Tuesday, Mar 1, 2022
A letter to the campus community from Rider's COVID Implementation Team
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
There are several changes to our COVID-19 protocols to share with you in light of recently updated NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) and CDC guidance. These are effective this Saturday, March 5.
Many of you are aware of the Governor’s recent announcement to lift the mask mandate for K-12 beginning March 7. Additionally, the CDC has changed how it determines the level of COVID-19 activity county-by-county, affecting our current mask policy. According to this new assessment, the level of COVID-19 activity in Mercer County is considered low based on the number of new COVID-19 cases, hospital beds in use and hospital admissions. This is also evidenced by Rider’s own COVID-19 dashboard and the relatively low number of mild, positive cases we’ve experienced thus far this semester. This is encouraging news as we continue to learn to live with the virus. It also speaks to your vigilance in abiding by our COVID-19 protocols.
In light of this new guidance, Rider is lifting its indoor mask mandate for all, regardless of vaccination status, beginning Saturday, March 5, except where noted below. Anyone who wishes to wear a mask should always feel free to do so.
Masks are still required indoors in the following situations for students and employees:
- Days 6 – 10 following quarantine or isolation.
- For 10 days following exposure for close contacts who are not required to quarantine.
- At the Student Health Center.
We will end surveillance testing for unvaccinated students and employees on Wednesday, March 30. We will also end our testing protocol for productions and concerts on that date. This means that vaccinated and unvaccinated students can perform without testing or masks thereafter unless they meet one of the criteria above.
The following protocols will remain in place until further notice.
- The Student Health Center will continue to offer diagnostic testing for symptomatic students and Athletics will continue testing student-athletes as per NCAA requirements.
- We will continue conducting contact tracing and enforce NJDOH and CDC quarantine and isolation guidance.
- We still require that students and employees monitor their symptoms daily and NOT come to campus or attend classes, activities or events if you are symptomatic.
- We still require use of the on-campus and off-campus COVID-19 assumption of risk forms for guests.
We are requiring COVID-19 vaccination of all students, except those who are in fully online degree programs or who are granted medical or religious exemptions, for the 2022-23 academic year. That means 2 doses of a 2-dose series or 1 dose of a 1-dose series. We encourage employees to be vaccinated and encourage all individuals to get a booster shot, when appropriate, which extends and enhances protection against COVID-19 infection.
Should circumstances change, we may return to enforcement of our indoor masking and/or testing requirements. In the meantime, we appreciate your cooperation as we each begin to take greater personal responsibility to reduce our risk of severe illness, hospitalization or death due to COVID-19. We have the tools in place to do so: vaccination, booster, KN95 and N95 masks, testing and symptom-monitoring.
Please contact [email protected] with any questions or concerns.
Wishing you all the best for the rest of the semester.
The COVID-19 Implementation Team