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Coronavirus Campus Communication 11/22/2021

Coronavirus Campus Communication 11/22/2021

To: Students, Faculty and Staff
Date: November 22, 2021
Re: Campus Communication on Coronavirus

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

About 1 year ago, on December 15, 2020, a health care worker from University Hospital in Newark was administered the first COVID-19 vaccine in NJ.  At present, 75% of NJ residents over 12 years of age are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  The development of the COVID-19 vaccine has led to far fewer serious medical implications, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19.  While the protections offered by the vaccine are very encouraging, please be mindful that we are still experiencing a pandemic.  Getting vaccinated, seeking a booster, and staying vigilant with health and safety protocols is the best way to slow the spread.

The fall and winter offers opportunities to spend time with loved ones for gatherings.  We want you to safely be together. In NJ, the COVID-19 rate of transmission, case counts, and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are beginning to increase. We must not let our guard down; therefore, please continue to take all reasonable precautions to combat the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that the safest way to gather is to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  The CDC Holiday Celebration Guidance is found here.

Testing Availability
Students and employees are reminded that the COVID-19 Testing program, offered in the Overlook Hall, includes a voluntary testing option. In light of fall/winter gatherings, you may wish to get a COVID-19 test before you return home or otherwise attend indoor fall/winter gatherings.  If you seek a voluntary COVID-19 test, please note that any costs not covered by your insurance carrier will be the responsibility of the student or employee. The College’s Testing Partner, VisitHealthcare, is open in the Overlook Hall for those who are asymptomatic and wish to be tested.  The hours of operation are found here.

Stress and Coping
Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic is stressful for many people.  You may feel sad and anxious especially because the pandemic has changed the way you typically spend time with others particularly during fall/winter gatherings. As stated by the CDC, fear and anxiety about the virus and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.  We encourage you to find healthy ways to cope with the pandemic and, if you are struggling, please connect with the below resources:

Students may call Counseling Services at 201-684-7522 for 24/7 support.

Faculty and staff may contact the Human Resources Department. There are a number of resources available to you that can be found on the HR website and on the HR wellness website.

  • Crisis Text Line:  Text “HOME” to 741741
  • NJ Family Helpline (for stressed parents): Call 1-800-843-5437
  • 24/7 Parent Stress Line: Call 1-800-632-8188
  • Trevor Lifeline: Call 1-866-488-7386 (suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ community under 25 years old) or text “START” to 678-678
  • Trans Lifeline’s Peer Support Hotline: Call 1-877-565-8860
  • Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 1-855-654-6735
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255
  • Veterans in NJ Crisis line: Call 1-800-273-8255, Press 1
  • NJ Mental Health Cares Helpline: Call 1-866-202-4357

 While the administration of the first COVID-19 vaccine in NJ and the year-long process of giving vaccinations is a major accomplishment we can celebrate, please stay mindful that the season of gathering with loved ones does not produce a feeling of celebration and comfort for all.  You and your loved ones have experienced loss during this pandemic and gatherings can be a time to become painfully aware of what you have lost. Be kind, connect, and check in with one another.

Sincerely,

Melissa Van Der Wall
Dean of Students
Pandemic Assessment Team, chair

Debra Lukacsko, MSN, BA, RN, APN, C
Associate Director of Health Services
Pandemic Assessment Team, member