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Current Health and Safety Updates

The Department of Residential Education & Housing continues to work to provide healthy communities that allow students to live on campus and actively engage in safe ways with other community members. We do this by working with campus partners to understand, interpret and enact the most current information provided by the CDC, the State of NJ and local health officials.

This page is meant to ensure that residential students are fully informed on the current health and safety updates and protocols in the residence halls.

If you are a residential student and you experience COVID-like symptoms, please start masking inside the residence hall, update the ROAR app with your symptoms and get tested immediately. During business hours, you should reach out to Student Health Services via the OWL system or by calling 771-2889. After business hours, they may get tested at an off campus privately owned urgent care such as the one in Campus Town or any other testing location available. If tested outside of the TCNJ COVID testing site they must upload a copy of the test result to OWL and email health@tcnj.edu to notify them that they have uploaded a COVID test result.

COVID-like symptoms are:

  • Fever or chills
  • New onset of or worsening of a chronic cough
  • New onset of or worsening of chronic shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New onset sore throat
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • New onset of loss of taste or smell
  • New onset of a headache without a past history of headaches

If you are ever required to quarantine or isolate on campus, please follow our Residential Guide to Quarantine or Isolation Housing.

APRIL 7, 2022– All students (residential and non-residential), faculty, and staff received the following information via email from Janice Vermeychuk

To the Campus Community,

The number of COVID-19 cases is rising in our campus community. We expected to see a mild increase in COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses when the general mask mandate was rescinded. However, with the arrival and dominance of a new, more transmissible variant (BA.2) in N.J., and the waning of immunity from previous infection and vaccination, we are becoming concerned that cases may rise even further.  

Let’s review some key points:

  • This is a “mask-friendly” campus. Please mask up if you have even mild respiratory symptoms or to reduce your chance of getting COVID-19. Masks are available on campus at various locations including the BSC Information Desk.
  • Get boosted. It will increase protective antibodies against infection. There is a COVID booster clinic on campus tomorrow, April 8, 9-11 a.m. in BSC 225. Please refer to my April 4 email to schedule an appointment. Other vaccination locations can be found at https://www.vaccines.gov/ and on the Mercer County website..
  • If you develop any symptoms of a respiratory illness (sore throat, runny nose, etc.), get tested. To schedule an appointment, go to https://www.navushealth.com/partner-tcnj/. Don’t assume it is just your allergies or a cold. Be sure to mask up around others.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, report it using the ROAR App Daily Self Checkup right away. This will alert the COVID Outreach Team.

Sincerely,

Janice Vermeychuk

Director of Student Health Services

 

MARCH 3, 2022 – All students (residential and non-residential), faculty, and staff received the following information via email from Dr. Foster

To the Campus Community:

Thank you for your diligence in following TCNJ’s public health protocols this school year. Through your efforts, we have managed to maintain a low infection rate. 

I said previously that we would follow the science and rescind the mask mandate when conditions allowed. I am pleased to report that we have just about reached that point. In its latest guidance, the CDC now advises that we not just consider regional case counts, but also factor in hospitalizations and hospital capacity, which have seen significant improvements. The CDC reports that the COVID-19 Community Level for Mercer County is now low. Therefore, I am pleased to announce that the general mask mandate for students and employees will be rescinded beginning Saturday, March 12. Despite this change, the TCNJ campus will remain “mask-friendly.” Anyone wishing to wear a mask is encouraged to do so. 

This change in protocol comes with conditions, which are outlined in their entirety on our COVID-19 website. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with them, but would like to highlight a few key provisions:

    • Local Rules: Despite the removal of the campuswide mask mandate, it may still be appropriate for a mask mandate to apply in certain circumstances. Therefore, individual faculty may choose to require masks in their classrooms, laboratories, and offices, and vice presidents may authorize supervisors to require masks in particular offices. Any such mask requirement will be clearly communicated. Students and employees should continue to have a mask available for use in spaces where those local rules apply.
    • Accommodations: Those who have a heightened vulnerability due to a medical condition or other special circumstances may request an accommodation through the Accessibility Resource Center. Students in a class may also consult with their instructor.
  • Booster: We encourage everyone who is eligible to get their booster shot. The college is hosting a booster clinic this Friday, March 4. If you have received your booster, please upload your record as outlined below:
      • Students: Upload proof of booster vaccination to OWL.
      • Employees: Upload proof of booster vaccination to Oracle Cloud. (Instructions for uploading may be found on the HR website.)
  • Testing: We ask all members of our community to be tested on campus upon returning from spring break and before March 28. Employees and students with a vaccine exemption must continue to get tested weekly for the duration of the semester. 

Understandably, should infection rates climb again, the college may need to reimpose a mask mandate for the entire campus community or for some portion of it. Optimistically, I hope that this change in our masking protocols signals a major milestone in our return to normal. Thank you again for helping keep our campus healthy. I hope that come March 12, you enjoy this hard-earned reward.

FEBRUARY 10, 2022 – All residential students received the following information via email and were prompted to read that email via text alert.

Dear [firstname]:

We are pleased to announce that due a number of COVID-related metrics, we are able to loosen some of the restrictions in the residence halls. Effective at 11:59pm on Thursday, 2/10/22 (tonight!), we will return to a Level 2 status, which means that overnight guests who are other TCNJ residential students are permitted, and we no longer require masks to be worn in the residence halls, EXCEPT in the following situations:

  • residents are expected to wear a well-fitted surgical mask, N95 or KN95 if they are symptomatic (even if they tested negative for COVID) for a full 10 days.
  • residents are expected to wear a well-fitted surgical mask, N95 or KN95 if they are a close contact for someone who tested positive for COVID for a full 10 days.
  • residents are expected to wear a well-fitted surgical mask, N95 or KN95 when they test positive for a full 10 days.
  • whenever a healthcare provider, including a professional from Student Health Services or a contact tracer with COVIDComply at TCNJ recommends or requires it.
As always, students are welcome to wear a mask if they are more comfortable doing so and are encouraged to wear masks if they were at high risk events that could have increased the likelihood of them contracting COVID.

We still prohibit guests who are not residential students at The College of New Jersey. Students who live in Campus Town or in the neighboring community are not considered residential students.

It is important to note that while we are currently able to loosen restrictions, we may need to go back to increased safety protocols if compliance becomes an issue or if COVID rates increase. Additionally, we will still take seriously students who do not comply with the expectations currently in place either through referral to a conduct process or via educational conversations with professional residential education staff.

If we do need to adjust the policy again, residents will be notified through email, a text alert and the lobby-area digital signage in halls that have it. The Residential Health and Safety Status is also kept updated here.

We also want to remind residents of the other measures we may take to keep our community safe. Those include:

  • updating your status on the ROAR app if you start developing symptoms
  • get tested on campus if you are symptomatic, a close contact or participated in an experience that may have increased your risk of being exposed to COVID
  • get boosted if you are eligible and able–there are several booster clinics on campus this semester.

We hope this guest policy change allows residents a bit of flexibility when it comes to socializing, but also a shared responsibility for keeping our community safe. We very much value being able to provide an engaging campus environment–even when it doesn’t look or feel like it’s completely normal–and we don’t want flexibility in policies such as this to endanger the on campus experience.

Sincerely,

Tina Tormey

Director of Residential Education

 

JANUARY 12, 2022 – All residential students were provided move in (or move-over, in the case of those who had winter break housing) information that included the following information:

Please note that COVID transmission is still high. ResEd and Housing is now at a Level 3 status. This means that masks are required when in the presence of someone who does not live in your room/apartment, and overnight guests are prohibited. Guests beyond your move-in helper are restricted to TCNJ residential students ONLY. Failure to abide by these protocols, which have been implemented to protect and preserve the in-person experience, may result in removal from housing.  TCNJ will continue to monitor transmission rates, in hopes that as numbers lower both on campus and in the state, that we return to less restrictive practices.  You play an important role in helping that to happen.

JANUARY 11, 2022 – President Foster announces that the campus community is expected to get tested within the first week of classes, classes are virtual until January 31, boosters are recommended and should be uploaded and masks are required except when actively eating or drinking or when in a private space.

DECEMBER 17, 2021 – Due to the increase in our campus COVID rate, Residential Education and Housing is now at a Level 3 status. This means that masks are required when in the presence of someone who does not live in your room/apartment and overnight guests are prohibited. We believe this change is critical to continue to protect students, staff, their families and their communities.  Please also remember that testing is available on campus for those who want to be sure they are not bringing COVID home. See the Fall 2021 Return to Campus page for details.

AUGUST 2021While the community is expected to be masked at all times while indoors, this does NOT apply to the residence halls. Residential students are permitted to be unmasked in the residence halls, providing they are not exhibiting COVID-like symptoms and are not close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID. If a residential student tests positive for COVID, they must mask and self-isolate until they move into an isolation room.

JULY 2021Res Ed & Housing announced that lounges would be open to residential students and residential students would be permitted to have other residential students as guests.

JUNE 16, 2021 – Vice President of Student Affairs Sean Stallings announced that only fully vaccinated students could live on campus

APRIL 22 & 23, 2021Ran housing selection for all returning students, allowing a more normal density across our residence halls.

MARCH 12, 2021Due to increases in COVID rates among residential students, residents were required to get COVID tested twice a week.

MARCH 2021Due to reduced COVID rates among residential students, residents were allowed to have one other guest in their room (masked).

JANUARY 2021The residence halls opened with single occupancy rooms. Residents were restricted from having guests and were required to wear masks at all times (except when alone in room with the door closed or when showering/brushing their teeth). Residents were required to be COVID tested weekly.

JANUARY 2021With donations from the TCNJ Alumni Association, created Quarantine & Isolation Packs for students that would need to reside in Q/I Housing for 14+ days.

OCTOBER 29, 2020College announced that Spring 2021 plans which included starting a week later, Spring Break would be replaced with 2 single days off, and all residents would live in single occupancy rooms.

AUGUST 2020 – Due to restrictions required by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, all residence hall lounges were locked and not available to casual resident use. Additionally, students were not permitted to have guests due to OSHE restrictions.

Residential Education Health & Safety Restriction Levels*

Level 0
No restrictions.
Level 1
Guest policy expanded.
No masks required, except when advised by other health protocols..
Level 2             
Guests limited to other residential students.
No masks required, except when a student is symptomatic, has to mask after travel or during other times as communicated by Student Health Services, COVIDComply, the student’s individual health care provider or the College.
Level 3                             
Guests limited to other residential students. Overnight guests prohibited.
Masks required when in the presence of someone who does not live in your room/apartment.
Level 4
Additional guest restrictions.
Masks required when in the presence of someone who does not live in your room/apartment.
Level 5
Guests prohibited.
Masks required when in the presence of someone who does not live in your room/apartment.
Level 6
Additional restrictions as mandated by the College or State officials.

 

*at any point, protocol may evolve based on guidance, recommendations, restrictions or mandates by The College, local or state health officials, the CDC, the State or other relevant agencies.

Res Ed Health & Safety Restriction Status:

BUILDING STATUS DATE
Allen, Brewster, Ely (ABE) Level 2 2/11/22
Centennial Level 2 2/11/22
Cromwell Level 2 2/11/22
Decker Level 2 2/11/22
Eickhoff Level 2 2/11/22
Hausdoerffer Level 2 2/11/22
Norsworthy Level 2 2/11/22
Phelps Level 2 2/11/22
Townhouses East Level 2 2/11/22
Townhouses West Level 2 2/11/22
Townhouses South Level 2 2/11/22
Travers Level 2 2/11/22
Wolfe Level 2 2/11/22

 

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