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December 17, 2021

Dear Rutgers Community Members,

COVID-19 case counts – including those associated with the Omicron variant – are rapidly increasing. Thankfully, the high vaccination rates within our campuses, and our general preventive practices, continue to keep COVID-19 rates within Rutgers campuses much lower than that of our surrounding communities.

We are carefully monitoring the environment and working with health agencies to make decisions and provide guidance in the interest of safeguarding the health of our community.

Over the coming weeks it is important to continue to protect yourself and your friends and loved ones by maintaining well-established safety practices: 

  1. Get vaccinated and boosted, as soon as possible

COVID-19 vaccine boosters are recommended by the CDC for all who are eligible. If you need a booster or initial vaccination, Rutgers offers them at no cost at all three campuses. Register for an appointment on the Rutgers vaccination portal or at one of several locations throughout the state. After your appointment, please upload your records to the Rutgers portal to help keep us informed of our communities’ levels of protection. Records are automatically saved for those who are vaccinated at a Rutgers clinic.

  1. Stay home if you are sick with a contagious disease, whether from COVID-19 or otherwise 
  1. Wear a mask when meeting with others, in groups, or in public
  1. Maintain a safe distance where possible
  1. Wash your hands frequently
  1. Get tested for COVID-19 over the holiday break, ideally before you return to campus

The State of New Jersey and Vault Medical Services have partnered to offer at-home COVID-19 saliva testing for any person who believes they need to be tested, with or without symptoms, at no cost. Visit the program’s website to order your test. If you test positive for COVID-19, contact your personal physician for care and guidance. Many breakthrough cases of Omicron have been mild or asymptomatic. However, testing while at home, specifically within three days of your planned return to campus may help you stop the spread of Omicron while keeping our campus safe. It’s free, so please do not hesitate to order your kit.

In good health,

Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH
Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Rutgers University

Vicente Gracias, MD
Senior Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Vice President for Health Affairs, Rutgers University