To: The Stevens Community
From: Marybeth Murphy, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Date: November 17, 2020
Subject: Health Advisory: Additional COVID-19 Cases; On-Campus Test Results; New NJ Guidance on Gatherings and Travel Hotspots

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 household.

New State of NJ Guidance on Indoor Gatherings: Limited to 10

Effective today, November 17th, the State of New Jersey has limited the number of individuals at indoor gatherings that are not religious services or celebrations, political activities, wedding ceremonies, funerals, or memorial services to 10 persons. The number of individuals at indoor gatherings that are religious services or celebrations, political activities, wedding ceremonies, funerals, or memorial services shall be limited to 25 percent of the capacity of the room in which it takes place, but regardless of the capacity of the room, the limit shall never be larger than 150 persons or smaller than 10 persons. Any private residence or residential unit shall be treated as a single “room”. Click here for more information and to see the details of the Executive Order. 

At this time, we are awaiting guidance regarding how this may impact occupancy limits for classroom and other common spaces at colleges and universities. We will provide additional information as it is made available.

Hoboken Imposes Fines of up to $1,000 for Indoor Gatherings of more than 25

Due to the increase in COVID-19 positive cases, the City of Hoboken has approved a measure to allow the Hoboken Police Department to issue fines of up to $1,000 for house parties that exceed 25 people and violate other ordinances. 

Update on Positive COVID-19 Cases

Since my email of November 10, twelve students and six staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the six staff members, three have been working on campus and three are working remotely. Of the twelve students, six are studying remotely and six are studying on campus. We wish everyone a speedy and full recovery.

All COVID-19 positive individuals are isolating and their close contacts have been identified and notified to quarantine. In cases where students have attended classes or employees have been on campus, their classmates, instructors and co-workers who are not close contacts but may have had minimal contact have been notified to monitor their health for symptoms and continue weekly testing.

Please be aware that Stevens has a robust protocol for disinfecting areas on campus where those testing positive COVID-19 reside, take classes or work. This is in addition to the cleaning already in place.

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

We have received all of the 1,296 test results from on-campus testing conducted on November 11th and 12th from Bergen New Bridge Medical Center (BNBMC) and eight were positive. 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, November 18th and Thursday, November 19th. 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.
 
Based on CDC guidance, Stevens does not require COVID-19 re-testing for 90 days after the beginning of COVID-19 infection or illness for persons who have tested positive for COVID-19, have completed their isolation period and are asymptomatic because evidence to date suggests that reinfection does not occur within this time window. Please contact Student Health Services if you are uncertain about when you must resume weekly testing. 

Guidance on Travel to New Jersey from States and Territories with High Rates of COVID-19 - Vermont added

New Jersey has announced a list of 47 states with high rates of COVID-19 infection; Vermont has been added since last week. Check here for updates. Individuals traveling from these states are required to quarantine for 14 days and be tested for COVID-19 approximately five days after their arrival. No person who is required to quarantine pursuant to this restriction will be permitted on Stevens’ campus until the conclusion of such quarantine and COVID-19 testing. 

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 5 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 of 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