Health and Safety Requirements

Last updated: August 20, 2021

Face Coverings

Face coverings are required indoors except as indicated below. For the purposes of this policy, a face covering means a CDC-compliant mask, such as a face mask that covers the nose and mouth, and ties around the ears or the back of the head. The face covering must be a minimum of two-ply and must cover the nose and mouth when worn. (The FDU cloth mask complies with this policy.) Face shields alone without masks are not acceptable and neither are neck gaiters.   

General Use and Requirements of Face Coverings

  • Face coverings are required to be worn indoors by students, faculty, staff, volunteers, contractors, and visitors at all indoor spaces. Masks are not required, however, when,
    • Working or alone in an enclosed private office with the door closed.
    • Operating a vehicle alone.
    • Inside a personal on-campus residential room with no visitors.
    • Actively eating or drinking.
  • The CDC’s mask recommendations include the following:  
    • Check that your mask fits snugly around your nose, mouth, and chin.
    • Add layers of material; for example, wear one disposable mask under a cloth mask.
    • Knot and tuck ear loops of a three-ply mask.
    • Please refer to the CDC website re: effective masks:  for additional guidance with the new mask recommendations as outlined above. 
  • Face coverings must be worn no longer than one day at a time and cloth masks must be properly laundered daily before being used again.
  • FDU recommends that students have a week’s supply of face coverings.
  • FDU will provide face masks on a limited basis for individuals (including visitors) who have forgotten a mask. Disposable masks will be available at key distribution locations during normal business hours and at Public Safety at all times. The use of disposable masks is not a substitute for bringing one’s own mask and will not be allowed on a repeated basis.
  • Students, faculty, and staff members who commute using public transportation should wear their face coverings consistently.
  • Plastic face shields or plexiglass shields in or around a desk do not replace a face covering.
  • Students, faculty, staff, volunteers, contractors, and visitors may use a mask of their choosing or making, provided it is constructed in accordance with CDC recommendations and FDU policies.

Members of the public and visitors on campus who do not comply with the face covering policy should be politely reminded of FDU’s policy. Beyond offering a polite reminder, faculty, staff, and students are not expected to confront individuals who are not complying with FDU’s face covering policy, and are encouraged to call upon Public Safety, who can assist with enforcement in an appropriate manner depending on the circumstances. 

Social Distancing

In general, social distancing is not required on campus. Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged, however, to maintain six feet social distancing when practical, especially indoors when actively eating or drinking without a face covering on.


All students, faculty, and staff will be required to log in with FDU email credentials and complete the updated COVID-19 training course. Tracking of completion for staff and faculty will be handled by Human Resources, and for students by the Office of Student Affairs.


In April 2021, FDU issued an announcement that all students who attend either the Metropolitan or Florham campus must be fully vaccinated before the fall semester begins. The requirement applies to all students who will be on campus to live, attend classes, or engage in any in-person activities. “Fully vaccinated” means that two weeks have elapsed after the final injection of an FDA-authorized vaccine. 

Students living on campus must be fully vaccinated before moving on campus. Commuter students must receive at least their first vaccination shot by the first day of classes on August 23, 2021 and, if a vaccine requiring a two-dose regimen is selected, they must receive their second vaccination shot by September 20.

Faculty and staff who are assigned to be on campus must also get vaccinated. Faculty and staff who have not yet been vaccinated must receive at least their first vaccination shot before the start of the semester on August 23, 2021 and their second shot by September 20, if a second dose is required.

All individuals must upload their vaccination records to Medicat as soon as the first shot is received. The record must be updated after receiving the second shot, for vaccinations involving two doses.

FDU recognizes medical and religious exemptions from the vaccination requirements outlined above, through a standard process. All exempted students must provide a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test prior to arrival on campus, but one taken not more than 72 hours prior to arrival. (Other protocols for exempt students that are communicated directly to exempt students or to the campus community-at-large also will apply.)

Symptom Screening

All individuals on campus – whether or not they are fully vaccinated – are required to monitor their symptoms daily prior to leaving their residence hall room or arriving on campus. Symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

All individuals, whether or not fully vaccinated, should do the following: Students with symptoms should call Student Health Services, and, unless instructed otherwise, should remain in their rooms on campus (or should remain off-campus, for those students who experience symptoms while residing off-campus). All faculty and staff with symptoms should first notify their primary care provider, then Human Resources, and should remain off-campus unless otherwise instructed. Students with symptoms of COVID-19 should not visit Student Health Services unless directed to do so. Students with symptoms who are directed to go to Student Health Services for testing will be required to bring their “two-week supplies” with them in case they are moved to isolation space.

COVID-19 Testing

Students who have received a vaccination exemption: As noted above, all students who have received an exemption from FDU for the COVID-19 vaccination (both residents and commuters) must provide a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test prior to arrival on campus, but one taken not more than 72 hours prior to arrival. In addition, exempt students are required to participate in weekly surveillance testing.

Commuter Students who have not yet completed their vaccination protocol: Those commuter students who have received only the first dose of a two-dose regimen or received their final dose less than two weeks from their start at FDU must participate in weekly surveillance testing until they are fully vaccinated. 

Resident students and student-athletes: In addition to testing students with an exemption from vaccination, surveillance testing will focus on students in high-risk sectors (such as student athletes and resident students), but may be instituted more widely, and may include some fully vaccinated individuals, depending on circumstances and conditions in our region. If included in surveillance testing, all students are required to cooperate as a condition of their continued attendance and (where applicable) residence.

Faculty and Staff who have received a vaccination exemption: In order to ensure the safety of all community members at both New Jersey campuses, the University will require weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees who have received an approved exemption. Impacted individuals will receive further instructions at the time their exemption request is approved. Surveillance testing may be instituted more widely, and may include some fully vaccinated individuals, depending on circumstances and conditions in our region. 

Care and Management of Students

  • If a resident student has tested positive for COVID-19 (whether or not fully vaccinated):
    • The student will be notified of the positive result.
    • The student will be required to isolate (given choice to either go home or isolate per designated isolation location on or off campus).
      • Students will be strongly encouraged to isolate on campus to avoid spread of COVID-19. Students will be educated about the risks of isolation and potential spread to family members if isolating at home versus on campus.
    • The student will be interviewed by Student Health Services and the student’s close contacts will be identified from the past 48 hours from the onset of symptoms, or if asymptomatic from the test administration date.
    • The student will be screened for symptoms and educated on symptoms that may require immediate emergency care.
    • The student will be provided with a list of recommended belongings to pack. Students will relocate to their home or temporary on-campus room. Housing will coordinate available space.
      • If remaining on campus: Students will be asked to relocate themselves from point A to point B and will be escorted by a Public Safety Officer.
    • Students isolated on campus must order all food through Gourmet Dining.
    • Laundry facilities will be unavailable to students in isolation (symptomatic or tested positive).
    • Telemedicine monitoring services will be offered 9am-5pm Monday-Friday by Student Health Services.
    • Student being removed from isolation:
      • Student Health Services will have discretion, based on guidance from student’s primary care provider or the Department of Health, and provide clearance/notification to remove student from isolation.
  • Close contacts
    • Vaccinated students who are close contacts with infected individuals are not required to quarantine unless symptoms develop or they have a positive PCR test. Vaccinated students who are close contacts will be tested between day 3 and day 5 or sooner if symptoms develop.
    • Asymptomatic unvaccinated students identified in contact tracing will be advised that they may return home and quarantine per CDC guidelines or be assigned to a quarantine area on or off campus. Students will be strongly encouraged to quarantine on campus to avoid spread of COVID-19. Students will be educated about the risks of and potential spread to family members if they decide to quarantine at home versus on campus.
    • Asymptomatic unvaccinated students on campus will be given a PCR nasal swab test on day 5 of their quarantine period. If the student remains asymptomatic and their PCR nasal swab test is negative, they may end their quarantine period on day 8. (Similar measures apply to students who quarantine off campus.) All students should continue to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for up to 14 days after exposure if they test negative. If a student tests positive while in quarantine or becomes symptomatic, they will need to be placed in isolation and their isolation period may change depending upon symptom onset or their test date.
    • If a student elects to quarantine at home, they will be required to have a negative PCR nasal swab test 72 hours prior to the date they are cleared to return to campus.
    • Students in quarantine (no symptoms, but close contact) may use laundry facilities.
    • The Student Affairs Office will assist with preparing an advocacy letter to faculty if a student is unable to attend class or otherwise do coursework.  
    • Student Health Services and Housing will notify all appropriate internal parties of scheduled moves.

Please note that in the classrooms students are requested to select their seat and maintain that seat for the remainder of the semester to simplify contact tracing if later necessary. Instructors should have a seating chart.

Please also note that in the event of an outbreak on campus, exempt resident students may be asked to leave campus. An outbreak is defined as an expanding number of COVID-19 cases over a short period of time from one source. This is dependent on the number of resident students and advice from the local health department.  

Hygiene Protocols

According to the CDC, one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 from person to person, and throughout the entire community, is to engage in proper hygiene including the following:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, and after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face, and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch areas routinely.
  • Avoid using shared refill cups and do not share utensils and tools/equipment with colleagues.

Cleaning Protocols

Cleaning frequencies will return to the pre-COVID-19 schedule. Classrooms and common areas, including restrooms, will be cleaned on a daily basis by the University’s cleaning contractor. Offices and office areas will be cleaned weekly by the University’s cleaning contractor. Cleaning will include the use of an EPA-registered disinfecting product on all high common touch points. Sanitizing wipes and/or alternate disinfecting products will be available in classrooms and office suites for individual work area cleaning. 

Residence Hall Regulations

Residential students must comply with health and safety regulations noted above, and guidance adopted by FDU Housing as it relates to public health crises, including COVID-19.

Students must comply with FDU protocols regarding:

  1. no gatherings in any open rooms that exceed the occupancy limit or that are designated as closed or off-limits by signage and/or staff instruction.
  2. practicing proper hand hygiene.
  3. cleaning and disinfection protocols.

All resident students:

  • Must cooperate with COVID-19 testing, including diagnostic, contact tracing, and surveillance testing as these standards and requirements are updated by FDU to safeguard the community.
  • Must routinely self-monitor their symptoms each day, and must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 before entering campus or leaving their residence hall room.
  • Must contact Student Health Services immediately if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19. Any student who develops symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19 will need to self-isolate either on campus in designated isolation housing or off campus at their own expense. Student Health Services will advise the student regarding how long to stay in isolation and what other measures to take to safeguard their health.

Note that all FDU students, both when on- and off-campus, must at all times comply with restrictions and guidance issued by the New Jersey Department of Health and other governmental authorities as well as applicable FDU policies. FDU’s practices and requirements in these regulations may change to keep current with evolving conditions and governmental guidance.

For more information on specific residence hall regulations, see the Academic Year 21-22 Housing Guidelines.


All students, faculty, and staff will be subject to their respective University Codes of Conduct for any violations of these Health and Safety Requirements or other protocols to help safeguard the health and safety of the FDU community. Without limiting other possible sanctions, individuals who do not comply with face covering or other safety protocols may, as interim measures, be barred from the classroom or other activity; and resident students may be required to vacate their residence hall pending further disciplinary measures.

Campus visitors and contractors may be subject to removal from campus if non-compliant with the applicable protocols described above.     

Visitor Policy

All students may visit any other residence hall on campus. Commuter students may visit any residential student in their residence hall. Non-FDU student guests will not be permitted in the residence halls at this time, though exceptions will be made for family members wishing to briefly visit their student’s room during special events (e.g., Candle lighting, Homecoming, Family Weekend, etc.)

Campus visitors and contractors may be subject to removal from campus if non-compliant with the applicable protocols described above.