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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy