The director of the University Health Center, Patricia Ruiz, announced via email on March 12 that an employee at Montclair State University tested positive for the new coronavirus. The individual was last on campus Friday, Feb. 28, and did not have symptoms of the new virus when they left the campus.
The university believes the risk of transmitting the new coronavirus which causes the disease, COVID-19, to other members of the campus community remains low. According to Karen Pennington, the vice president of student development and campus life, the Montclair Public Health Department is gathering information about the patient and will get in touch with anyone who had been in close contact with them.
Really wish the corona virus would end and the world could go back to normal
— Courtney (@Court_Lamourt98) March 12, 2020
The email also informed members about how the virus is spread between people being in close contact with one another. According to Ruiz, it’s typically spread within six feet from the infected individual. It is also transmitted when a person coughs or sneezes.
Montclair State students have expressed concern over the new coronavirus. Jillian Padovan, a sophomore physical education major, is concerned about the spread of the virus.
“To be honest, it’s scary to hear that an employee in our university has tested positive for the [new coronavirus],” Padovan said. “This virus is rapidly spreading and it’s crazy how it started in China and then came all the way to New Jersey, and then even specifically got to our university. We all have to be cautious now and realize how much this virus is spreading.”
#Msu extended the spring break which made sense(like #bcc) but I can’t believe we will be online for the rest of the semester. What about my in class group presentations or my in person psychology lectures? Will my professors stream video in place of in person lectures on Canvas?
— Victoria E. Alizo (@VictoriaEAlizo) March 11, 2020
The university sent out ways for members of the campus to reduce the risk of contracting and transmitting the virus. As previously announced, most classes at Montclair State will resume online on March 23 to prevent further infection. Students are still allowed to visit the university during the semester as residence halls and dining halls will remain open.
So does that mean I get reimbursed for my parking pass?!?!?!?
— Jerry Gibbs (@JerryGibbs825) March 10, 2020
Currently, the residence halls are not currently issuing any refunds for students who choose to leave. Residence Life will be updating students with more information as the situation unfolds.
Tara Macchione, a sophomore communication and media arts major, feels that the steps being taken by the university are necessary.
“It is a good thing that Montclair State as a whole is keeping us informed about the updates of the [new coronavirus] on campus,” Macchione said. “I believe that helps calm a lot of anxiety among the members of the community and I also believe [Montclair State] is taking the right cautionary steps by extending spring break and holding classes online for the remainder of the semester.”
As scientists and researchers better understand COVID-19, Montclair State will continue its usual operations in the near future.