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UPDATED: Amid Sharp Surge in COVID Cases, Seton Hall University Pivots to All-Remote Learning

Update, Nov. 12: Seton Hall reported 14 more students and three more employees tested positive for COVID:

On November 11, our surveillance and symptomatic testing protocols and contact tracing detected fourteen students and three employees positive for COVID-19 from the South Orange campus. Twelve of the students and the three employees are related to previously reported cases. Each of these students has entered isolation. All contacts for these cases have been notified through tracing along with the South Orange Department of Health.

Updated with a comment from South Orange Township, Nov. 11, 7:20 p.m.: “We fully support this decision by Seton Hall.  We met earlier where they informed us that they would be taking this step and they explained that with all the recent trends on not just campus, but the county and state, it would be best to go to their all-remote learning plan.  It’s the right move for both the Seton Hall and South Orange communities.”

From Seton Hall University:

We are grateful for the efforts of our entire University and all the work each of you has put into keeping our community safe as we arrive on the verge of the Thanksgiving holidays. Your sacrifices demonstrate the resilience of the Seton Hall University community in so many ways.

The University Restart Plan and Continued Monitoring of the Evolving Environment

Throughout the semester, Seton Hall has been guided by our Restart Plan, which reflects countless hours of contingency modeling, discussion, review and updating by more than 140 members of the Seton Hall community who served on various committees.

The State of New Jersey-approved plan was designed to be inherently flexible and accommodate any emerging scenario. As Seton Hall has done since the beginning of the pandemic, we have continued to incorporate the latest public health data and expert guidance into our planning. The health and well-being of our students, faculty, clergy, administration, and staff, as well as the community at large, continues to guide our decision-making.

It is clear that the pandemic’s anticipated “second wave” has arrived throughout the nation, state and region. New Jersey’s coronavirus infections continue to rise quickly, and counties in North Jersey are seeing marked increases in positive cases. Current statewide positive tests are approaching levels not seen since April’s outbreak peak. The United States now has seen more than 10 million cases and is adding more than 100,000 a day. Our University has experienced an increase in positive cases as well.

Pivot to All-Remote Modality

Following the University’s Restart Plan, combined with a careful and continued analysis of COVID-19 public health statistics, we are announcing that all three campuses – South Orange, Newark and Nutley/Clifton – will pivot to all-remote teaching and learning beginning on Thursday, November 12, 2020.

Those with certain in-person laboratory sessions will be provided with further direction by their respective department chair/program director about further adjustments, if any, to the delivery format of these sessions. Students who are enrolled in off-campus clinical rotations should follow the guidelines and standards of individual clinical sites. Please contact your dean’s office if you have questions.

This pivot to all-remote learning is in keeping with our existing plans and previous announcements to adjust our approach as conditions warrant.

Important Details

  • Students living on or near campus are strongly encouraged to get tested by Health Services prior to returning home.
  • Residence halls will remain open until Thanksgiving as originally planned. We realize that students will need to make travel arrangements to return home.
  • Food services on the South Orange campus will convert to “grab and go” beginning on Saturday, November 14.
  • Student events scheduled for the final days of the in-person semester will be moved online. We will continue to employ the enhanced safety and cleaning protocols currently in place.
  • Campus remains open. University services will continue to be provided under the reduced-density work environment in effect since August.

Please remember to regularly consult the Coronavirus Updates webpage, which includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. These contain the latest University updates. You can submit additional questions to the HICT here.

Sincerely,

Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D.

President

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