These NJ colleges require masks on campus, even for the vaccinated
At least 10 New Jersey colleges have implemented campus mask mandates regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
Princeton, Rider, Stockton and the College of New Jersey are the most recent schools to require masks to be worn in public areas as students and staff begin returning to campus.
Most New Jersey counties are at the substantial or high level of community transmission. Under CDC guidelines it is recommended everyone wear a mask indoors in public settings.
TCNJ president Kathryn A. Foster on Thursday noted the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide has doubled to over 118,000 a day with over 1,300 new cases in New Jersey as of Wednesday. Students who have been granted an exemption required to take a COVID-19 test twice a week.
"Let me emphasize that the enhanced masking requirement and other measures are temporary. We will continually monitor case metrics and will amend these new restrictions once case numbers and transmissibility fall to safer level," Foster said. "We are heartened by data from Europe and other U.S. states that show rapid declines in case rates after a spike."
No school has canceled their plans to reopen campus fully.
"This fight is not over. Better days are ahead. But they are not here yet. Please continue to do your part. Do not let your guard down. Do not fall victim to pandemic fatigue," Seton Hall says on its website.
The mandate that started August 4 is only temporary at Monmouth University and is scheduled to end on September 1 but could be extended.
Everyone on campus must wear a "multilayer face covering" indoors regardless of vaccination status. Masks are also required outdoors in crowded settings or when participating in outdoors activities with close contact.
The mandate at Princeton took effect on Wednesday indoors in buildings occupied by the university. Exceptions include working alone in a room or cubicle or when actively eating or drinking.
Beginning Monday and until further notice, Rider University will mandate all faculty, staff, students, vendors and campus visitors to wear a mask anywhere indoors on campus, regardless of vaccination status and except when eating and drinking. Masks are not required outdoors whether vaccinated or not. Roommates and suite-mates do not need to wear masks in their own residential hall rooms or suites unless guests are present but must be worn in common areas. Exceptions will be announced for all sports and performing arts students.
Students who have provided proof of vaccination are not required to mask up but noted the CDC's recommendation about indoor public places. Unvaccinated students and staff must wear a mask at all times and must be tested weekly starting September 1.
Beginning Monday everyone must wear a mask indoors in all areas of campus. Guidance on residence halls are coming. The mandate will include classrooms beginning September 7.
The College of New Jersey
Everyone must wear a mask on campus indoors regardless of vaccination status except in private offices and residence halls. In addition on campus unvaccinated students must test for COVID-19 twice a week. Mandated one-on-one or small group meetings may also be moved to Zoom calls.
Seton Hall's mandate began on August 2 and is scheduled to expire on Friday but could be extended.
Rutgers never lifted its campus mask mandate for all students. President Jonathan Holloway reported a 95% vaccination compliance rate among students and faculty and staff at 80%.