We have had a relatively small number of cases on campus in the past several weeks and that’s good news. Vaccination and mask-wearing is helping. Yet the pandemic is not over, and COVID-19 remains a concern. We understand that many of us are looking forward to the fall and winter holidays and spending time with family and friends again. We want to make sure that you and your family stay healthy at this festive time and we need everyone to help keep our entire campus community safe and healthy.
Food for Thought!
If you are getting ready to visit with family and friends for the holiday, please keep some things in mind:
- Being fully vaccinated reduces the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, so now would be a good time to consider getting vaccinated if you haven’t yet. You should encourage your friends and family to do so as well.
- Last year we saw a dramatic increase in cases in New Jersey after the fall and winter holidays. This year we have vaccines to help keep these numbers lower, but we still need to be careful.
- Healthy people can and do contract and transmit COVID-19. This is true even if you are not showing any symptoms or if you have mild symptoms.
If you are going to a place where you have not been living, and you will be with people you have not already been living or socializing with (this includes your parents and grandparents) you’ll want to think about ways to protect them, BEFORE you head home.
Things You Can Do
As you prepare to visit, here are four things YOU can do ahead of time, to keep ALL of you safer:
- NOW is the time to be even more vigilant with proper mask wearing, especially when indoors. Remember, wearing a mask properly means over the nose AND under the chin! When possible, gather in spaces that are well ventilated or choose to gather outdoors.
- Take a PCR COVID-19 test a few days before the holiday and then reduce your interactions from the time you get the test until the holiday. Tests are available on campus at no charge to you.
- If you haven’t had a flu shot yet, get one!
- Plan safe travel: Whether you are traveling by plane, car or some other means of transportation, it is important to follow CDC guidance and plan your trip carefully.
- YOU can be COVID-positive and pass the virus along to someone else, even if you are not experiencing symptoms yet or at all.
- The people you are visiting may be at greater risk of COVID and of COVID-related complications than you. TAKE GOOD CARE OF THEM!
Before We Return
After the holidays and before you come back to campus…
- Consider getting a COVID-19 test and be extra careful while awaiting your results.
- Remain home if you feel sick.
- Remember to do HawkCheck before returning to campus!
Have a happy and healthy holiday!
Montclair State University Community Health Advisory Team