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Reminders and Updates on University Guidance and Protocols

Good morning colleagues,

 As a follow up to the information disseminated in President Leahy’s open call and Summer 2022 Health Protocol email of last week, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you about University guidance and protocols regarding vaccination status, surveillance testing, isolation and quarantine requirements, mask mandates, and travel guidelines.  This notice provides updates to my email earlier this week.

 Updated Vaccination Policy

  • Consistent with the University’s current vaccination policy, we continue to require that all  members of the University community (i.e., students, faculty and staff) be vaccinated and boosted. We will also continue to allow for individual exemptions on the basis of approved medical or religious reasons. Staying up-to-date with vaccination recommendations is the best protection we can put in place to reduce the spread of COVID19 and its variants.
  • Allowance for individual exemptions for approved medical or religious reasons will continue
  • The Monmouth County Health Department will be offering walk-in clinics throughout the county during the months of April and forward if you wish to be vaccinated. No vaccination clinics are currently planned to take place on campus.
  • New employees are required to provide the University with their vaccination status on the Health Center portal or email health@monmouth.edu

 Documentation Requirement

  • We continue to require all employees to provide up-to-date information on vaccination status.  If you have received your initial dose(s) and/or booster please provide this information through the Employee Health Portal as soon as you have the information available.  New employees will be required to provide the University with their vaccination status on the health portal as well.  

Testing Protocols

  • Tuesday, May 3, 2022 was the final day of surveillance testing.  The Health Center will be testing only symptomatic employees beginning today. Any employee experiencing symptoms should report directly to the Health Center for testing and further instruction.  If you test positive with a home test or at your own physician’s office please report these results to the Health Center as well. While the COVID19 Dashboard will no longer provide live information we are required to provide this data to the NJ Department of Health.  Employees who test positive, regardless of vaccination status, are required to isolate for five (5) days;  please note that the day you test is considered day zero.  Please report all positive test results to the Health Center.
  • The COVID19 campus dashboard will be removed from the Monmouth University website at the conclusion of the Spring 2022 semester.

 Masking on Campus

·      Effective May 16, 2022,  the University will move to a campus-wide mask optional policy for all indoor spaces, including classrooms. Employees may request, but not require, masking in their respective classrooms and office spaces.  It is important that we respect and support the decisions made by our colleagues with respect to masking.

 Travel Guidelines

  • Travel restrictions with respect to isolation, quarantine and testing for domestic travel have been lifted.  In accordance with CDC guidelines, international travel protocols vary depending on the country of destination.  Please check these travel requirements prior to travel.  Monmouth University sponsored International Travel will be permitted to countries with a CDC and US Department of State Travel Advisory Level 4 Due to COVID.”

 Omicron and Omicron Variant

  • We are finding that the Omicron and Omicron variant (commonly called BA.2) are highly contagious.  If a member of your household has COVID, there is a high probability that you and other members of your household will also test positive, regardless of vaccination and/or booster status. Please contact Health Services for advice and instructions if you are exposed. 

 NOTE:  Under existing University protocols, in isolated situations where work needs to be performed and more than six (6) days of remote work is requested by an employee, approval is at the discretion of supervisor and area Vice President

 What are employees expected to do?

Vaccinated with Booster or Booster not yet due Vaccinated without Booster, but past time for getting booster Not vaccinated
Tests Positive. Employee medically not able to work Remain home as medically indicated. Use accrued sick leave. Remain home as medically indicated. Use accrued sick leave. Remain home as medically indicated. Use accrued sick leave.
Tests Positive. Employee medically able to work Remain home as medically indicated. May request remote work day(s) under the Pilot Remote Work Policy.  Approval is at the discretion of the supervisor.  If not approved, employee may take accrued sick, NJ Sick (if applicable), personal or vacation. Remain home as medically indicated. May request remote work day(s) under the Pilot Remote Work Policy.  Approval is at the discretion of the supervisor.  If not approved, employee may take accrued sick, NJ Sick (if applicable), personal or vacation. Remain home as medically indicated. May request remote work day(s) under the Pilot Remote Work Policy.  Approval is at the discretion of the supervisor.  If not approved, employee may take accrued sick, NJ Sick (if applicable), personal or vacation.
Employee comes in close physical contact with someone who has COVID-19 No reporting or quarantine requirement   Employee must first report the exposure to their area supervisor and the Office of Human Resources, and then quarantine pursuant to local public health guidelines and follow other guidelines as appropriate. May request remote work day(s) under the Pilot Remote Work Policy.  Approval is at the discretion of the supervisor.  If not approved, employee may take accrued sick, NJ Sick (if applicable), personal or vacation. Employee must first report the exposure to their area supervisor and the Office of Human Resources, and then quarantine pursuant to local public health guidelines and follow other guidelines as appropriate. May request remote work day(s) under the Pilot Remote Work Policy.  Approval is at the discretion of the supervisor.  If not approved, employee may take accrued sick, NJ Sick (if applicable), personal or vacation.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within last 90 days but are outside of the period you may be contagious No quarantine required No quarantine required No quarantine required
Need to be absent for the closing of a child’s school, or to care for child who is required to isolate or quarantine due to a positive test or direct exposure to COVID-19 and requires supervision by the employee Employee must report closing or isolation/quarantine status to their area supervisor.  May request remote work day(s) under the Pilot Remote Work Policy.  Approval is at the discretion of the supervisor.  If not approved, employee may take accrued NJ Sick (if applicable), regular sick, personal or vacation.

 The University and Crisis Management Team continue to monitor and assess all aspects of COVID-19 including community, county and state transmission rates as well as the University’s vaccination status in order to provide our community with the health and safety protocols necessary to keep faculty, staff and students apprised of the most current information available.

If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to the Office of Human Resources.

Kathy Stein, PHR, GBA

Summer 2022 Health Protocols

Dear Members of the Monmouth University Community:

As we near the end of the spring semester and prepare for summer classes, I write with updates on our campus health and safety protocols, which go into effect on Monday, May 16, the first day of our five summer sessions.

Masking

Given the recent decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Jersey and the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases on campus, and due to the high vaccination rate among our campus community, the University will be moving to a campus-wide mask optional policy for all indoor spaces, including classrooms. Depending on risk levels in the future, we may reinstate the indoor mask requirement or other restrictions for short periods, as needed.

Individual faculty and office staff may request – but not require – masking in their respective classrooms and office spaces. It is our hope that by transitioning to mask-optional, everyone will feel comfortable making their individual choice while keeping the wellbeing of our community in mind – and trusting that others are doing the same. It is important that we all respect and support the decisions made by each other in this regard.

Vaccination

Consistent with the University’s current COVID-19 vaccination policy, we will continue to require all members of the community to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and to stay up-to-date with vaccination recommendations, including booster doses. We will also continue to allow for individual exemptions on the basis of approved medical or religious reasons. We will reach out to the small number of new and visiting students enrolled at Monmouth this summer, as well as all new employees, to ensure their understanding of and compliance with this policy.

All new students and employees will be required to inform the University of their COVID-19 vaccination status on the health portal to ensure that the University can respond appropriately to any outbreak situation on campus, consistent with prevailing CDC guidelines. The University will assume that anyone who does not share their COVID-19 vaccination status is unvaccinated, and will act accordingly in the event of direct exposure necessitating a quarantine period.

Testing

In response to the low number of active cases among our campus community, the University will be closing the testing center in Magill Commons and discontinuing surveillance testing, effective May 4. We will continue to test all symptomatic individuals at the Health Center. If anyone is exhibiting symptoms, they are encouraged to seek immediate medical treatment – either directly from their physician or through Health Services. If anyone tests positive, they are required to report their test results to health@monmouth.edu.

COVID-19 Campus Dashboards

Since the University is discontinuing surveillance testing, the COVID-19 campus dashboards will be removed from our website at the conclusion of the spring semester. The Health Center will continue to maintain records of new COVID-19 cases.

Isolation/Quarantine

Members of the Monmouth University community who test positive or qualify as close contacts necessitating a quarantine period must follow the prevailing CDC and NJDOH guidelines on isolation and quarantine periods. Moving forward, the University will no longer offer separate isolation or quarantine facilities, and any impacted individuals must make alternative arrangements to satisfy their quarantine requirement.

As we move towards resuming more normalcy across our campus operations, I remain grateful to each of you for your individual efforts in keeping our campus community healthy and safe over the past two years. I recognize how difficult the uncertainty of the past two years has been, and I deeply appreciate your patience, understanding, and concern for our collective well-being. While these updated health and safety protocols are open to adjustment in the future, I hope they are received as welcome changes to our COVID-19 response on campus.

I wish you a successful conclusion to the spring semester, and a healthy and productive summer.

Sincerely,

Dr. Patrick F. Leahy

President

The University’s plans and protocols are subject to change in response to evolving guidance from local, state, and federal government and public health officials. We will continue to update this website regularly and encourage you to check back often for the most up-to-date information.