Dear Faculty and Staff Members:
As part of our ongoing efforts to keep you informed, I am providing an update about our planning and response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.
We are continuing our preparation for the possibility of virtual coursework and programming beginning March 23. Our class cancellation gives us the necessary time to develop these plans and work through contingency scenarios.
All University-sponsored international travel is prohibited and all personal international travel is strongly discouraged. Currently, although discouraged, there are no restrictions on domestic travel. If you elect to travel and feel ill and/or have a fever during your trip or upon your return, you should contact your health care provider or call the Monmouth University Health Center prior to being seen. You may call the Health Center for a telephone screening at 732-571-3464 so they may best direct your care.
On-campus events scheduled through March 22 have been postponed or cancelled, however, the University remains open and operational with enhanced sanitation measures in place to protect the health of the University community. If you have questions about remote working options, please direct them to your area vice president or dean.
The University continues to work closely with local, state, and federal health agencies, and we will continue to update you accordingly. During this challenging time, I am reminded of the strength of community that makes this University so exceptional. I am grateful for your patience and ongoing collaboration as we work to adapt to this rapidly changing situation.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy
Earlier today a Monmouth University student was transported to Monmouth Medical Center with flu-like symptoms.
I am writing to share that while the student has a bad case of the flu, they did not test positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Please stay tuned for additional information regarding this dynamic situation which will be forthcoming over the next days and weeks.
Mary Anne Nagy
VP for Student Life and Leadership Engagement
Dear Members of the Campus Community:
Effective immediately and with an abundance of caution, Monmouth University is cancelling all classes (face-to-face, hybrid, and online) for the remainder of this week, with spring break beginning as scheduled on Saturday, March 14. We encourage students to safely return home and avoid travel during this time. Faculty members will advise on changes to course syllabi and make-up dates for midterm exams. Residential and dining services will remain open for students living on campus; all commuter students should remain at home.
On Monday, March 9, a student contacted Health Services to report flu-like symptoms and was transported to Monmouth Medical Center for further evaluation. No additional information is known about the student’s condition at this time.
We are asking faculty and staff to continue to report to work to prepare for the possibility of delivering all courses and programs virtually—at least temporarily—starting March 23. University offices will remain open but any employee experiencing any flu-like symptoms should remain at home and not report to work. The University has enhanced its disinfecting and cleaning protocols.
Monmouth University continues to work closely with local, state, and federal health agencies, and we will update the campus community as additional information becomes available.
We want to emphasize that this action is a precaution taken to provide peace of mind to students, faculty, staff, and families. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with the university. We will keep you updated and informed as more information becomes available.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy
To the Members of the Monmouth University Community:
As you are aware from our previous updates, as well as from the abundance of information being shared publicly, the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread. We continue to monitor this situation and take guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), and local county health officials.
University Sponsored Travel
Following the March 2, 2020 guidance from the NJDOH advising universities to postpone or cancel study abroad programs that could expose students and staff to the potential community spread of COVID-19, I have made the decision to suspend all University-sponsored spring break study abroad travel, effective immediately. The university is working with the students and faculty to examine the ramifications of the suspensions, including financial penalties. At the moment, only the travel portion of the courses are suspended, which means that faculty will be working on alternate protocols to deliver other units and course content. I’ve asked faculty members to communicate directly with their students. As of now, this suspension applies to international trips and travel only. All domestic trips, conference travel, and other travel on university business during the next few weeks, including spring break travel, remain unaffected by this suspension. Please stay tuned for periodic updates as we continue to monitor the situation and comply with CDC and other government issued guidelines.
As for upcoming trips in the summer, we will continue to monitor the situation and provide ongoing guidelines.
Given the rapidly evolving situation, I feel it is important that we take all available precautions to support the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. While this means that some students and faculty must forgo opportunities for global learning and service at this time, we will continue to monitor the situation for future planning purposes and will assist affected students who have concerns related to academic progress and recouping costs from our travel partners.
Since the situation is changing daily and will likely continue to do so in the coming weeks, we encourage you to monitor the CDC and the U.S. Department of State websites regarding your personal travel plans, and consider postponing personal international travel until the CDC lifts its travel warnings and feels that COVID-19 is under control.
If you are planning any personal travel to an international destination, we highly recommend that you inform yourself on the healthcare system status of your travel destination, and that you stay advised of potential disruptions to your re-entry to the United States and your ability to return successfully to the Monmouth University campus.
We may advise members of the University community who travel internationally to an area of concern to remain off campus for 14 days due to the incubation period for this virus. If you feel ill during this time and/or have a fever, you should contact your health care provider or call the Monmouth University Health Center prior to being seen. You may call the Health Center for a telephone screening at 732-571-3464 so they may best direct your care.
Whether you plan to travel or not, I urge you to be especially diligent in practicing behaviors that help prevent the spread of disease, including washing your hands, avoiding shaking hands, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available), and staying home if you are sick.
We will continue to update you as necessary through email and on our COVID-19 information webpage. The Crisis Management Team will continue to monitor this situation and lead the coordinated response for our campus.
Thank you for your cooperation as we work to keep our campus community healthy and safe.
Patrick F. Leahy
To the Members of the University Community:
I am writing to follow up on Vice President Nagy’s February 7, 2020 communication regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the University’s preparedness in this area.
As you know, the virus that causes COVID-19 has continued to spread beyond the initial outbreak in China and is now in many countries, including the United States, albeit a relatively small number of cases. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization suggests that the virus may affect more people and it is prudent for all countries and organizations to prepare accordingly.
Please be assured that the University is doing so. University officials are monitoring the situation carefully and working with the appropriate local and state public health officials to stay abreast of this rapidly evolving situation. In addition, the University has activated the Crisis Management Team to lead our coordinated efforts on campus.
During the course of the past week, we have been in touch with all of our students studying abroad and our study abroad partners to discuss the situation and to ensure appropriate planning and precautions are in place. We currently have students studying in Australia, Germany, and England. There are no students studying in Italy at this time. We will continue to assess the situation as it may relate to study abroad and faculty-led programs for spring break, summer, and fall semester travel and make decisions regarding these programs in consultation with our partner institutions and appropriate University personnel.
All of us should be reminded that there are many preventive measures for us to follow to prevent the spread of the flu, the coronavirus, and other common viruses. Among them are:
- Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid contact with others.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Place used tissues into a wastebasket and then wash your hands.
The recent global events can produce a wide and fluctuating range of emotional responses, which may vary from person to person. As always, Counseling and Psychological Services staff are available to consult with members of the campus community regarding any distress, and they can be contacted at 732.571.7517 or MUCounseling@monmouth.edu.
Please stay tuned for regular updates as this situation unfolds.
Patrick F. Leahy
To the Members of the Monmouth University Community:
The 2019-nCoV coronavirus globally and nationally is a rapidly changing health situation. Presently, risk to the Monmouth University community remains low. University officials have been monitoring the situation since the initial outbreak in China. Although our risk was never elevated, we have taken proactive measures to mitigate any potential factors.
For the most up-to-date information on 2019-nCoV, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Since the coronavirus concerns in this country are coming at a time when seasonal influenza is at its peak, the best preventive measures for any communicable disease are to keep your immune system boosted:
- Get plenty of sleep and eat a nutritious diet.
- Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or tissue.
- Get a seasonal flu vaccine (It is not too late. Check your local pharmacy).
Monmouth University will continue to monitor this situation and take guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health, the CDC, and local county health officials. If the situation warrants, we will follow-up with additional communication. Specific questions on the flu and/or 2019-nCoV should be directed to Dr. Kathy Maloney, director of Health Services.
Mary Anne Nagy
Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement