President Susan Cole made the decision to allow Montclair State University students to move into dorms mid-August and to reopen campus on Aug. 25 for classes. However, in the midst of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, three recent cases have been reported.
One confirmed case was by a student living on campus who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, Aug. 22 and was last seen on campus on Thursday, Aug. 20. This student was told not to return until she fully recovered and her close contacts were also told to quarantine for 14 days. An employee also tested positive in the same week on Tuesday, Aug. 18 and was last on campus the same day of her confirmed case.
The most recent reported case was by another student living on campus who tested positive on Friday, Aug. 29, and was last seen on campus as of Wednesday, Aug. 22. This individual was also told to quarantine for 14 days and to fully recover before safely returning to campus.
While these were the only three confirmed cases on campus since the start of the fall semester, students are still required to wear face coverings, properly social distance, wash their hands often and complete the daily Hawk Check application before returning to campus.
Andrew Mees, the senior media relations specialist at Montclair State, confirmed the accuracy of these reported cases.
“We will share information about every confirmed case that we know of in which the infected person was on campus during the time that he or she may have been able to infect other people,” Mees said.
As for the Hawk Check application, if a student who lives off-campus answers yes to any of the questions, they should remain off-campus and may receive a call from the University Health Center. For any student living on-campus, if they answer yes to any of the questions, they should self-isolate in their dorms and contact the University Health Center. After being in self-isolation for at least 14 days, they will be able to return to campus activities.
Mike Faican Juca, a senior exercise science major, was unaware of the reported cases until it was mentioned to him, and believes that Montclair State opened too quickly.
“I’m not surprised that there was already [three] cases,” Juca said. “I feel like it wasn’t the best idea to fully open the campus, especially since there are plenty of students that come from out of state from COVID-19 hotspots.”
Nicole Mulligan, a sophomore psychology major, also believes that Montclair State opened too quickly.
“I was not happy with campus opening in the first place because of high-risk students like myself,” Mulligan said. “They are putting so many people at risk for this virus.”
Adriana Fanizza, a freshman pre-major, is happy that campus opened but is still wary about students traveling.
“I am kinda scared and upset. I know people from campus have been going to [New York CIty] then coming back like nothing happened,” Fanizza said. “I am happy the campus opened and wary. I just hope they know what they are doing.”
The university reports all confirmed COVID-19 cases on their website and is updated every Friday.