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Coronavirus Campus Communication 5/6/2021

Coronavirus Campus Communication 5/6/2021

To: Students, Faculty and Staff
Date: May 6, 2021
Re: Campus Communication on Coronavirus

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We write to provide you with information and resources related to the COVID-19 vaccine, the presence of variants in New Jersey, updated information concerning the College’s post-travel quarantine timeframes, and a reminder about face coverings.

COVID-19 Vaccine
Effective April 19th, all New Jerseyans age 16+ became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.  You can learn more, including appointment scheduling options, by visiting NJ’s COVID-19 Information Hub here. The CDC has information available to explain the COVID-19 vaccine. For residents outside of New Jersey, please check with your local Board of Health in your county.

COVID-19 Variants
Viruses change and mutate, so we can expect for new variants of the virus to arise over time. Multiple variants of COVID-19 are circulating around the world and have been detected in the United States, including New Jersey.  Since the variants are significantly more contagious, we know that a higher rate of transmission will lead to increased cases and a strain on our public health systems.  You can track the transmission of COVID-19 variants state-by-state here.

Revised Quarantine Guidelines
In step with the CDC and NJ COVID-19 Information Hub, the College has updated the quarantine travel guidelines for students and employees to reflect changes concerning fully vaccinated individuals who travel.  The update also includes information for those who travel and previously tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days before travel.  Updated guidelines are found here.

When you become aware of CDC updates, please stay mindful that they may or may not always apply to the College’s specific circumstances.  Bergen County may have a higher rate of COVID-19 infection.  You can find the State’s COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) reports here.  Local public health officials may recommend more conservative quarantine timeframes for our campus resulting in the need to stay nimble and pivot quarantine timeframes, as recommended.  The Pandemic Assessment Team will continue to keep the campus informed if quarantine guidelines specific to Ramapo College change.

Face Coverings
The College’s Face Covering Policy remains in effect for students and employees. You are required to correctly and consistently wear a face covering that covers both your nose and mouth.  The face covering should be a snug fit against the sides of your face without any gaps.  The best protection is a face covering with layers. The College’s Face Covering Fact Sheet includes face covering requirements and when to wear a face covering. The exemptions are strictly connected to medical related conditions.

While outdoors, vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are not required to wear a face covering as long as they are socially distanced from others and not in a crowded setting. Most outdoor, college-sponsored programs will require a face covering, irrespective of vaccination status.

Reporting
If you are a student (resident or commuter) and have tested positive for COVID-19, told you most likely have COVID-19 by a medical provider, have a COVID-19 sick individual in your home, or told you have been exposed, please contact Debra Lukacsko, Associate Director of Health Services, dlukacsk@ramapo.edu or 201-684-7536.  If you are faculty or staff, and have tested positive for COVID-19, told you most likely have COVID-19 by a medical provider, have a COVID-19 sick individual in your home, or told you have been exposed, please contact Jill Brown, Associate Director of Human Resources, jcbrown@ramapo.eduHR2020@ramapo.edu or 201-684-7507.  We ask that you come forward and talk with us, so that we can provide you with Ramapo-specific resources and guidance.  If any member of the community becomes aware of a student, faculty, or staff with COVID-19 or under investigation for COVID-19, you may share this information with the above named resources.

Mental Health Resources
If you are in need of a mental health professional, students may call Counseling Services at 201-684-7522 for 24/7 support.  For faculty and staff, the Human Resources Department has a number of resources available to you that can be found on their website and on their wellness website.

Additional Resources:
Crisis Text Line:  Text HOME to 741741
Family Helpline (for stressed parents): Call 1-800-843-5437
Trevor Lifeline: Call 1-866-488-7386 (suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ community under 25 years old)
Trans Lifeline’s Peer Support Hotline: Call 1-877-330-6366
Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-572-7233
Suicide Prevention Hopeline: Call 1-855-654-6735
Veterans in NJ Crisis line: Call 1-800-273-8255, Press 1
NJ Mental Health Cares Helpline: Call 1-866-202-4357

State of New Jersey General Resources
Call 211 for General COVID-19 Questions (24/7)
Call 1-800-962-1253 for Medical COVID-19 Questions (24/7)
Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive alerts
Download COVID Alert NJ app here
The State of NJ COVID-19 Information Hub
NJ Department of Health
NJ Vaccine Appointment Support: Call 1-855-568-0545 (8am to 8pm)

We continue to see the impact of COVID-19 on our campus and beyond.  We encourage you to view the College’s enhanced dashboards of campus statistics by visiting the COVID-19 page here.  We thank faculty members from the Data Science program, Drs. Osei Tweneboah and Debbie Yuster, for working with the Pandemic Assessment Team in upgrading the College’s dashboards to reflect positivity rates and visual displays of other trend data.  We hope this information is useful to you as we continue to cultivate a culture of transparency.

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