Coronavirus FAQs

Virus Information

What is “coronavirus?” 

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold, in people. There are hundreds of coronaviruses, most of which circulate among animals including pigs, camels, bats and cats. Sometimes those viruses jump to humans — called a spillover event — and can cause disease. Three of the coronaviruses can have more serious outcomes in people, and those diseases are SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) which emerged in late 2002 and disappeared by 2004; MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), which emerged in 2012 and remains in circulation in camels; and COVID-19, which emerged in December 2019 from China and a global effort is underway to contain its spread. 

What are the symptoms of coronavirus? 

Current symptoms reported for patients with coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure. 

Am I at risk of contracting coronavirus? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following guidelines for ascertaining risk: 

  • People in communities where ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low, risk of exposure. 
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure. 
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure. 
  • Travelers returning from areas where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure. 

How can I help prevent getting coronavirus? 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019. To reduce the possibility of spreading or catching any virus, we urge everyone to continue to employ preemptive actions: 

  • Practice social distancing and limit close contact with others as much as possible (i.e. 6 feet distance) 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover coughs/sneezes in your elbow/sleeve or with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 

Is a surgical mask/facemask helpful in preventing transmission of coronavirus?   

Masks are only recommended for those with symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose), which will help reduce the transmission to others. For people who are not demonstrating symptoms, the CDC does not currently recommend the use of facemasks. Again, the best prevention methods are social distancing and good personal hygiene habits. 

COVID-19 in New Jersey 

What rules are currently in place in New Jersey? 

As of Saturday, March 21, Governor Murphy implemented a stay at home order to halt the spread of COVID-19. As part of this order, all non-essential retail businesses must remain closed unless they offer essential services, like grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, laundromats, food banks and convenience stores, among others.   

Where can I find more information? 

For more information please visit the official site of the State of New Jersey 

FDU Policies & Procedures 

What is FDU doing to address this issue? 

We’ve planned in line with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State and the State of New Jersey Department of Health, as well as Canadian federal and British Columbia health authorities. 

As of March, University-sponsored travel (both international and domestic) is only permitted with the approval of the provost or another senior officer of the University. Study abroad programs were suspended this semester and are now cancelled through July 2020. In addition, the University moved to remote learning and remote operations. All on-campus events and gatherings were cancelled for the semester and social distancing measures are in place for those who do remain on campus.  

Is the University closed? 

The University remains open. However, to mitigate the risk of virus transmission, supervisors have been directed to implement their business continuity plans to enable employees to work at home. Questions concerning this should be directed to Rose D’Ambrosio, Vice President for Human Resources, at 201-692-2706 or dambrosi@fdu.edu.  

The IT team has provided guidance on a whole host of resources for faculty, staff and students as it relates to remote learning and business continuity (including things like how to forward phone calls) here: https://it.fdu.edu/remote-learning/ 

For information regarding Finance’s Business Continuity Procedures, including purchase orders, check requests and expense reimbursements, please refer to the memo provided to all Business Officers on March 16, 2020. 

Is FDU implementing online classes on all of its campuses? 

To further reduce the risk of the spread of coronavirus to our campuses, FDU decided to suspend face-to-face instruction on our New Jersey and Vancouver campuses and switch to remote (online) learning for all classes, for the remainder of the spring semester. FDU also has suspended face-to-face instruction at Wroxton College in England.

Can I now take courses on a Pass/Fail basis?

Yes, the University has made the Pass/Fail option available to most undergraduate and graduate students for the current semester. Please confer with your advisor and also see the FAQs for undergraduates and FAQs for graduate students.

Will summer classes be in-person or online?

At this point, we are still assessing. As soon as we have more details, we will provide an update.

What if I have questions about or have technical difficulties accessing my classes online?

If you’re experiencing technical problems, please contact UTAC (University Technical Assistance Center) at 973-443-8822 or visit https://it.fdu.edu/ for assistance. 

If you have any questions regarding your online class, please contact your professor to inquire about specific requirements.  

Can students stay living in the dorm? 

Yes, if there is a valid reason, students are permitted to live in the residence halls, however, they must register with the Office of Housing by email with their name, contact information and reason for needing to stay. Contact FDUHousing@fdu.edu for the Florham Campus and Reslife@fdu.edu at the Metropolitan Campus. For those who still have their belongings in the residence halls, we will lock your rooms and secure your belongings until social distancing measures are relaxed and it is safe to return to campus to collect your belongings and move out of your rooms fully. 

Will dining services be open to those living in the dorm? 

Yes. The main dining halls will be open on both the Metropolitan and Florham campuses, but food will be grab and go only.  

Will students be issued a refund for dorms and dining while classes are online? 

The University is committed to providing prorated refunds for spring semester room and board. We still need to determine the details and will share more information concerning refunds as soon as possible. 

Are the Wellness Centers open? Do they have tests for coronavirus? 

Yes. The Wellness Centers on both the Metropolitan and Florham campuses are open during regular business hours. Unfortunately, the centers do not have test kits for coronavirus. 

What will happen with Commencement? 

The University Commencement ceremony scheduled for May 18 at MetLife Stadium has been cancelled. The University is considering several options for a virtual ceremony. We owe it to our graduates to confer our degrees formally and on time.  

In addition, we hope to be able to have an in-person ceremony should circumstances allow later in 2020, however, if that is not possible, 2020 graduates will be invited to join the 2021 ceremony.  

Student, Faculty and Staff Health 

I feel sick. What should I do? 

If you are a resident student who has possibly come in contact with an infected individual and/or you exhibit a fever, shortness of breath or a cough, please contact the appropriate health service as listed below. All other students should seek medical assistance through their primary care physician and notify campus health services of any positive COVID-19 diagnosis. 

  • Metropolitan Campus Department of Student Health Services – 201-692-2437. After hours, call Metropolitan Campus Public Safety – 201-692-2222. 
  • Florham Campus Department of Student Health Services – 973-443-8535. After hours, call Florham Public Safety – 973-443-8888. 
  • Vancouver Campus: Call your health-care provider or the provincial health line 8-1-1 to discuss any need for testing and follow up. FDU Vancouver student services can be reached at 604-682-8112. 
  • Wroxton College: The Wroxton College Reception Office, which is staffed 24/7, will coordinate with local medical services and can be reached at 011-44-1295-730551. 

See additional information for students at Coronavirus Information from HR. 

If you are a faculty member, staff member or student at home and you feel ill or believe you may have been exposed to the virus, you should seek medical assistance through your primary care physician. Please also contact Rose D’Ambrosio at 201-692-2706 or via email at dambrosi@fdu.edu for more information. 

See additional information for faculty and staff at Coronavirus Information from HR. 

I am concerned that someone I know might have been exposed to the coronavirus. What should I do? 

Faculty, staff or students who have been in contact with persons who might have the coronavirus should isolate themselves in their homes or other off-campus locations for 14 days from the date of exposure. For example, if you are living in the same household or suite with an individual who is self-isolating because of potential exposure to the coronavirus, you also should self-isolate for 14 days from the other person’s first possible exposure to the virus. These precautions also apply to travelers who have been to locations that are identified by governmental authorities as being a source of infection. 

Resources 

Where can I get more information on coronavirus?  

For up-to-date information, please check the following websites: 

United States 

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

U.S. Department of State    

State of New Jersey Department of Health   

Canada 

Canada Public Health 

BC Centre For Disease Control   

Health Canada 

Vancouver Coastal Health 

United Kingdom 

United Kingdom Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England   

United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office