The outside of Blanton Hall on a sunny day with students walking around.

Weekly COVID Newsletter: October 16, 2020

Posted in: Coronavirus

Newlsetter banner that reads: Weekly Covid Newsletter

October 16, 2020

The Weekly COVID Newsletter provides the latest information about COVID-19 for the University community. It will be published on Fridays throughout the semester.

Understanding Quarantine and Isolation
An important way to reduce the spread of the virus is to keep people who are sick or have been exposed to the virus away from other people. When someone has COVID-19, they are placed in “isolation” for a minimum of 10 days, which is typically how long it takes to recover.

When someone does not have symptoms but is at risk of becoming infected because they were in close contact with a COVID-19 patient, they are placed in “quarantine” for 14 days. Quarantine is an important precaution because someone who has been exposed may be carrying the virus and spreading it to others without knowing it. If you’d like to learn more about how isolation and quarantine are done on our campus, visit this guide for residential students published on the Residence Life website.

Question of the Week

Q. Should I dry my hands using a paper towel or an air dryer?

The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization say that both paper towels and air dryers are effective ways to dry your hands. Because germs spread more easily on wet or damp hands, it’s important to thoroughly wash your hands and dry them completely. The method you use to dry them does not matter.
On campus, we have hygienic Dyson Airblade air dryers, which use HEPA filters and high-pressure air to dry hands in 10-14 seconds, scraping the water from the hands like a windshield wiper. According to Dyson, the HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of bacteria and virus particles from the air intake before blowing their air onto the hands, and the Airblade uses up to 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers.

University Facilities has also provided hand sanitizer at each restroom entrance so you can also sanitize your hands before you enter or on your way out, after washing and drying your hands, if you have any concerns.

If you have a concern about a specific restroom, please contact the Service Desk (973-655-5444) or submit a work order at

Hawk Check Reminder
Remember to do Hawk Check every time you come to campus, 6 to 14 hours before you plan to arrive. It only takes a minute, and you can do it from your home computer or smartphone. If you receive the message to stay home, please do so and expect a call from Occupational Health to discuss your symptoms. Hawk Check helps to keep the virus off campus, and using it is mandatory.

If you come to campus and realize that you forgot to do it, simply do it then and there, and if the app advises you to stay home, then avoid others and go home as soon as possible.

If you have already done it, but you become sick before you come to campus, do it again, and stay home.

Flu Shots Still Available on Campus
The University’s flu shot clinics have been very popular this fall and have already provided no-cost immunizations to 730 people, more than three times as many in a typical year, said Patricia Ruiz, University Health Center Director.

“During a pandemic people can feel helpless, but getting a flu shot is something you have the power to do,” says Ruiz. “It protects you, your family, your classmates and professors, and everyone you come in contact with.” There are two more clinics scheduled on campus, on October 21 and 27, or get your flu shot at your doctor’s office or local pharmacy. Together, we have the power to protect each other.

For More Information
For more detailed information about Montclair State’s response to the pandemic, please visit the Red Hawk Restart website, which has links to our 70-page restart plan, to Hawk Check, and many other resources. The Restart FAQs site has answers to frequently asked questions about health, technology, facilities and human resources topics, and the University Health Center’s COVID-19 site offers resources for health and wellness, a weekly report of known cases on campus, and information about how you can get tested.

You can also email restart-related questions to or health-related questions to

Good News – ICYMI
While the pandemic has kept us from doing some of the things we love, like going to the movies, at least we can still go virtually. The Montclair Film Festival opens online tonight and runs through next week. Be sure to catch our top BFA filmmaking students in the “MSU New Vision Shorts” program as well other films connected with the University such as Life Without Parole: The Sammy Gladden Story, a documentary directed by recent graduate Mackenzie Robertson that features Justice Studies Professor Jessica Henry; Behind the Strings, a documentary following the Shanghai String Quartet, which makes its home at the John J. Cali School of Music; and Hungry to Learn, a documentary by Soledad O’Brien, shot in part on campus that tells the story of four college students facing hunger and homelessness.

Thank you for reading the Weekly COVID Newsletter, a production of the Office of University Communications & Marketing. Comments and suggestions may be sent to Vice President Joseph Brennan,