you to.
Remember, the current face mask policy remains in effect until May 16.
For More Information
Visit the University’s COVID-19 Information website to learn about our policies and procedures, get answers to frequently asked questions, and find links to information resources.
Thank you for reading the Weekly COVID Newsletter, a production of the Office of University Communications and Marketing. We would love to know how to better serve our readers. Please send any comments and suggestions to Vice President Joseph Brennan, firstname.lastname@example.org.