To: The Stevens Community
From: Marybeth Murphy, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Date: October 26, 2020
Subject: Health Advisory: Update on COVID-19 Cases and On-Campus Test Results

Please review the important information below as we work together to promote a stronger, safer Stevens. All members of the Stevens community must abide by the Stevens Health Honor Code whether on campus, off campus, or in your home community and follow all requirements, including wearing a face mask, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding non-essential travel and gatherings outside your immediate circle.

Unlike our results from previous weeks, this past week, 16 Stevens students have tested positive for COVID-19 and many of these students have COVID-19 symptoms. This increase mirrors the very concerning trends what we are seeing in New Jersey and most of the country. 

Immediate Steps Taken

One step we will take immediately is to delay the limited reopening of our indoor Athletic facilities for 14 days. We had planned to reopen today, but out of an abundance of caution, we will delay and continue socially distanced, athletic and recreation activities outdoors. In addition, outdoor team practices and strength and conditioning for on-campus athletes will be paused until Wednesday. Coaches will be in contact with members of their teams to discuss next steps.

The staff in the Division of Facilities and Campus Operations has completed a deep clean of all spaces on campus that have been impacted. 

We are in close contact with the Hoboken Health Department and are in contact with Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH), our health advisor, to receive their advice and guidance to mitigate the spread of the virus.

We continue to take disciplinary action for violations of the Stevens Health Honor Code. To date, we have suspended a fraternity for one year and have suspended 11 students from campus for the remainder of the semester for violations of the Health Honor Code. In addition, 87 students have received sanctions or warnings for infractions. We will continue to take immediate action for any violations of the Health Honor Code that put members of our community at risk.

And finally, we ask members of our community to be more vigilant than ever and reduce or eliminate your interactions with those outside of your household. Not only are you at risk when you are in contact with someone within six feet or without a mask, you put your roommates, teammates, friends, family, and neighbors at risk as well. 

Update on Positive COVID-19 Cases

This past week, 16 students have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 16 students who tested positive, two are graduate students. One of the graduate students is studying remotely and has not been to campus since March 2020. The second graduate student attended one on-campus class on a bi-weekly basis and was last on campus on October 10th. Stevens Health Services staff, working closely with Hoboken Health Department, has notified the positive graduate students to isolate and their close contacts to quarantine. 

Fourteen undergraduate students have tested positive for COVID-19 this past week. Eight of the 14 students are living on campus and are now isolating and their roommates and close contacts are quarantining. Six students living off campus have also tested positive for COVID-19. All positive students are isolating and their close contacts are in quarantine. Stevens Health Services staff, working closely with Hoboken Health Department, has notified the positive students to isolate and their close contacts to quarantine. 

At this time, two graduate students, 47 undergraduate students and one faculty/staff member are isolating or in quarantine. Of the 40 on-campus quarantine rooms, 22 are filled.

Of the eight off-campus positive students, five live in Hoboken. We will be in touch with all students residing in Hoboken to remind them of their responsibilities as residents of Hoboken.

Update on COVID-19 Test Results from Bergen New Bridge Medical Center (BNBMC)

As of 11 am today, 1,304 test results for on-campus testing by Bergen New Bridge Medical Center (BNBMC) on October 21th and October 22nd have been received; 1,298 tests were negative and six were positive. The increase in positive test results is very concerning, and we ask that you continue to take every precaution to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Please remember to register for your weekly test and schedule your appointment for on-campus COVID-19 testing for Wednesday, October 28th and Thursday, October 29th. It is important that everyone who is coming to campus is tested weekly. Please be aware that coming to campus without being tested is a violation of the Stevens Health Honor Code.

Reporting COVID-19 Symptoms and/or Positive COVID-19 Results

If any student, faculty, or staff member (living on campus or off campus) experiences COVID-19 symptoms, tests positive for COVID-19, or has close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19, please self-isolate and immediately contact Stevens Student Health Services at 201-216-5678 or [email protected]. This protects you and those with whom you have been in close contact.

Planning for the Thanksgiving Break and COVID-19 Testing

An email was issued on October 5th addressing questions about the Thanksgiving break. Please review the email carefully as you make your plans since travel to most states outside of NJ will require that you quarantine for 14 days upon your return to campus. Even travel within the tri-state area should be limited, especially if you will be in close contact with individuals outside your household. Please consider limiting your travel and your close contacts.

On-campus COVID-19 testing for Thanksgiving week will be available on Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th. If you will not be able to be on campus on November 23rd or November 24th for testing, please make arrangements to be tested at another location that week and submit your results to [email protected] (for students) and at [email protected] (for employees). You will not be permitted to return to campus in person on Monday, November 30th unless you have a negative test result from testing conducted Monday, November 23 – Sunday, November 29th.

Reminder: COVID-19 Testing for Students, Faculty and Staff Not Coming to Campus

While you may not be coming to campus this semester, please monitor your health and be tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or have had close contact with someone with symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19. For NJ residents, the State of NJ provides a list of testing sites. It is important that we do all we can to protect our communities, especially our hometown of Hoboken, from the spread of COVID-19. Hoboken is offering COVID-19 testing for Hoboken residents at several locations. Positive test results, for students living on or off campus as well as faculty and staff, should be reported to the Stevens Student Health Services (see above).

Additional Resources on COVID-19