As many students, staff and faculty have returned for work and study at the University for the spring 2021 semester, it is important to assure students of Stevens’ continued commitment to supporting a safe and healthy environment and mitigating the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
Now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has granted Emergency Use Authorization for three COVID-19 vaccines which are already available to a subset of residents and others who work or study in New Jersey, we are providing you with guidance and information about measures Stevens will take to promote COVID-19 vaccination among members of the Stevens community.
Higher education faculty and staff are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the state of New Jersey. Additionally, Governor Murphy announced that all individuals ages 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination beginning April 19.
Stevens Strongly Encourages and Expects that All Members of the Stevens Community Who Are Eligible Will Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine
Consistent with public health officials’ recommendations and guidance including from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of New Jersey, Stevens strongly encourages and expects that all students, employees, and other members of the Stevens community who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will do so as soon as it is safe and possible.
Information about COVID-19 Vaccines, Eligibility and Registration for Vaccination
The CDC has emphasized the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines and their effectiveness in safely preventing the transmission of COVID-19. The State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Vaccine website, available here, provides up-to-date, current information about vaccine efficacy and safety information, vaccination eligibility, where and how to get vaccinated, and answers to other frequently asked questions. Stevens’ students who live outside of New Jersey may receive the COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey if they are eligible or they may receive the COVID-19 vaccination in their home state if they are eligible there. Stevens will not be offering vaccines on campus. Students can register for a vaccine on the NJ Vaccine Scheduling System, available here.
Stevens encourages all students to be proactive in checking on the status of New Jersey’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, including eligibility status, by visiting the COVID-19 Vaccine website on a regular basis and making an appointment to receive the vaccine as soon as their eligibility makes it possible.
Providing A Record of Vaccine
Student Health Services will collect evidence of vaccination from students so that Stevens can remain informed about the health and welfare of its community and make informed decisions concerning the densification of the campus. Information will be shared later in the spring 2021 semester regarding a process for student submission of vaccination documentation. Students who receive a vaccination should save their vaccination card for future submission.
No student will be asked to provide, and no student should provide, any medical or genetic information with their proof of vaccination. Stevens will keep students’ vaccination information confidential. Stevens will not share information about students’ vaccination status with anyone except those who need to know for purposes of contact tracing. Stevens recognizes that some students may have certain medical, disability, or religious-related reasons for not receiving vaccinations. If in the future Stevens implements a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, then Stevens will provide students with information about procedures for requesting an exemption.
Vaccinated Students Must Continue to Follow All COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines, Policies, and Procedures on Campus
COVID-19 vaccination is a critical component of Stevens’ efforts to support a safe and healthy campus and reduce COVID-19 transmission which is in addition to, and not a replacement for, other COVID-19 mitigation efforts on campus. According to the CDC, it is not yet known whether the vaccine is effective in preventing people who have been vaccinated from spreading the virus to others. Therefore, after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, all students must continue to follow all COVID-19 prevention guidelines on campus, including:
- Wearing a mask
- Engaging in social distancing
- Weekly COVID-19 testing (for individuals not yet fully vaccinated)
- Regularly checking Stevens’ COVID-19 website for updated guidance and information.
New Guidance on Travel to and from New Jersey
Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Health recently issued new COVID-19 travel guidance that follows updated travel recommendations released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine and persons who clinically recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months who are traveling domestically within the United States do not need to be tested for COVID-19 before or after travel to New Jersey and do not need to self-quarantine upon return.
In addition, certain categories of visitors whose travel is essential may visit New Jersey for less than 24 hours without quarantining or testing. Please review State travel guidelines as you consider your plans.
Those who have not been fully vaccinated and do not meet requirements for an exemption should continue to quarantine for seven days and test 3-5 days after their return to NJ if they have traveled outside the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware). All unvaccinated students, faculty and staff returning from travel must follow these guidelines and submit a negative test result online before arrival at Stevens.
State travel guidelines, including information for domestic and international travel for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, are available online. Please check this page before making any travel arrangements as this information may change.
No Retaliation, Harassment, or Discrimination
Stevens prohibits any form of discipline, reprisal, intimidation, harassment, or retaliation on the basis of (a) anyone’s vaccination status and (b) reporting a health and safety concern, including concerning infection control and prevention related to COVID-19. As a reminder, students may report any concerns about these issues to Student Affairs, the University’s EthicsPoint Compliance Hotline at (855) 277-4065, or on the EthicsPoint website.
All Questions about Stevens’ COVID-19 Vaccination Guidelines Should be Directed to Student Affairs
Government and public health guidelines and restrictions and higher education best practices regarding COVID-19 vaccinations are changing rapidly as new information becomes available and further research is conducted. Stevens will continue to review new information and make modifications to guidance or policies concerning the COVID-19 vaccine on an ongoing basis.
If you have any questions about this guidance, please contact Student Affairs at [email protected].