In-person classes in progress; Public health statistics continue to improve

New Jersey’s public health statistics have improved markedly, with cases and hospitalizations down and the transmission rate remaining at 0.55, down significantly from 1.92 on Jan. 1. Ninety percent (90%) of eligible residents received at least one dose of vaccine.

Governor Murphy is quoted as noting that “we are on the path from pandemic to endemic”, although he said he was not yet ready to relax public health mandates.

The Village of South Orange has terminated its Executive Order on the Indoor Mask Mandate as of December 21, 2021. The University Mask Mandate remains in place.

The City of Newark is expanding its indoor mask mandate and vaccine passport requirements.

You can find out more about:

Indoor Mask Requirement

All people (vaccinated and unvaccinated) are required to wear a mask in all indoor, non-residential and on-campus university environments, except when alone or in restaurants.

We continue to provide upgraded (surgical) masks free of charge at various locations: Walsh Library (lending office – 2nd floor); Schwartz Hall (2nd floor – student reception office); Bethany Hall (1st floor – student reception office); Mooney Hall (Center for Academic Success – student office); the security desk at the entrance to the Faculty of Law; the IHS Campus Security Office; and at the IHS Campus Office of Student Services (1st Floor, Room 1517).

Testing resources

The NJ Department of Health and Vault Medical Services have partnered to offer a free at-home COVID-19 saliva test kit that is available to every New Jerseyan.

The State of New Jersey provides complete information on how to get tested for COVID-19 in New Jersey.

Essex County provides a range of vaccination and testing information.

Health departments have a large supply of testing supplies. Students (vaccinated and unvaccinated) can request to be tested for COVID-19 as often as once a week.

The South Orange Maplewood School District announced that a mobile testing clinic is available every Wednesday and Saturday. Bring your Seton Hall ID.

The White House announces free COVID tests for each residence. Complete this form with your contact and shipping information to order your tests. Additionally, this government website provides alternative advice and resources for those struggling to access the 4 free home tests.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning people to stop using the Empowered Diagnostics CovClear COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test and ImmunoPass COVID-19 Neutralizing Antibody Rapid Test.

Booster injections are available. Take one.

We emphasize what we said before: if you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you received your first vaccine, get boosted. Beyond the health benefits, boosted people who are close contacts are exempt from certain quarantine protocols.

Vaccines are widely available – in pharmacies, hospitals, health facilities and other places. See where you or a loved one can find an immunization appointment at covid19.nj.gov/finder.

The CDC provides this useful vaccine research tool. Another national site provides information for finding COVID-19 vaccines near you.

We are resuming SHUFLY service to the Livingston Mall every Saturday so students can access the Essex County Testing and Immunization site. The county has additional locations at Kmart in West Orange and Essex County College, which provide convenient access to our law school community. Learn more at https://www.essexcovid.org/ and don’t forget to bring your Seton Hall ID.

We are holding vaccination clinics (initial and booster doses) on the South Orange campus on Tuesday, February 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bethany A and Tuesday, March 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bethany A. You can register at https: //setonhall.formstack.com/forms/setonhall_covid19vaccineregistration

Upgrade your mask

We strongly encourage you to upgrade your mask. Higher quality masks are readily available in stores and online. However, counterfeits are plentiful, so be careful in your purchase.

You can find out more about:

N95 masks are your best mask option – here’s where to buy them online

Premium masks are not washable – but they can be reused for a short time, as explained in these articles:

Free, premium masks are being distributed through the Federal COVID-19 Immunization Retail Pharmacy Program. Learn more about free N95 masks available at NJ CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens soon.

Confused about the differences between cloth, surgical, KN95 and N95 masks? We found this article interesting.

The CDC provides useful information

University Update

  • There have been 8 new cases since January 31.
  • As of February 2, the five-day rolling average of positive cases was 1.6.
  • 2 quarantine and isolation beds on campus are occupied.
  • The entire campus community has a 91.5% vaccination rate with 99% of those fully vaccinated. We are especially grateful to our students, faculty and staff for doing their part; thanks to their efforts, we have a highly vaccinated university community.

Please note that we regularly alternate information and reminders to keep this newsletter as concise and useful as possible. While specific information may vary based on each issue, any material changes to University health and safety protocols or resources will be clearly communicated.

Your health and safety remain paramount in Seton Hall’s planning and actions. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact the HICT here.

Truly,

Matthew Borowick
Vice President of University Relations
Co-Chair, Health Response and Communication Team

Monica N. Burnette, Ph.D.
Vice President, Student Services Division
Co-Chair, Health Response and Communication Team

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