Dear Monmouth University Community:
Yesterday I shared with you the latest information on the impact of COVID-19 on our University community. Informed by these data, I have decided to implement additional measures to continue to deliver a safe and healthy academic experience.
Effective Wednesday, September 30 – and extending for a two-week period through Tuesday, October 14 – we will make the following changes to our campus operations and protocols to maximize safety on campus:
- Dining services will be limited to takeout and socially distanced outdoor seating only. There will be no indoor seating.
- Clubs, organizations, and intramural/recreational activities will be conducted virtually. Gatherings of any kind greater than five people will be prohibited.
- The pool and fitness center will temporarily close.
- University athletic team activities will be restricted to supervised individual and small group training only. No formal, University-sponsored athletic practices or competition will be permitted during this period.
- The University campus will temporarily close to all visitors, including prospective students and their families.
- Properly worn masks will be required at all times on the campus – indoors and outdoors – except when eating and when sitting in your private residence hall room or in your private office.
- The University will increase testing, as appropriate.
At this point, since the majority of our academic delivery is already online, there will be no immediate change to academic delivery as a result of these temporary restrictions. We will continue discussions with faculty members in the days ahead as we monitor closely the impact of COVID-19 cases on our campus. During this period, computer labs and the Guggenheim Library will remain open and available to students, subject to existing capacity limitations and social distancing guidelines. If modifications to our academic delivery are deemed necessary, we will notify the campus community immediately.
To date, we have still not seen evidence of transmission from students to faculty or staff, and based on contact tracing, transmission appears to be limited to student social interactions. Since the majority of our staff members are already working remotely, there will be no immediate change to staffing levels. If you have questions regarding work schedules, please be in direct contact with your supervisor or area vice president, as usual.
We will continue our efforts to educate the campus community on the importance of the individual – and shared – responsibility to wear masks, practice social distancing, and wash hands frequently. It is imperative that our students take needed precautions in their social interactions both on and off campus to prevent the spread of this virus. To facilitate this beyond our campus, we have personally visited the rental homes of our students living locally to further educate them on these responsibilities. We will continue to reinforce the consequences of failure to comply with University policy and New Jersey Executive Order No. 155.
It is my sincere hope that these actions will help to slow the spread of infection so that we may all continue to enjoy a safe and healthy fall semester here on campus. I will continue to keep you informed and share updates, as they become available. I encourage parents and family members to join the Monmouth Family Connection and visit our COVID-19 website for the most current and comprehensive campus information. If you have questions, please feel free to direct them to FallRestart@monmouth.edu. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and flexibility during this challenging time.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy