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Rutgers mandates masks, other safety measures for fall semester

The University will operate at full capacity for fall 2021 with masks required indoors regardless of one's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination status. – Photo by Rutgers.edu

With fewer than three weeks before the start of the Fall 2021 semester, University President Jonathan Holloway and Rutgers—New Brunswick Chancellor-Provost Francine Conway sent emails to the Rutgers community this week detailing what coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures will be in place on campus.

Face masks will remain required indoors regardless of vaccination status, including in classrooms and offices, Holloway said, according to his email. Social distancing will be in place for office settings, and quarantine procedures will be in place for students who test positive for COVID-19.

The University will operate at full capacity for indoor spaces in accordance with state guidelines, Conway said, according to her email. Facilities such as restrooms and elevators will continue to get cleaned twice daily, and weekly testing will be required for unvaccinated individuals.

“I understand that with the emergence of the delta variant, which is much more contagious than earlier strains, many may have concerns with respect to repopulating our campuses,” Holloway said. “I empathize with the worry that this may cause and want to reassure you that, although no plans are infallible, and we will certainly continue to have some COVID-19 cases, we are also confident in the strategies and protocols we have in place to help with our return.”

As of Wednesday, more than 95 percent of students are in compliance with the University’s vaccination requirement, while 97 percent of Rutgers health care and public safety workers are in compliance, he said, according to his email. Although faculty and staff are not required to get vaccinated, approximately 80 percent of faculty and staff are confirmed to have done so.

Free vaccinations will be available on-site at Rutgers’ locations in Camden, Newark and Piscataway, Holloway said, according to his email. More information on vaccine sites and COVID-19 measures can be found in the Guide to Returning to Rutgers and the University’s COVID-19 vaccine page.

“We recognize that the status of the (COVID-19) pandemic is dynamic, and information regarding our environmental safety is evolving,” Conway said. “My office will continue to compile your questions, so we can provide you with the most current responses.”

Conway said members of the Rutgers community can share any questions or concerns with her directly via online form, according to her email.

“We will communicate with you each week with any updates or changes to our status as September approaches,” Holloway said. “I look forward to welcoming you all back to a successful fall for our entire community.”


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