Stevens is working to contract with Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) as a participant in their program: Reopening America: Hackensack Meridian Health’s Assist Program in order to provide expert counsel, recommendations and ongoing advice regarding campus activities and health and safety protocols during the 2021-22 academic year.

This program will provide advice on the university’s response to emerging health and safety conditions in the 2021-22 academic year and for the period when COVID-19 remains a risk in our region.

Recommendations for Testing & Tracing

HMH experts have already reviewed Stevens' COVID-19 testing plan and described the process for determining the efficacy and feasibility of regular testing at its own facilities.

HMH initially implemented universal, regular testing while monitoring the positivity rate of its tests. When the positivity rate was determined to reach approximately 1% (a very low rate), HMH decided to suspend its universal testing program and focus on the testing of symptomatic individuals as well as robust contact tracing when an employee tested positive. HMH  plans to monitor the positivity rate in New Jersey in locations where it maintains facilities and significant numbers of employees, and may resume universal testing if there is a surge in cases.

Based on this experience, HMH has recommended that Stevens focus on targeted testing and contact tracing as well as important health precautions such as face masks, social distancing and hand washing. In addition, HMH has recommended that contact tracing focus on the intensity of interactions with close contacts; how often interactions occurred; and the duration of interactions.

Disclaimer: An entity’s use of the Hackensack Meridian Health (“HMH”) Endorsement Seal of Approval (“Seal”) establishes that the entity has formally engaged HMH to guide its documentation and processes with respect to the entity’s preparations for the return of its work force and customers. The content in any document or any particular process guidelines containing the Seal is based on the acquired knowledge, experience and best practices established by HMH in its involvement with COVID-19, which took into account the then current governmental and regulatory guidelines (as of date provided by HMH). The Seal establishes HMH’s recommendations. The Seal is not an endorsement or guaranty that any particular document or process is superior to other documents or processes and should not be construed by the entity or any third party as such, including but not limited to the entity’s workforce, customers or visitors. The Seal should not be relied upon as a basis for making any business, legal or any other decisions by the entity or the entity’s workforce, customers or visitors. The entity, as well as the entity’s workforce, customers and visitors agree that the entity’s use of the Seal does not afford any of them the ability to make a claim of any kind against HMH, or any of its affiliated entities, or their respective directors, officers, trustees, employees, agents or subcontractors for any and all damages that result from the use of the Seal. And the entity, as well as the entity’s workforce, customers and visitors, understands that much of the content provided by HMH remains relevant, but that the governmental and regulatory guidelines continue to change and although a Seal is provided, the governmental and regulatory guidelines may require further updating of the documents and/or processes.