Dear Monmouth University Community:
Throughout this week, I have written to you with updates on the impact of COVID-19 on our University community and directed you to the COVID-19 campus dashboard for the latest reporting on total confirmed cases in our campus community as well as the number of students in isolation or quarantine. On Tuesday, I also outlined a series of changes to our operations and health protocols in response to the increase in confirmed cases over the past week.
We continue to consult with local public health officials about the increase in confirmed cases and consequently have resolved to take additional action.
Effective Monday, October 5, through Friday, October 16, all courses other than labs and clinical experiences will move to remote delivery in a further effort to reduce the risk of virus spread. Residence halls will remain open during this time. Following this two-week period of remote delivery, we will have our Fall Break, scheduled for Saturday, October 17 through Tuesday, October 20. During the break, residential students are strongly encouraged to remain on campus, and we urge all students – residential and non-residential – to limit their trips to essential travel only and to adhere to New Jersey state travel and quarantine guidelines.
In addition to moving courses online for this two-week period, we will continue to enforce the most recent changes to our campus operations and protocols to maximize safety and mitigate virus spread. I am extending the following measures through Tuesday, October 20 – the end of our Fall Break.
- Gatherings of any kind with greater than 5 people will be prohibited.
- 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.
- The pool and fitness center will temporarily close.
- University athletic team activities will be restricted to supervised individual and small group training of 5 or fewer people 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 alone in your private residence hall room or alone in your private office.
- Social distancing of at least 6 feet will be required at all times.
- The University will increase testing, as appropriate.
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. Since University offices will remain open to serve students, there will be no immediate change to current staffing levels on campus, which are already greatly reduced. As always, if you have questions regarding work schedules, please be in direct contact with your supervisor or area vice president.
It is my sincere hope that these actions will help to slow the spread of infection and allow us to resume our fall semester as planned. I will continue to keep you informed by sharing updates as they become available. Please remember to visit our COVID-19 website for the most current and comprehensive campus information. And, if you have questions, please feel free to direct them to FallRestart@monmouth.edu. Staff members are standing by to answer your questions as quickly as possible.
Thank you in advance for your continued cooperation and flexibility during this challenging time.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy