On Sunday, Feb. 2, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH) provided new guidance to colleges and universities for managing students, faculty, and staff who have returned from mainland China in the last 14 days. The guidance applies to individuals who arrived in the U.S. prior to 5 pm February 2. Those who arrived after that time will receive advice about quarantine at the border.
This new guidance provides criteria to assess the exposure risk of each individual, placing them into one of three risk categories: high, medium, or low. Individuals who are determined to be at LOW risk are not required to self-quarantine. Low risk applies to individuals who have recently traveled to mainland China (including Wuhan City and Hubei Province), who have not had any close contact with any person confirmed to have 2019-novel coronavirus.
In accordance with this new guidance, University Health Services is assessing the exposure risk of each student, faculty, and staff who had identified themselves using the form provided in the January 31 letter to the University community.
Individuals assessed to be at LOW risk will no longer be required to self-quarantine (self-quarantine is another term for self-isolate). We expect that most will fall into this category.
Individuals assessed to be at MEDIUM or HIGH risk will continue to self-quarantine. See the FAQ for Individuals Recently Returned from China for an explanation of each category.
The University will continue to support individuals who choose to self-quarantine, including academic support. However, those at low risk may resume all activities, including attending classes and events.
As a reminder, outbound University-sponsored travel to mainland China will not be approved for faculty, staff, and students until further notice.
Guided by our commitment to ensure the health and safety of all members of the University community, we continue to respond to this situation based on the latest guidance from government and health officials. That guidance is evolving as more is learned about this virus and its transmission.
Even as we take precautions, it is important to remember that the likelihood that any particular individual is infected with the novel coronavirus is very low. There are no confirmed cases of 2019-n-CoV in New Jersey at this time. We appreciate the cooperation of those who have provided information about their travel and followed the University’s guidance. Their efforts during this challenging time have been beneficial to the University community.
In keeping with our respect for our wonderfully diverse community, it is especially important that we be supportive and inclusive of those members of our community who have been affected by this global issue and that we create and maintain a living environment that is free from discrimination and harassment.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the response team via e-mail at email@example.com. The most up-to-date information can always be found at on the University novel coronavirus website.
Aly Kassam-Remtulla, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Operations
Irini Daskalak, MD, Infectious Disease Physician, University Health Services
Robin Izzo, Executive Director, Environmental Health and Safety