COVID-19 Cases Creeping Up at NJ Colleges
COVID-19 cases are starting to show up on New Jersey college campuses, although not enough to cause any colleges to close.
Colleges around the country switched to all-virtual learning after cases began to spike at places such as Notre Dame, Temple University, UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Georgia.
Many New Jersey schools moved to mostly virtual learning with a limited number of students on campus. Montclair, Rider, Rowan and Stockton universities welcomed students back to campus.
Rowan, with nearly 5,000 students living on campus this semester,reported 13 positive cases in students on campus and 18 off-campus students since reopening on Aug. 25.
Rowan spokesman Joe Cardona said that none of Rowan's cases seem to stem from a particular gathering but instead from students arriving on campus already infected.
"We are not aware of any large unsanctioned on-campus parties. By monitoring social media, we have seen smaller than usual off-campus parties," Cardona said. "'Smaller' is a relative word. In a typical September, it is not uncommon to see off-campus, weekend parties with 100+ students. We have not seen that yet."
The College of New Jersey in Ewing reported nine students living in private homes and residences off campus have tested positive for COVID-19 with another 50 students identified by campus contact tracers quarantined awaiting test results, according to Muha.
TCNJ’s fall semester is all-virtual but students are still living near campus. Fifty students with “extraordinary circumstances” are still living in dorms
Contact tracers have identified 50 students that had close contact with them who are quarantined pending test results. Tracers, however, have not found a common link, Muha said.
Township Business Administrator Jim McManimon told NJ.com that there have been “social functions” at homes near the campus recently in which the township police have been notified or responded.
Rider University in nearby Lawrenceville reported two students who live off campus and one employee who works off campus, according to spokeswoman Kristine Brown.
There was one reported case in a residential student on campus students at Montclair State University as of Aug. 28, according to spokesman Andrew Mees. Contact tracers were able to identify the individual's close contacts and place them in quarantine, according to Mees.
Eleven students were suspended from Montclair's housing after a party that violated the school's COVID-19 regulations. Mees said there have not been additional violations.
Stockton University has no cases as 2,300 students begin to return to the dorms but is ready, according to spokeswoman Diane D'Amico.
All students, faculty and staff take the "Stockton Health Pledge" daily which is sent to their email daily. The pledge asks students about whether or not they have been unmasked near a symptomatic person, if they have tested positive and agree to follow school policy.
There is a no-guest policy in student housing and all students have also been notified that if they host or attend large group gatherings on campus or off-campus residences they face disciplinary action.