Student wearing a mask against a residence hall room.

Overview

In April 2021, Rutgers University announced that all students must obtain the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to campus. Students with religious and medical exemptions are not permitted to live in on-campus housing. The policy was intended to create herd immunity, decreasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Since the mandate was announced, it is now known that vaccinated individuals may not only become infected with COVID-19, specifically the Delta variant but potentially transmit the virus to others. The following protocol is intended to provide guidelines for testing and possible relocation of students living in on-campus residence halls on the New Brunswick campus. This protocol is based on recommendations of the New Jersey Office of Higher Education (Office of the Secretary of Higher Education – COVID-19 Resources (nj.gov) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) (cdc.gov). This protocol is subject to change based on the prevalence of COVID-19 positive numbers.

Symptomatic Students

If a student is experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Fever over 100.4 F or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Worsening or new onset of fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea

The student should notify Rutgers Student Health (RSH) at 848-932-7402 as soon as possible. If students have symptoms outside of normal business hours, they should call the RSH Nurseline at 1-800-890-5882 or go to the local urgent care of their choice.

If a student has any of these symptoms, they should stay in their residence as much as possible and wear a mask when going out beyond their residence. They should refrain from going to classes and accessing public spaces on campus such as student centers, dining halls, computer labs, and recreation centers among others.

If appropriate, RSH will direct the student to obtain a COVID-19 test kit at the nearest COVID-19 testing center. After completing and submitting the test, the student should remain in their residence room as much as possible until the results return (typically 24 hours, sometimes longer on weekends).

If a student living on-campus notifies Residence Life staff (Hall Director, Resident Assistant, Peer Mentor, Residence Life Coordinator, etc.) of their COVID-19 positive test, more information can be found below regarding housing protocols.

COVID-19 Positive Students in Residence Halls (Steps 1 – 5)

If the student tests positive for COVID-19, RSH will call the student, review the student’s living situation and determine whether Isolation housing is required, review health risks, length of isolation and determine close contacts of the student. Any COVID-positive student should monitor for symptoms and not attend in-person classes for 10 days beyond the start of their symptoms.

1. Living Situations

Students living in a traditional two per room corridor-style residence hall with shared bathrooms

  • COVID-19+ student transported to Isolation housing for length of time determined by RSH staff using the above protocol.
  • Roommate transported to alternative housing should be tested on or about day 5 after last exposure and again if symptoms develop. The student may move back to their permanent residence hall room if they have developed no symptoms and their PCR test done on day 5 is negative.

Students living in suite-style halls sharing a bedroom in a suite

  • COVID-19+ student transported to isolation housing for the length of time determined by RSH staff using the above protocol.
  • Roommate transported to alternative housing and gets tested on or about day 5 after last exposure and again if symptoms develop. The student may move back to their permanent residence hall room if they have developed no symptoms and their PCR test done on day 5 is negative.
  • Remaining suite-mates will be assessed for symptoms, possible exposure, advised to wear masks and permitted to stay in the suite. These students may come and go, but should always wear a mask when outside their room and should limit their locations to those that are essential. Suitemates tested 3-5 days post last exposure and again if symptoms develop and monitor for symptoms. Any testing positive will be moved to Isolation housing.

Students living in apartment style halls sharing a bedroom in an apartment

  • COVID-19+ student transported to isolation housing for the length of time determined by RSH staff using the above protocol.
  • Roommate transported to alternative housing and gets tested on or about day 5 after last exposure and again if symptoms develop. The student may move back to their permanent residence hall room if they have developed no symptoms and their PCR test done on day 5 is negative.
  • Remaining apartment-mates will be assessed for symptoms, possible exposure, advised to wear masks and permitted to stay in the apartment. These students may come and go, but should always wear a mask when outside their room and should limit their locations to those that are essential. Apartment-mates tested 3-5 days post last exposure and again if symptoms develop and monitor for symptoms. Any testing positive will be moved to Isolation housing.

Students living in apartment style units

  • COVID-19+ student in a single bedroom in an apartment transported to isolation housing.
  • Apartment-mates will be assessed for symptoms, possible exposure, advised to wear masks and permitted to stay in the apartment. All those in the apartment should be encouraged to minimize exposure to others within 10 days of last exposure. Apartment-mates tested 3-5 days post last exposure and again if symptoms develop and monitor for symptoms. Any testing positive will be moved to Isolation housing.

Students living in family housing units

  • Students in apartment-style living with their families should be offered Isolation housing but wishes may be respected if they choose to isolate in place. COVID-19 + students should minimize contact with their family members and refrain from going to class or work for 10 days post positive test.

2. Rutgers Student Health (RSH)

After RSH determines the status of the student in residence, they will notify Residence Life whether the student may stay in place or should move to quarantine or isolation housing. RSH will also notify Residence Life regarding any students considered “close contacts”.

3. Rutgers Environmental Health and Safety (REHS)

Residence Life will notify REHS to transport indicated students to either Isolation or alternate housing as necessary.

4. Dining

Students in alternate housing may go to Neilson dining hall to get takeout only (wearing masks and maintaining distance). Isolation students will order from Dining Services or off-campus providers with food delivered.

5. Return to Permanent Space

Residence Life works with the student to return them to their original assignment based on Health Services date of departure.

Quick Reference Chart


 

ISOLATION

Alternate Housing

SUITE/APARTMENT-MATE

Class Attendance

Should not go to class and should stay in apartment whenever possible.

Should not go to class.

 

May attend class, masked.

Dining Options

Order from Dining Services or off-campus providers with food to be delivered, masked.

May leave the apartment to get food takeout at Neilson dining hall or to receive  third-party delivery, masked.

May go to dining hall, masked.

Other 

May take a short walk, masked. Do laundry, masked.

Can take a walk and do laundry, masked.

Should limit non-essential leaving of suite/apartment but always wear a mask when out.

Quarantine and Isolation FAQs

What are protective measures residents should be aware of for increased health safety?

All students in residence halls should be reminded that COVID-19 vaccination confers a great amount of protection from severe illness, however public health safety measures are additive. The more protective measures followed the less likely one is to become ill.

  • Wear masks in indoor social settings
  • Wash hands
  • Maintain 6-feet of physical distance when possible
  • Utilize My Campus Pass daily to monitor symptoms. If My Campus Pass indicates an individual might be at risk, contact RSH.
  • Utilize My Campus Pass daily to monitor possible symptoms. Contact RSH at 848-932-7402 if My Campus Pass indicates that you may be at risk

Why do I have to go to Isolation or alternate housing?

Moving students to a less populated residential area helps prevent the spread of the virus. Students who have tested positive need to isolate because they could possibly infect others. People who are close to those who have tested positive (roommates etc.) will move to alternative housing until Health Services determines they have not developed the virus. You can separate yourself at home, at an off-campus location, or on-campus space provided by the university.

Do I have a contact for questions or other concerns?

In case of an emergency, call 911 or Rutgers University Police at 732-932-7211 (nonemergency).

For health-related concerns call your primary care physician or Health Services, Monday –Friday, 8:30 a.m. -5 p.m. For after-hours care (evenings, weekends, and holidays), Health Services can be reached out 848-932-7402. If you are experiencing severe coronavirus symptoms or experiencing a medical emergency, call 911. Please let them know you have been exposed to COVID-19.

For Facilities related issues, during business hours, please reach out to Facilities Call Center at 848-445-1234. After business hours, please reach out to the building staff on-call for further assistance. Any students should identify themselves as being in Isolation or alternative housing so staff can take the necessary safety steps to keep themselves safe while addressing maintenance concerns.

Each student will have a Residence Life Professional Staff member that will contact and check-in with them during the course of their stay in quarantine or isolation. For requests that may not be covered by the categories above, during business hours students can connect with their Residence Life Professional Staff contact. During non-business hours, students can contact building on-call staff by utilizing the numbers posted in that specific building.

Am I allowed to leave my room while in alternate or isolation housing?

Isolation: Very briefly to get fresh air or meet a delivery person but always masked. As students are knowingly positive, limiting movement to your room reduces the likelihood of further community spread.  

Alternate Housing: Students may only leave their space for specific reasons during this period and must wear a mask and practice social distancing. Approved reasons to leave your space:

  • Picking up food “to-go” from the closest dining hall
  • COVID Testing (instructions for testing procedures will be shared)
  • Completing necessary medical appointments with pre-approval
  • Taking out the garbage to the dumpster
  • Doing laundry (masks required and do not remain in the laundry room during wash and dry cycles)
  • Brief visits to the area directly outside your building for a breath of fresh air

How do I get food and drinks?

Altnerative Housing: You may order from third-party delivery services; or if you have a meal plan, you may go to Neilson dining hall for a takeout meal that you eat in your temporary space. If you prefer, you can order grocery delivery. You may leave your temporary apartment (masked) to receive third-party deliveries.*

Isolation: You cannot go to the dining halls. If you have a meal plan, you may order delivery from dining services. Or, you may order from third-party delivery or grocery delivery services. You must wear a mask when receiving your deliveries.*

*It is encouraged for students to order/pick up multiple meals at a time to reduce their need to travel back and forth from dining halls.

For the students in alternative housing, the hours of operation for Neilson Take-Out are as follows:

Monday-Thursday

7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Breakfast

12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lunch

5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Dinner

Friday 

7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Breakfast

12:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Lunch

Saturday 

11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Brunch

Sunday 

11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Brunch

5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Dinner

Am I able to go home instead of moving to a temporary residence hall?

Yes. Students can travel home to be with friends or family if desired. Students should communicate to Residence Life their travel plans. Building access will be removed until the student is approved to return to their permanent residential space. We advise students and families to follow guidance from public health officials on how to do so at home.  

Will I have a roommate?

Students in isolation could have a roommate if they have an on-campus housing contract. Students in isolation are all knowingly positive and having a roommate does not impact spread. If a student is in alternative housing due to exposure, they will not have a roommate. 

Am I allowed to have visitors?

No. You are being moved to lessen the chance of exposing other people to the virus, so no visitors will be allowed.  

What items should I bring?

Residents should review the suggested packing list. You will be able to pack up needed items from your room before moving.

What if I forget to bring or run out of a personal item or supply that I need?

If you forget an item or run out of an item or supply, please connect with your Residence Life contact to discuss item retrieval. If the item is determined to be essential, efforts will be made to have item/s delivered to you. Residence Life will not be able to provide prescription or over-the-counter medication.

If you need Rutgers Facilities provided supplies (trash bags or toilet paper), please reach out to Facilities Services to request supplies be dropped off to your temporary space. During business hours, please reach out to the Facilities Call Center.

After business hours, please reach out to the building RA on-call (number posted in the building). Please let the RA know you are in temporary housing so staff can take the necessary safety steps to keep themselves safe while addressing maintenance concerns. 

Am I allowed to have my Service or Support Animal with me?

Please let Residence Life staff know of your service and support animal and refer to the guidelines e-mailed regarding the care and feeding of your service or support animal.

How do I request an ADA accommodation for my housing needs?

If you require accommodations, please reach out the Residence Life Student Support Team. 

Who should I call if I need medical attention or I start to have symptoms?

Call your primary care physician or Student Health Services., Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. For after-hours care (evenings, weekends, and holidays), call Rutgers Student Health Advice Nurse Line at 800-890-5882. If you are experiencing severe coronavirus symptoms or experiencing a medical emergency, call 911. Please let them know you have been exposed to COVID-19. 

What if there’s a fire and I need to evacuate?

If you hear the fire alarm system sound, please evacuate the building immediately, wear a mask properly and be sure to maintain appropriate physical distancing in the emergency assembly point noted on the evacuation plans.  

How do I report a Facilities issue?

Please place a maintenance request to report any issues in your new space. If it is something that needs immediate attention, during business hours, please reach out to Facilities Call Center at 848-445-1234. After business hours, please reach out to the building’s RA on-call. Please identify yourself as being in temporary housing so staff can take the necessary safety steps to keep themselves safe while addressing maintenance concerns. In order for Facilities to enter your space, someone will reach out asking for the following:

  • Best time to enter the apartment.
  • Ask you to open windows in living room and unoccupied bed room.
  • Ask you go into your room and close the door one hour before Facilities enters the apartment and stay in your room for the duration of them addressing the concern.
  • Facilities enter the apartment at the designated time and spray Enviro Care Neutral Disinfectant in the work area, wait until area is dry and proceed to work and safely proceed to correct the problem.

What mental health resources are available to me?

Your Residence Life contact person will regularly check-in to see how you are doing. Also, CAPS is offering teletherapy and other remote opportunities for engaging in conversations. Please visit CAPS website http://health.rutgers.edu/medical-counseling-services/counseling/. There are also free after-hours support lines that can assist students in crisis, http://health.rutgers.edu/general-resources/emergency-information/

Recreation Services:

Student Activities, clubs, organizations events:

Health Education & Promotion Events

Cultural Collaborative

When will I be able to move back to my permanent housing?

Student Health Services determines the length of stay. You will receive a confirmation from Student Health Services and Residence Life as to your move-out date a few days before it occurs. Masks should still be worn in all settings.

What do I need to do to move-out?

Move Out Checklist:

  • Pack and remove all your personal belongings from the entire living space (suite or apartment)
  • Clear and wipe down all your drawers/tables/ beds, etc..
  • Take out any trash you may have to the community dumpster
  • Place a work order for any broken or non-working items in your space.
  • Do a final walkthrough to ensure you have all your items and nothing is left in the space as you will no longer have access to the space.

When you complete your move, to return your key

Go to the PAL building to return your key

  1.  Fill out the information asked on the envelope.
  2. Please place your key(s) in the envelope.
  3. Seal the envelope and drop it in the key drop.

Where do I go on my vacating date?

Students will return to their original residence hall room or apartment once you are released. Move-out dates are determined by Health Services. Leading up to a student’s move-out date, you will receive an email that outlines move-out instructions including move-out timeline, where to return their key, removal of trash and personal belongings.  

What transportation options do I have to return to my permanent assignment?

Most students are using Rutgers buses, friends or family, taxis, or a ride app (Uber, Lyft, etc.) if they do not have a car. Residence Life can provide transportation to your permanent room assignment. Because this has to be scheduled, you may have to wait for a ride longer than you may wish. These rides are curb-to-curb, so you will need to move your belongings to the curb and into the car, and then out of the car and to your permanent room. To schedule transportation, complete the Return Information Form at least 4 days in advance of your departure. We cannot accommodate late requests.

Move-Out Day

 

Form Completion Deadline

Saturday

Thursday prior

Sunday

Thursday prior

Monday

Thursday prior

Tuesday

Sunday prior

Wednesday

Monday prior

Thursday

Tuesday prior

Friday

Wednesday prior

If my temporary housing is in a different parking zone will I be ticketed by Transportation Services?

All residents that have personal vehicles on campus should have a student parking permit. While you are in temporary housing, you may park in the resident student lot near that temporary building. If there are any concerns, you can contact the Department of Transportation Services directly.  

I’m concerned about my privacy, who will know about this?

Student information is protected by FERPA and medical information is protected by HIPAA. However, during a public health emergency, information may be shared with public health agencies on a need-to-know basis only. 

Does a negative COVID test mean I can return to my permanent room sooner?

Yes. You will be asked to take a COVID PCR test on or about the fifth day after exposure. If this test comes back negative, you will be allowed to return to your original room. 

If I need academic accommodations, what should I do?

Students should inform their professors of their situation. Professors have been advised to provide the student with reasonable accommodations. For additional support, you may schedule a virtual appointment with the Dean of Students by emailing deanofstudents@echo.rutgers.edu. The Dean of Students is available Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm.

What happens to my mail? What if I need a package?

All packages and mail should be delivered to your typical Rutgers mailing address. Please contact Rutgers Mailing Services if you require a package/mail extension. If there are packages that are critical to your temporary stay, please discuss this with Mailing Services and your Residence Life contact person. 

Where is isolation and alternate housing located?

The university has designated specific halls for this purpose. Students will be given their assignments when contacted regarding the need to move.

Who can I talk to about the financial impacts of this?

There are resources on campus that may be able to help in the case of financial hardship and other circumstances which heavily impact you. You may schedule a virtual appointment with the Dean of Students by emailing deanofstudents@rutgers.edu. The Dean of Students is available Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm. You may also reach out to Residence Life Student Support at rlstudentsupport@rutgers.edu  to schedule a support meeting and review helpful resources on campus. Student Support is available Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm.