Updated COVID-19 Policies
On August 11, 2021, President Capuano announced updates to the COVID-19 vaccination policy.
FDU remains very optimistic about the fall semester which begins on August 23, and we are looking forward to welcoming our students to campus for in-person courses, an active residence hall experience, and an exciting calendar of events.
At the same time, the Delta variant of COVID-19 has caused a rise in cases, as well as an increase in the rate of transmission in our state and throughout the nation.
While the rise in cases is concerning, the good news is that the percentage of people in New Jersey who are vaccinated is above the national average and, largely for that reason, the numbers of people hospitalized and severely ill remains well below the numbers we were seeing during prior surges.
Due to the surge of cases caused by the Delta variant, FDU is making several important changes relating to vaccine and masking requirements for students, faculty, and staff, effective immediately.
These changes involve the vaccination deadline, expansion of the masking policy, and a new University requirement of vaccinations for faculty and staff.
Vaccination Deadlines and New Masking Policy
For months, we have been urging all members of the FDU community to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We appreciate all those who have been vaccinated and have uploaded their proof of vaccination in a timely manner. Getting vaccinated remains the number-one measure you can take to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community. Once again, if you haven’t already done so, we remind all students, faculty, and staff to upload their vaccination records to Medicat as soon as possible.
In general, people who have been fully vaccinated can resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic. However, some increased precautions even for fully vaccinated persons are recommended in light of the recent surge. As a result of the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of New Jersey, effective immediately FDU is requiring the use of masks inside all buildings for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Masks are not required when alone in an office or alone in a dorm suite or with roommates, or when actively eating and drinking. (Student athletes will follow NCAA masking guidance as communicated by their coaches.) While this policy will remain in effect until further notice, this will not limit any of the plans we have for in-person events and experiences this coming semester.
Special Measures for Unvaccinated Students, Faculty, and Staff
In addition, FDU is determined to implement appropriate safeguards for those persons who are not vaccinated. Our goal is to help protect the health and safety of all members of our community, including those persons who might not receive the vaccination because of a medical or religious exemption. As outlined above, everyone must wear a face mask while indoors. We also strongly encourage unvaccinated persons to wear a mask outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
To reiterate FDU’s existing policy: residential students who do not have an exemption must be vaccinated prior to their move-in date.
We are mindful that commuter students may need additional time to become fully vaccinated. Therefore, for commuter students only, the University is extending the deadline for being fully vaccinated. Commuter students without an exemption must receive at least their first vaccination shot by the first day of classes on August 23, and, if a vaccine requiring a two-dose regimen is selected, they must receive their second vaccination shot by September 20. Please upload your vaccination record to Medicat as soon as your first shot is received. You can then update your record after your second shot.
Unvaccinated students who have an approved medical or religious exemption from the vaccine requirement will be subject to weekly PCR testing in order to be allowed on campus. (Other measures communicated to exempt students also will apply.)
In addition, COVID-19 surveillance testing will be in place this semester and will particularly focus on residential students and high-risk populations, including those participating in intercollegiate athletics, those not yet fully vaccinated, and those who have exemptions from the vaccine requirement.
Faculty and Staff Vaccination Requirement
As noted earlier, due to the current challenges caused by the Delta variant, the University now requires faculty and staff who are assigned to be on campus to 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 and their second shot by September 20. If you have not yet done so, please upload your proof of vaccination. If you selected a vaccine requiring a two-dose regimen, you can upload your vaccination record as soon as you receive your first shot. You can then update your record after your second shot.
As with students, a process to apply for medical and religious exemptions will be provided. Those who are granted exemptions will be subject to weekly PCR testing in order to be allowed on campus.
The University will continue to take important precautions to counter the spread of the virus and help keep everyone safe. At the same time, we are optimistic that these provisions will enable us to provide an exciting and in-person educational and extracurricular experience for all of our students.
Those students who have any questions about the policies referenced above should contact the Office of Student Affairs at email@example.com.