Message from Chancellor Cantor on Heightened Alert Measures in Newark
November 20, 2020
Dear Rutgers University – Newark community members,
As Thanksgiving break rapidly approaches, public officials at all levels are issuing revised guidance to protect health and safety amidst rising cases of COVID-19 nationally, statewide, and locally. The City of Newark is entering a new phase of heightened alert described by Mayor Ras Baraka yesterday evening, which will last from November 25th through December 4th. While a formal statement from the City is forthcoming, we understand that our protocols currently in place at Rutgers-Newark largely conform with the City’s plans. At the same time, the spirit of the measures being taken by the City calls for us all to consider ways to contribute to community-wide efforts. Reflecting that, I outline below our plans through December 4th.
- With instruction having been almost entirely remote through Fall 2020, our instructional plan will proceed as designed. For the limited in-person classes we have, individual faculty members will communicate directly with their students regarding any changes in instruction.
- Likewise, telecommuting for faculty and staff have been in place wherever possible and will remain so, with Senior Vice President for Human Resources Vivian Fernandez having announced this morning an extension of this policy through March 31, 2021. Administrative offices will maintain limited and staggered staffing as needed.
- Libraries will remain open, maintaining their current skeleton staff and hours of service.
- COVID-19 testing protocols for students living in Rutgers-Newark residential facilities will remain in place, as will the testing protocols for any faculty or staff who have been participating in testing.
- Residence halls will continue to accommodate our students in residence; and dining services, which are offered at the Paul Robeson Campus Center, will continue under their present arrangement. Student Health Services and PantryRUN will remain open.
- In-person athletics and recreation services will be closed during this 10-day period.
- The full set of student support services will continue to be offered virtually; changes are planned to the hours of availability for some in-person services, so we urge all students to consult myRUN for the hours of specific services.
As we approach the end of this designated period of heightened alert, we will provide an update about the remainder of Fall 2020.