To: The Stevens Community
From: Marybeth Murphy, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Date: November 20, 2020
Subject: Health Advisory: CDC, New Jersey and Hoboken Guidance on Thanksgiving Gatherings and Travel

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.

Thanksgiving Gatherings and Travel

Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in New Jersey and around the country, the CDC, the State of New Jersey and the City of Hoboken have all issued guidance asking that we avoid Thanksgiving gatherings with those outside of our households and limit travel that might increase the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19.

Health experts strongly discourage Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends outside of the immediate household and recommend that we celebrate with only the nuclear family this year. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also recommended that residents not travel for the Thanksgiving holiday and stay home.

Here is some additional information regarding guidance for Thanksgiving:

If it is absolutely unavoidable and you must travel and/or gather with those outside your household, the New Jersey Department of Health recommends the following:

  1. Get a COVID-19 test (here are some local testing sites)
  2. Insist all participants get a COVID-19 test
  3. Quarantine until Thanksgiving
  4. Keep the number of family and friends outside the household to a minimum
  5. Stay outdoors as much as possible
  6. Wear face masks and social distance at all practical times

Residential and Off-campus Students

We encourage students living in Stevens housing or in their own off-campus apartments in Hoboken and surrounding communities to remain on campus or in their apartments for the Thanksgiving break to avoid spreading the virus to your family and friends.

If you are a residential student and have recently decided to remain on-campus during the Thanksgiving Break, please email [email protected] to inform the Residential Education staff as soon as possible of your presence on campus. Those remaining on campus will receive information about a special Thanksgiving lunch on Thursday and other events on campus during the break.

If you must travel outside of ,New Jersey, please review the quarantine requirements below to determine if you must quarantine for 14 days and get tested upon your return to New Jersey.

Planning for COVID-19 Testing Before the Thanksgiving Break

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.

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

Effective 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. Any private residence or residential unit shall be treated as a single “room”. More information and the details of the Executive Order are online.

Hoboken Imposes Fines of up to $1,000 for Indoor Gatherings of more than 10

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 10 people and violate other ordinances. 

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 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.

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

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. 

I wish you a happy, healthy and socially distanced Thanksgiving!