FDU News on COVID-19, Coronavirus

{This story was updated Monday, at 6:25 p.m. EDT to reflect new information]


While the Metro campus is on spring break this week, the university is communicating updates on the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus global contagion via https://www.fdu.edu/coronavirus-update/

Monday afternoon on the website, the university asked faculty to make plans to hold classes remotely “should that need arise.”

“We must be as vigilant as possible, plan for as much as possible, and err on the side of caution to protect the entire community. Please make preparations for remotely serving our students should the need arise,” Hania Ferrara, senior vice president for finance and administration, said on the website.

Meantime, New Jersey declared a state of emergency Monday evening.

“The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement.

On Friday, March 6, the university said it is considered low risk with no cases reported on any of the FDU campuses.

The university previously announced steps to prohibit travel to China, South Korea and, this week, Italy.

FDU says it is following recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of State and the State of New Jersey Department of Health, as well as Canadian federal and British Columbia health authorities.

The CDC advises universities to:

  • Review, update and implement emergency operations plans
  • Develop information-sharing systems with partners
  • Monitor and plan for absenteeism
    • Students, staff, and faculty should not attend class or work when sick. Allow them to stay home to care for sick household members. Make accommodations (e.g., extended due dates, electronic submission of assignments), possible, for individuals who may be temporarily unable to attend class due to restrictions placed on them related to possible exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Establish procedures for students, staff and faculty who are sick (with any illness) on campus
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning

FDU says students should contact the following if they come in contact with an infected individual or exhibits a fever, shortness of breath or a cough:

  • Metropolitan Campus Department of Student Health Services: 201-692-2437
  • After hours, call Metropolitan Campus Public Safety: 201-692-2222

Faculty and staff faculty and staff members should seek medical assistance through their primary-care physicians, and inform Rose D’Ambrosio in the Office of Human Resources at 201-692-2706 or dambrosi@fdu.edu.

The university said supervisors or managers who first learn of employees who are ill or potentially exposed, should notify Human Resources and “please help our employees to fulfill their responsibilities remotely if possible.”

New Jersey, as of Monday morning, has six confirmed cases while New York has 142, including Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority. Cotton is in his mid-70s.

The first case reported in New Jersey last week was a 30-year-old Fort Lee man followed by an Englewood woman, also in her 30s. On Sunday, the state confirmed a presumptive positive — a 70-year-old Teaneck man with the virus.

The state has completed 37 coronavirus tests so far, with 31 of those coming back negative for COVID-19. Currently, 27 more individuals in New Jersey are under investigation for the virus, Phillyvoice.com reported Sunday.

Five additional patients in New Jersey were diagnosed with coronavirus, said northjersey.com Monday afternoon.

Princeton University announced on Friday that it is instituting a policy of supporting “social distancing” and will virtualize lectures and seminars as much as possible for two weeks, beginning March 23, The New York Times reported. The Ivy League school is encouraging students to stay home after spring break, which starts March 14.

Kean University in Union, N.J., has suspended travel for its athletes amid the coronavirus outbreak out of an “abundance of caution,” a spokesperson said Wednesday.


FDU tweets response to student.