Photo of the Red Hawk statue.
News Students Can Use

Returning to Campus Safely

Here’s How to Follow the Safety Protocols and What to Expect.

Posted in: Announcements, Dean of Students News, Featured News, Red Hawk News, Safety, Uncategorized, Wellness

Students walking in front of Cole Hall at Montclair State University in the snow

As COVID-19 case numbers rise both on campus and across New Jersey, the University is monitoring the situation closely, and continues to follow state and federal guidelines and consult with our on-campus experts.

The University will offer a full complement of in-person instruction and support services in spring 2022, and looks forward to welcoming you back to campus on Tuesday, January 18, with many precautions in place to reduce the risk of infection.

Watch the Returning Safely for Spring 2022 Video.

Why We’re Coming Back

Our community returns for the start of the spring semester in a position of strength.

More than 93% of our total campus population (students, faculty and staff) is vaccinated, which is currently the strongest line of defense against COVID-19. While case numbers have risen, the symptoms associated with the omicron variant have been shown to be more mild than previous variants, with only one case in the University community leading to hospitalization (and that person has recovered).

The pivot to remote learning at the outset of the pandemic in 2020 also showed us that all-virtual instruction is not an ideal model for all students, creating both educational and mental health challenges for many and exacerbating equity concerns.

To help you stay on track, achieve your educational goals and reduce the potential trauma of the pandemic, maintaining an in-person learning environment while keeping our community safe is a priority.

How We’ll Do It

For the next few weeks, the administrative departments have adopted a phased return of staff to the campus. Some employees with non-student-facing duties will work off-campus, reducing office density while assuring that units continue to provide on-campus services and meet their commitments to supporting you and our community. Student-facing jobs should be performed in person on campus.

COVID-19 Boosters

In a continued effort to keep our campus and community safe, Montclair State University will be requiring all students to receive their COVID-19 booster. Details about the booster requirement (including information about a booster raffle!) will be sent to you via email shortly.

Keeping Each Other Healthy

The University is using the strategies that science has shown work to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, including:

  • Vaccinations: Being fully vaccinated – which means having a booster when you become eligible – is one of the best tools we have to control the virus. The Essex County Health Department will give vaccinations and booster shots on campus on Thursday, February 10. Register Today! Or book an appointment at any of the County’s free clinics.
  • Testing: We have an on-campus testing center, located in Webster Hall, that provides free tests for all students and employees. All residential students will be required to provide a negative PCR test before moving back into the residence halls.
  • Masking: Masks will continue to be required indoors on campus, as well as outdoors in crowded settings or when participating in outdoor activities that involve close contact with other people.
  • Hawk Check: All members of the campus community and all visitors are required to complete this daily self-report of symptoms and exposures, which allows our health-care professionals to take quick actions to slow the spread of infection.
  • Staying Home if Sick: At Montclair State, we like to share things – but not germs! We are reminding everyone to stay home whenever you are sick.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely, consult with our on-campus experts who serve on the Community Health Advisory Team, and make adjustments based on the most current data and our understanding of the guidelines of the CDC and New Jersey Department of Health,” says President Jonathan Koppell.

“The health and safety of our community members are public goods we create and maintain together,” Koppell says. “Every community member must do their part to ensure our safety and our ability to achieve our mission.”

For more information, please visit the University’s COVID-19 Information website.