Dear Members of the Montclair State University Community:
I am writing to provide an update on the University’s response to the emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We are regularly monitoring recommendations from the CDC and the State of New Jersey and are adjusting our responses as the situation evolves.
Within the last 24 hours, two presumptive positive cases have been reported in New Jersey. However, public health officials still believe the health risk to the Montclair State community is low at this time. There is no reason to disrupt the normal operation of the University, by shifting instruction from face-to-face to online for example.
As I announced on Tuesday, the University has canceled all University-related travel by employees and students to those areas rated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as Level 3 or 4 risk regions. Currently those countries include China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. This ban will extend throughout the remainder of this semester and the summer. We will review the situation and inform you if this restriction needs to be changed.
In accordance with newly issued recommendations from the CDC, the University has recommended that those individuals that have traveled to the Level 3 or 4 countries referenced above should self quarantine at home for 14 days after arriving in the United States. At Montclair State, we have only had 11 students for whom this would apply. They are returning from Italy and have been given online coursework so that their academic progress will not be impeded.
Our University Health Center today added more information to our Coronavirus website. I encourage all members of the University community to check this site regularly.
We continue to strongly encourage you to take appropriate and sensible precautions against contracting or spreading viral respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. At this time, those precautions include: wash your hands well and frequently, substitute a smile for a handshake, do not share eating implements or cups, cover your coughs and sneezes, stay home if you are sick, and seek medical treatment if you are experiencing symptoms that suggest that you should.
If you have any specific concerns or questions, please raise those with your supervisor, dean, or vice president, who will pass them along to the appropriate University officials and get you the advice you require. If you need immediate assistance and you cannot reach your supervisor, dean, or vice president, please contact my Chief of Staff, Keith Barrack, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-655-4213.
I wish you a healthy semester.
Susan A. Cole