Caldwell University COVID-19 Student Policy

Communicable diseases or a pandemic may affect the operational status of Caldwell University at any time. Students are required to comply with all operational policies to ensure a safe campus community for all. Students who fail to comply with applicable policies and procedures may be subject to disciplinary action through the student conduct process. Although this process is not meant to be punitive in nature, failure to comply with University directives can significantly impact the health and safety of the University community. As all pandemics and communicable diseases may require different mitigating procedures, students are expected to read and comply with any written policies related to any pandemics, communicable diseases or health concerns as they are released by the University. Students who participate in specialized programs will be required to comply with all policies applicable to that program, including but not limited to athletes and nursing students. The University will adopt a general policy addressing communicable disease outbreaks. This Policy relates specifically to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Any student who has questions about this policy, or how to comply with the policy, should contact the Office of Student Life at studentlife@caldwell.edu or 973-618-3289.

Personal Responsibility

Students are responsible for their own safety and well-being at all times. To reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19, it is imperative that students practice good hygiene and safety protocols. Students are required to comply with this policy, including its face covering and social distancing provisions and are strongly encouraged to frequently wash their hands for 20 seconds or more, sanitize communal spaces before and after use, and wipe down items daily in their residential spaces, whether on or off campus.

Social Distancing and Common Space usage

With the exception of one’s own residential bedroom, students must always maintain at least 6 feet from another person(s) whether inside or outside. In stage 2 of the New Jersey reopening plan all common spaces will be closed. When New Jersey moves into stage 3 of the reopening plan, common spaces will be opened on a limited basis. All those utilizing common space(s) must maintain social distancing measures by staying 6 feet apart and wearing a face covering. There will be occupancy limits in any common spaces as well as in elevators. If the gym is able to operate, it will do so on a very limited basis with strict protocols for utilizing the space.

There will also be specific protocols required for use of the dining hall and Library during this time and all students are asked to adhere to them.

Face Coverings

As members of the university community, students must wear face coverings in all public and common indoor spaces at all times[MTL1] . Face coverings will also be required if and when you are accompanied by others in an outdoor setting, unless you are consuming food. Face coverings do not have to be worn in residential bedroom spaces for those who reside in that space. The University will provide each student with an initial face mask but students are responsible for obtaining multiple appropriate face coverings of their choice within C-book guidelines. Students must frequently wash and/or replace their face coverings.

Campus Visitors

While the New Jersey reopening plan is in effect, no outside visitors are permitted to enter campus, with the limited exception of daytime visits for University business and staff or faculty needs. Students should be prepared not to host any guest(s) in the residence halls while residing on campus. Limited visitation between residents of different campus residence halls may be permitted in phase 3, however, this too may be prohibited at any time to mitigate risks.

International Travel

Students who travel abroad to locations designated as Level 3 or Level 4 risk sites by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) must disclose their international travel to the University prior to returning to campus. The University retains the discretion to require those students to quarantine off campus for 14 days prior to returning to campus. Any student who develops COVID-19 symptoms while in quarantine, must begin an isolation period starting on the day of the first symptoms. The student will be cleared to return from isolation when they are found to be at least ten days from the date of the initial symptom and three days fever free without the use of antipyretic (fever-reducing) medications.  A student who does not develop symptoms during the 14 days of quarantine must be cleared by health services to return to campus. Students are expected to register their travel on the university travel form.

Domestic Travel

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change and evolve. As a result, the University reserves the right to require students who travel outside of the State of New Jersey to quarantine off campus for 14 days prior to returning to campus based upon any rules or guidance issued by the state of New Jersey due to COVID-19 outbreaks that may occur in other states. Any student who develops COVID-19 symptoms while in quarantine, must begin an isolation period starting on the day of the first symptoms. The student will be cleared to return from isolation when they are found to be at least ten days from the date of the initial symptom and three days fever free without the use of antipyretic (fever-reducing) medications.  A student who does not develop symptoms during the 14 days of quarantine must be cleared by health services to return to campus. Students are expected to register their travel on the university travel form.

COVID-19 Reporting Procedures

If a commuter student displays any COVID-19 symptoms, the student must seek medical attention from their health care provider (HCP). If a COVID-19 diagnosis is suspected or confirmed by laboratory test, the student must self-isolate for the recommended time period. The student must report the COVID-19 diagnosis to the Office of Health Services within one business day.  The student is prohibited from entering campus for any reason until their HCP deems the isolation period complete.  After being cleared by their HCP, the student must inform the Office of Health Services to obtain approval to return to campus.

If a residential student displays any COVID-19 symptoms, the student must seek medical attention from their health care provider (HCP). If a COVID-19 diagnosis is suspected or confirmed by laboratory test, the student must self-isolate for the recommended time period. Upon receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis, the student must immediately call the front desk and ask for the Graduate Resident Director on duty to contact them. The GRD will contact the student to provide further instructions. The Office of Residence Life will inform the Office of Health Services.

A residential student diagnosed with COVID-19 is required to travel home for the isolation period. After speaking with a member of Residence Life, the student will arrange for departure from campus through personal or family vehicle. At the discretion of the University, isolation arrangements may be made for students who cannot feasibly travel home for the isolation period. Once the student has vacated the residence hall they are prohibited from entering campus for any reason until their HCP deems the isolation period complete.  After being cleared by their HCP, the student must inform the Office of Health Services to obtain approval to return to campus.

Liability & Risk

All students understand they are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while on Caldwell’s campus. By choosing to enter campus and participate in in-person coursework and other activities, each student acknowledges and fully assumes the risk of illness or death related to COVID-19 and hereby RELEASES, WAIVES, DISCHARGES, AND COVENANTS NOT TO SUE (on behalf of themselves and any minor children for whom they have the capacity to contract) Caldwell and its officers, directors, agents, employees and assigns from any liability related to COVID-19 which might occur as a result of use of the Caldwell Campus and participation in Caldwell University in-person coursework and other activities.

Academic Calendar and Operational Procedures

The University will begin the fall 2020 semester as scheduled and move to online instruction following Thanksgiving break. Residence hall occupancy will end on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Students should be prepared to move to online instruction at that time and to return to their permanent off-campus home. There will be a special process for those seeking emergency housing due to special circumstances.

The University may choose to limit or suspend operations based upon the risks COVID-19 presents to the health and safety of the campus community. At any time, the University has the right to limit guests, close lounges and buildings, modify classes, reduce amenities and limit occupancy of spaces on campus.  The university will communicate with the campus community as soon as practicable as operational changes are implemented.   

Cleaning

The University has a cleaning protocol in place to sanitize high touch areas and clean common spaces/bathrooms in accordance with CDC recommended standards. At times, you may see facilities members cleaning areas throughout the day. Students must permit facilities staff to perform their daily cleaning duties without disruption. There will be sanitizing solution in each classroom and bathroom for student use so they can sanitize their spaces as necessary. Students are also strongly encouraged to have their own cleaning and sanitizing supplies.

Residential Specifics

Reassignment

As set forth in the housing contract and C-book, the University reserves the right to reassign and/or consolidate room assignments at any time for any reason. As the University takes the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of all students, the Office of Residence Life can cancel, move, or change occupancy of any room.

Force Majeure

As in the housing contract, The University assumes no responsibility for failure to perform any terms or conditions of this Agreement due to force majeure. For purposes of this Agreement, force majeure shall mean fire, earthquake, flood, act of God, weather disturbances, strikes, work stoppages or other labor disturbances, riots or civil commotions, litigation, pandemic or local epidemic or other similar acts beyond the control of the University. 

Accident or Injury

As set forth in the housing contract, The University cannot and does not assume responsibility for personal accident, injury or illness to residents, guests or visitors, and the student hereby releases the University and its personnel from any liability on account of any accident, injury, illness or loss not caused by the University’s gross negligence or intentional act or omission. As such, the university may not be held liable for any illness, including COVID-19, that a student may contract while residing in a Caldwell Residence Hall.