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March 10, 2022

Rutgers Community Members:

I am cautiously optimistic as the second anniversary of our pandemic-driven disruption approaches that we are moving ever closer to a new normal and a resumption of university life as we knew it. The extraordinary efforts of the Rutgers community and our commitment to shared responsibility have produced a safe environment in which to learn, work, research, and heal. I thank each one of you for your perseverance, patience, and support.

The university has been clear that the science and data would guide our path forward with respect to the health and safety of our community. As public health statistics continue to improve, we are making some important changes to our COVID-19 operating protocols. These changes lead us on a path to in-person convocation ceremonies and an in-person celebration at commencement.

I would like to specifically call your attention to the following:

Face Coverings

Effective Monday, April 4, use of face coverings in offices, conference rooms, research labs, housing, and public spaces in buildings will be optional. However, use of appropriate face coverings will still be required in all teaching spaces (classrooms, lecture halls, seminar rooms, etc.), teaching labs, computer labs, buses, libraries, and clinical facilities. Additionally, face coverings will continue to be required in student-staff and student-faculty meeting spaces.

The decision to use face coverings in spaces where they are not mandated is entirely a matter of individual choice. All members of the community should have masks in their possession at all times on campus.

The effective date of April 4 will allow for the community-wide return from spring break and a two-week buffer to monitor any travel-related spike or positivity rate increases. This guidance will be in effect through the end of the spring 2022 semester. Those who travel during the break are strongly encouraged to test before returning to campus.

[Note: The use of face coverings is still required in all public spaces, including offices, research labs, housing, and conference rooms, for faculty, staff, and students who have received an exemption from the university’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements.]

Requirements for Contractors, Volunteers, Guest Lecturers, and Other Affiliates

Rutgers has developed a new university policy that addresses vaccination requirements for volunteers, contractors, guest lecturers, and others. These changes are effective immediately. Frequently Asked Questions associated with the policy may be found here.

Events

All indoor events require attendees to show proof of full vaccination or a COVID-19 negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to the event and must remain compliant with published COVID-19 protocols. Effective immediately, face coverings are no longer required at events.

On-Campus Protocols and Safety Tips

  • As some of our COVID-19 protocols are changing, I remind you of the following:
  • Staying home while sick—COVID-19 or any other illness—is required.
  • Reduced occupancy in administrative settings remains unchanged.
  • Self-screening using the My Campus Pass is no longer required. However, the tool will remain available for use.
  • The university’s COVID-19 vaccination and booster requirements remain in place.
  • Using common sense and doing your part in our shared responsibilities continues to be important.

Information regarding these revised university protocols and other essential information can be found in the updated Guide to Returning to Rutgers and Navigating Our Classrooms and Student Spaces.

The health and safety of our community remains our top priority. Protocols will continue to change as we consult with public health agencies and assess data, including the number of positive cases in New Jersey, COVID-19 hospitalizations, state and regional hospital capacity, and the severity of the dominant variant. Please continue to look for updates on the universitywide COVID-19 Information site.

I look forward to continued improvement in the public health situation and to all the optimism and energy it brings to Rutgers.

 

Antonio M. Calcado
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer