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To: Stevens Students, Faculty and Staff Members
From: Jianmin Qu, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Sara Klein, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Warren Petty, Vice President for Human Resources
Date: January 24, 2022   
Subject: A Safe and Healthy Return to Campus

Based on the rapidly declining positivity rate in New Jersey and in the surrounding areas and in consultation with our health advisors at Hackensack Meridian Health, Stevens will resume in-person operations as planned on January 31. Classes will resume in-person instruction beginning on January 31. Students who reside in Stevens Housing should schedule a move-in appointment between January 27 – January 30 in the Housing and Dining portal on MyStevens.

Two years into the pandemic, we know that coming together in person is vitally important to the well-being of our students and our community. As always, we are carefully considering how best to maintain a safe environment on our campus throughout the pandemic. 

Our plans for a safe and healthy return to campus include:

Masks. We strongly recommend wearing an N95, KN95s, surgical masks, or a combination of a cloth mask with a surgical mask. A cloth mask alone does not appear to provide strong protection against the Omicron variant. Whatever kind of mask you use, the most important thing is to wear it consistently and properly—with a tight fit and covering both the mouth and the nose. Surgical masks will be widely available on-campus; we are seeking to obtain KN95 masks for instructional faculty and will communicate directly with faculty when these are available for pick-up.

Booster Mandate. Stevens requires that all eligible students and employees receive and submit documentation of the booster vaccine by January 31, 2022. The deadline has been moved earlier due to the Centers for Disease Control reducing the timeframe for a booster dose after the initial vaccination series; those with questions or concerns about this deadline can contact Student Health Services (students) or Human Resources (employees). Individuals who have tested positive before getting a booster can receive the booster 30 days after the positive test result. Documentation of the booster vaccine must be submitted through Workday by following these instructions for students and for employees.

Testing Upon Return. It is advisable that students, staff, and faculty take a COVID-19 test at home within 24 hours before traveling back to campus. Positive results should be reported to Student Health Services by calling 201-216-5678; negative results do not need to be reported unless you are exempt from the vaccination requirement (see specific instructions below). Anyone testing positive should delay their return to campus. Vaccinated individuals with negative test results should not be reported to Student Health Services or submitted online. Instructions for vaccine-exempt students, faculty, and staff are provided below.

  • Residential students. All residential students must take a COVID-19 test immediately upon returning to campus, even if their at-home pre-arrival test was negative. An at-home COVID-19 rapid test will be placed in each room or apartment for every residential student to self-administer as soon as they return to campus. Once administered, the student will need to wait 15 minutes for a result. All residential students are asked to have any parents or friends who have transported them back to campus wait outside of the building until the student receives a negative test result. Any students who have a positive test result and who are able to return home for isolation will be asked to return home immediately until their isolation period ends. Residential students who do not have the ability to return home for isolation will be moved to a designated isolation space. Any student who tests positive must immediately self-isolate and call Student Health Services for further guidance. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days should not take a test – instead, be sure Student Health Services has been informed of your previous positive test result.
  • Students who do not live in Stevens housing. Students who do not reside in Stevens housing are strongly encouraged to pick up and self-administer a free, rapid at-home testing kit from Student Health Services during regular business hours. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must immediately self-isolate and call Student Health Services at 201-216-5678. 
  • Faculty and staff. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to either pick up and self-administer a free, rapid at-home testing kit from Human Resources during regular business hours as soon as they return to campus and not earlier than the date of return, or test on their own. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must immediately self-isolate and call Student Health Services at 201-216-5678.
  • Individuals exempt from Stevens’ vaccination requirement. All individuals who have received a Spring 2022 exemption to Stevens’ vaccine requirement are required to test before or upon returning to campus. Exempt individuals are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result online before or upon returning to housing, classes, or offices. Exempt individuals may test through any available means before coming to campus, may participate in the regular weekly testing on Wednesdays provided by BNBMC, or may test using the provided at-home test kit. Documentation of a negative at-home test result will be accepted through the online submission process by submission of a photograph of the resulted test next to your Stevens ID card.

Weekly Testing. Weekly COVID-19 testing continues to take place on Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the Corcoran Room on the first floor of Gateway North. Any student, faculty, or staff coming to campus who is exempt from the vaccine requirement or who is not yet fully vaccinated must participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. Stevens students and employees who are getting COVID-19 tests off-campus and submitting their required test results should submit here. On-campus students, faculty, and staff will be randomly selected to participate in weekly testing throughout the spring semester. The number of randomly selected testing participants will be doubled at the start of the semester as we return to in-person operations. Read more and register for a weekly test.

Academic Flexibility. While we remain committed to a full return to campus and onsite instruction, we understand that both faculty and students may face challenges in maintaining academic continuity. Starting on January 31, students can request that lecture course sections (but not labs or recitations) be recorded for them. You may submit this request form if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu; test positive for COVID-19, the flu, or another illness that requires you to be out of class for more than two days; or cannot attend class due to a short-term disability, as approved by the Office of Disability Services.

Stevens Dining. On-campus dining locations will resume usual operations, including wearing a mask unless eating or drinking. Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to consider utilizing the takeout option through the campus Grubhub app.

Events and Meetings. Events and meetings may resume in-person beginning on January 31. However, food and beverages should not be consumed at in-person events through February 14 to allow for continuous masking by all attendees for the duration of the event. Events that require the consumption of foods and beverages should be postponed until later in the spring semester.

Athletics. Athletics facilities will re-open on January 31. Spectators will be permitted at Athletics events. Food and drink are not permitted in Canavan Arena until further notice.

Thank you to each member of our community for your diligence and care with regards to COVID safety, your continued adherence to the Health Honor Code, and your flexibility and understanding during a challenging time. 

We look forward to seeing you back on campus next week.