Campus Operating Status and Other Updates Related to COVID-19

Sent Tuesday, March 10, 2020

To the Campus Community:

This afternoon, President Barchi shared an update on the operating status of our university. That message appears below my signature.

These steps are being taken in an effort to safeguard the health of the Rutgers community, and to protect those who might be especially vulnerable to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While there may be challenges in the implementation of this plan during this extraordinary situation, we will get it done while continuing to serve our students and all of our constituencies as well as possible under these circumstances.

I offer a few additional points specific to the operations of Rutgers University–Camden:

Campus Operations

  • Effective Thursday, March 12, Rutgers University–Camden will be open and operating on a normal spring break schedule. Due to remote teaching scheduling, we anticipate the likelihood that the campus will continue to function under a spring break schedule during March 23 through April 3. We expect to have clarity about the administrative schedule for that period within the coming days.

Student Instruction

  • The Instructional Design and Technology unit on our campus already has begun to help our faculty prepare to deliver remote instruction. Visit here for information about this resource.
  • Students in the School of Nursing–Camden who are engaged in clinical placements will be advised by the school regarding how to proceed during this period.
  • Any student with questions about coursework should contact the appropriate faculty member.

Campus Activities

  • All student-sponsored events and meetings are canceled.
  • All non-student Rutgers events and meetings involving groups larger than 15 participants are canceled through April 15. This includes activities sponsored by non-Rutgers entities that are scheduled to be held on campus.
  • Please continue to check the campus website for additional updates.

Travel

  • President Barchi’s message notes that all Rutgers-sponsored international travel is suspended.
  • In addition to international study travel, Rutgers University–Camden has canceled domestic study travel during spring break.
  • Rutgers-sponsored domestic travel is discouraged. If there is a critical need for domestic travel, faculty and staff should discuss their options with their deans and/or direct supervisors.

This is a challenging time for our country and our communities. Students with concerns about their health, or who are experiencing stress, may wish to avail themselves of the counseling and medical services offered by the Student Wellness Center by calling 856-225-6005 or visiting the office on the second floor of the Campus Center.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Rutgers University–Camden is a collaborative community defined by our “can-do” spirit. I am confident that, working together, we will have a strong semester.

I encourage everyone – particularly our students as they prepare to enjoy their spring break – to be certain to follow basic health guidelines and stay well.

Phoebe A. Haddon, J.D., LL.M.
Chancellor

 

Members of the Rutgers Community:

Fostering a healthy community in New Jersey is core to the mission of our University. While at this time we are not aware of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community, we have been closely tracking its spread across our region. We have an imperative to do what we can to slow the spread of this serious virus and protect those who are most vulnerable. This is a difficult and extraordinary situation, and I recognize that people throughout our community are concerned for their personal health and that of their families and friends.

To that end, and with thanks to all members of our community who have taken steps to help us prepare, I am announcing that Rutgers University is taking the actions listed below. We do not undertake any of these changes without careful consideration of the hardships and inconvenience that they may impose. Thank you for your patience and your understanding, as together we navigate this challenging situation.

Classroom Instruction at Rutgers – Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick

  • Beginning Thursday, March 12, through the end of spring break on Sunday, March 22, all classes are canceled.
  • Beginning Monday, March 23, through at least Friday, April 3, all course instruction will be delivered remotely. All face-to-face instruction is suspended. This includes any class meetings.
  • Individual instructors are expected to be in contact with their students regarding their plans for remote instruction prior to March 23.

Instruction at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

  • Courses at RBHS will continue as scheduled.
  • Beginning Monday, March 16, all RBHS classes with more than 15 participants will be provided remotely. RBHS deans from the relevant schools will be in touch with students regarding more detailed plans for remote instruction.
  • Please note there will be no change to clinical rotations and clinical instruction.

Campus Activities

  • Students living in residence halls should leave campus as soon as possible. Students are strongly encouraged to remain off campus through April 3. The University understands that leaving campus may not be possible or prudent for everyone, and we encourage anyone with concerns to contact the student housing office on your campus.
  • Beginning Thursday, March 12, Rutgers events and in-person meetings involving groups larger than 15 participants are cancelled through April 15. Guidance related to this policy will be reviewed again by April 1.
  • Groups with events scheduled after April 15 are urged to begin considering alternative plans in case future events will need to be cancelled or postponed.
  • No new non-essential events should be scheduled until further notice.
  • Athletic directors are instructed to follow the guidance of their respective athletic conferences.

Travel

  • We strongly suggest that all members of the Rutgers community reconsider any upcoming domestic travel, especially to areas where there has been a significant incidence of COVID-19.
  • All Rutgers-led international spring break programs are canceled.
  • All students in third-party study abroad programs are strongly encouraged to return.
  • All international travel sponsored by Rutgers is suspended.
  • Any member of our community returning from a country designated Level 3 by the CDC is required to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus.

Faculty and Staff

  • University offices, labs and services will remain open during this time period.
  • Employees are strongly encouraged to use teleconference services, such as Webex, in lieu of in-person meetings.
  • Guidance from University Human Resources will be forthcoming advising staff on appropriate telecommuting practices, employee leave management, and related workplace questions.
  • Specific guidance for healthcare workers who have direct contact with patients will be forthcoming from the Executive Vice President of Health Affairs.
  • Please take steps to protect your health and the health of your coworkers by following guidance on prevention and care. If you feel unwell, please stay home.

The COVID-19 Task Force continues to monitor this situation and is updating guidance daily. Further details will be coming from each chancellor. Expansive guidance for the University community can be found at coronavirus.rutgers.edu. I ask that every make it point to regularly visit the website to stay current on Rutgers-related advisories.

I urge you to remember that the most important steps you can take are self-care. I thank you again for your patience as we navigate this dynamic and complex situation.

Sincerely,
Robert Barchi

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