To: The Stevens Community
From: Marybeth Murphy, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Date: September 22, 2020
Subject: Health Advisory: Three Positive COVID-19 Tests, 5 Hotspot States Added, Guidance Regarding Oct. 12 Holiday

Please review the important information below as we work together to promote a stronger, safer Stevens. Please remember to abide by the Stevens Health Honor Code whether on campus or in your community and follow all requirements, including wearing a face mask, social distancing and frequent hand washing.

Avoid Travel on the October 12th Holiday Weekend

Although Stevens is open on Monday, October 12th, classes are cancelled. Under normal circumstances, students might consider traveling home and faculty members might consider a long weekend away. Due to the pandemic, we urge all members of our community to avoid travel, gatherings and activities that might put them at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection. At this time, if you travel to any of the 35 states on the NJ quarantine list, you will be at higher risk of infection and will have to quarantine for 14 days after your trip. It is the responsibility of each member of our community to avoid activities that might put themselves or members of their communities at risk of infection and the spread of COVID-19.

Three Positive COVID-19 Test Results

Since my last email to you, Student Health Services was informed that three Stevens individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, two students and one faculty member. All are in isolation at home and two are asymptomatic. Student Health Services staff members are contacting these individuals regularly to provide support and we are hoping for their swift recovery. Here is a brief description of each case:

An undergraduate student who does not live on campus and only came to campus one day last week - on September 17 for a class in McLean Hall and to be tested on campus - has tested positive. Since there was no close contact with anyone at Stevens, we are following Hoboken Health Department guidance and have not asked any classmates, faculty or teaching assistants to quarantine at this time. However, although the student wore a mask and followed social distancing precautions, we have notified classmates, instructors and teaching assistants to monitor their health for COVID-19 symptoms and to continue to be tested weekly. We are closely monitoring COVID-19 weekly test results for this group and will move quickly to quarantine if needed. All areas of McLean Hall have received additional deep cleaning, including restrooms and the classroom where the class was held.

A graduate student was tested on campus on Thursday, September 17 and received a positive test result. The student only came to campus for one day last week - on Thursday to be tested and immediately returned home and did not interact with any Stevens community members. The last time that the student was on campus was September 9th to be tested (a negative result) and to see an advisor. Out of an abundance of caution, we have notified the advisor and recommended monitoring for symptoms. However, the Hoboken Health Department does not recommend any further action since the interaction with the advisor was more than 7 days ago.

A faculty member, who was on campus on Wednesday, September 16 and was tested at an off-campus testing site on September 17, received a positive test result. Although wearing a mask and socially distancing, the faculty member was in McLean Hall throughout the day and had close contact with two Stevens individuals. On the advice of Hoboken Health Department, both individuals are now quarantining at home for 14 days. The faculty member also had very minimal contact with four graduate students and they have been notified to monitor their health for symptoms and continue to be tested weekly. Again, McLean Hall was cleaned with special attention to the locations where the faculty member spent time.

Update on COVID-19 Testing for Students, Faculty and Staff Coming to Campus

As of 5 pm today, all 1,350 test results for on-campus testing on September 16th and 17th have been received and two were positive. There was also an additional positive test result from an off-campus test site. 

Regarding the delayed results from September 9th and 10th, results for all 1,137 tests are available in the portal and all are negative. If you cannot access your results, please email [email protected]

Please remember to register for your weekly test (if you have not already done so) and schedule your appointment for on-campus COVID-19 testing for Wednesday, September 23 or Thursday, September 24. It is important that everyone who is coming to campus is tested weekly. 

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

While you may not be coming to campus this semester, we encourage you to 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, even for students living off-campus, should be reported to the Stevens Student Health Services (see below).

Reporting Positive COVID-19 Results

If any member of our community 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].

Guidance on Travel to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut from 35 States and Territories with High Rates of COVID-19

Individuals traveling to NJ, NY and CT from 35 states and territories with high rates of COVID-19 infection are required to quarantine for 14 days and be tested for COVID-19 approximately five days after their arrival. 

Currently, the thirty-five states and territories that are impacted by this requirement are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. This list will be updated each week. Check here for updates.

We strongly urge all members of our community to avoid non-essential travel to these states and territories. 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. If you are currently working on campus or are planning to return to campus during Stevens’ phased reopening plan and have visited a high risk state or territory, please remain at home and contact your supervisor, Human Resources or Student Health Services to receive guidance regarding quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements.

COVID-19 Testing: Who Must Be Tested and How Often

All faculty, students and staff who will be on campus this fall must be tested for COVID-19 no more than five days before coming to campus for the first time and each week thereafter.

If you are planning to be on campus in person this semester, and did not receive an email regarding testing, please email Human Resources (for employees) at [email protected], Undergraduate Student Affairs (for undergraduate students) at [email protected], or Graduate Student Life at [email protected] to discuss your status and determine if COVID-19 testing is required. Please do not come to campus or go to class without providing a negative test result to Stevens at [email protected] (for students) and at [email protected] (for employees) and receiving permission to come to campus.

If your first time on campus will be later in the semester, you must be tested for COVID-19 no more than five days before you arrival on campus and submit the test results to Stevens at [email protected] (for students) and at [email protected] (for employees). Once your negative test results are received, you receive an email granting permission for you to come to campus and will be included in the weekly testing group thereafter. 

COVID-19 On-campus Testing Site

Stevens is providing a convenient on campus testing option through Bergen New Bridge Medical Center (BNBMC) for our community to ensure that there is a quick, easy, affordable and reliable way to test and monitor results for a large number of individuals. The Rutgers’ RUCDR SARS-CoV-2 saliva test will be administered by staff from Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. Your insurance will be billed for the test; however, any costs that are not covered by insurance will be covered by Stevens.

BNBMC will provide results directly to the tested individual and to Stevens through a portal. You do not need to send your BNBMC test results to Stevens; they will be sent automatically. You will receive information about how to access the portal at the time of testing. This process eliminates the administrative burden of tracking and communicating results to a large group.

COVID-19 testing is offered on campus each week on Wednesdays and Thursdays in a tented area of the parking lot next to the Student Wellness Center. The schedule may be adjusted for holidays (i.e. Thanksgiving). For students, faculty and staff required to be tested weekly, you will receive an email each Thursday that will provide information for you to schedule your testing appointment for the following week.

If you plan to use the on campus COVID-19 testing option for your initial test, you may visit the campus testing location during your appointment time for testing and must return home immediately after testing to wait for your results. Do not visit any other areas of the campus until you receive a negative test result.

COVID-19 Testing at Other Testing Sites

While we are strongly encouraging members of our community to take advantage of this on campus testing option, we will accept test results from other testing providers. Students can send results to [email protected] and employees to [email protected]. Results from testing sites other than the BNBMC testing site at Stevens must be received by Stevens by Sunday at noon each week. While your insurance may cover the cost of testing at other sites, Stevens will only cover the cost of testing after insurance for tests conducted at the BNBMC testing site on campus. 

Flu Shots

Flu shots are required for all members of the Stevens community who are coming to campus. You will receive more detailed information on this requirement next week. In the meantime, if you have received or plan to receive a flu shot, please retain a copy of your receipt to provide to Stevens at a later date.

Sign up for Stevens Alerts

Please sign up for Stevens Alerts, which is the system Stevens uses to notify our community of time-sensitive, urgent situations. Stevens Alerts is used only to transmit urgent and emergency notifications, not routine campus announcements.

Additional Resources on COVID-19