Important Updates and Changes to Rutgers’ COVID-19 Protocols
September 26, 2022
As the COVID-19 virus continues to move from pandemic toward endemic, we are eager to return the university to normal operations as much as responsibly possible. In doing so, we continue to take prudent steps to mitigate the effects of this virus so our students can enjoy a vibrant, in-person college experience.
I am writing to announce that we are making several significant updates to our COVID-19 protocols, effective October 1, 2022. We are making these changes after careful consultation with our own medical experts and in recognition of a stable public health situation on our campuses and across the state.
Face coverings: Although they will continue to be required in all clinical settings, face coverings will no longer be required in most indoor spaces including indoor teaching spaces and libraries [See UPDATE – Masks Not Required in Classrooms and Libraries (October 21, 2022)].
Where masks are optional, we encourage all individuals who prefer to wear them to do so, and we fully respect that personal decision. Further, as the pandemic remains fluid, the university is prepared to revisit this change in protocol should future public health conditions warrant.
Vaccines and boosters: All students and employees are required to be fully vaccinated, obtain a booster when eligible, and upload records to the university vaccine portal. There is no change in this requirement. The university urges all members of its community to obtain vaccination boosters as soon as eligibility permits. See CDC guidance for information.
Testing for Covered Individuals with waivers: Covered Individuals with medical or religious waivers must continue to test; however, once-weekly testing with self-administered rapid (antigen) tests is now required instead of twice-weekly PCR testing. Test results must be uploaded here.
Testing for individuals with waivers: Students and employees with medical or religious waivers who are not Covered Individuals must continue to test once per week, but now through self-administered rapid (antigen) tests instead of PCR testing, and must upload their results here.
Test Kits: Rutgers will transition to self-administered rapid (antigen) tests, which will be available through the established test kit vending machines. Individuals with waivers must upload test results by way of an attestation; results must be uploaded here.
All students, irrespective of waiver status, may avail themselves of up to two tests per week and upload their results.
Events: Both indoor and outdoor events, will no longer require attendees to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
Vaccine requirements for contractors, volunteers, and others: Existing protocols remain in place. Please review the current university policy that addresses vaccination requirements for volunteers, contractors, guest lecturers, camp participants, and others. The FAQs about the policy are also helpful.
COVID-19 Vaccinations: Although our vaccination requirements remain in place, the university will no longer offer COVID-19 vaccinations or boosters on campus, as these are readily available at pharmacies, clinics, and physician offices. Rutgers’ COVID-19 vaccination locations will be closed by September 30.
Flu Vaccinations: While the flu vaccine is only required for Covered Individuals, receiving an annual flu shot continues to be an important part of community health. Students should contact their local Student Health office for flu vaccine information. Faculty and staff of Rutgers–New Brunswick, Rutgers–Newark, and Rutgers–Camden should visit the Occupational Health Department site for information regarding this year’s university flu shot program. RBHS employees can find flu vaccine information here.
As we make these changes, please be assured that the university will continue to monitor the data associated with COVID-19 and the guidance of state and federal health agencies. I salute and thank all those at Rutgers who have played a role in keeping our community healthy and safe throughout the past two and a half years.
Best wishes for good health and a successful semester.
Antonio M. Calcado
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer