By Anthony Covino and Elizabeth Scalzo
Sports Editor and Editor-in-Chief
New Jersey state officials on Wednesday released a 10-category structure all colleges and universities must plan for in order to reopen, with no date set for when in-person classes may resume. All campuses have much planning to do in the meantime in order to meet the guidelines.
The categories are instruction, housing, computer labs, libraries, research and labs, student services, transportation, dining, study abroad and athletics.
The schools will receive a 20-page document outlining recommendations, said Zakiya Smith Ellis, New Jersey’s Secretary of Higher Education.
UPDATE: New Jersey on Thursday, June 18, 2020, released the restart standards that universities and colleges must follow in order to reopen.
The schools will need to submit their plans to the state secretary of higher education’s office at least two weeks prior to the date of planned return, according to NJ.com. And all New Jersey colleges must follow these guidelines, said the article.
N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy said the state will unveil more details, but these are some of the guidelines colleges must follow in order to reopen:
- Require students and staff wear face coverings indoors
- Strongly encourage — though not mandate — students and staff wear face coverings outdoors
- Observe 6 feet of social distancing in busy areas like classrooms and dining halls
- Sanitize equipment and materials
- Set cleaning and disinfecting protocols
- Close common areas
- Allow students and faculty with elevated health risks to learn and teach remotely
- Accommodate those who test positive for COVID-19, including developing quarantine and isolation procedures
- Set up robust testing and contact tracing plans to identify and fight coronavirus spikes
“As we move forward in our restart and recovery, these institutions will play a huge role,” Gov. Murphy said during a press conference. “They are where our future workforce is being created, and where many of the advances in the life sciences, in engineering, and in other areas that will have a tremendous impact on our larger economy are taking shape.”
FDU has task forces working on the return to campus, but time is ticking and classes are only seven weeks away.
There are few answers at this date, as discovered this week in The Equinox’s Roundtable session.
New Jersey is currently in Stage 2 of reopening. This stage allows restaurants to reopen with outdoor dining and six feet between tables. Nonessential retail stores can reopen at this stage with 50% occupancy. Child care facilities can also open in this stage and libraries are using curbside pickup. The state goes through the next four stages by July 6.
FDU has not updated its website to comment on the guidance to reopen the campus.\
Art By Elizabeth Scalzo
NJ Creates Planning Guidelines for Colleges.