With the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching, there are several COVID-related precautions we would like you to be mindful of as you plan to travel and/or visit with family and friends over break. The majority of United States counties (including those in New Jersey) were experiencing very high or extremely high Covid-19 transmission in early November. Unvaccinated individuals are at high risk of becoming infected and transmitting the virus to others. The risks to vaccinated individuals is considerably lower, but not insignificant.
Here are some simple steps you can take to help keep you and those around you healthy this holiday season:
- Consider getting a COVID test before you leave for break and when you return. Testing is available on-campus through Tuesday, November 23 and resumes Monday, November 29. To schedule an appointment, go to https://fall2021.tcnj.edu/health-and-wellness/on-campus-covid-testing-information-and-faqs/.
- COVID tests offer snapshots, not forecasts. To locate COVID testing during break, see https://my.castlighthealth.com/corona-virus-testing-sites/. NOTE: Unvaccinated students and employees with an approved exemption are required to maintain the once per week (every 7 days) testing the week of November 22.
- Receive a COVID-19 booster shot, if eligible, and upload the record into OWL (students) or Oracle (employees). To find a vaccine, see https://www.vaccines.gov/search/. NJ eligibility criteria can be found HERE.
- Flu season has arrived at TCNJ! Be sure to receive a flu shot now. Students: please upload your flu vaccination record into OWL. To locate a flu vaccination, see https://www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines/. *COVID vaccination does not protect against Influenza (flu) and a Flu vaccination does not provide protection against COVID-19.
- If traveling within the U.S., check out the NY Times COVID risk map.
- If traveling internationally, check out the CDC travel recommendations by destination.
- Mask up in crowded indoor areas or around high-risk people when you can’t avoid these situations. Masks are also required in travel hubs and on public transportation regardless of vaccination status.
- Always have a mask with you in case you need it.
- Singing, yelling, laughing, and shouting propel droplets into the air – keep your distance.
- Take extra precautions if you will be gathering with people from other parts of the country or from different households that include unvaccinated people or those at high risk of severe illness.
If you develop COVID-like symptoms:
- Isolate yourself from others.
- Complete the ROAR app Daily Self Checkup.
- Get tested for COVID-19 and Influenza (Flu). The similarities and differences between Flu and COVID-19 can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm. Students: Upload your test report into OWL.
If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are fully vaccinated (2 weeks or more has passed since completing COVID vaccination):
- Quarantine is not necessary as long as you do not develop symptoms of COVID-19.
- Update the ROAR app Daily Self Checkup
- Get tested for COVID 5-7 days after the exposure and monitor for symptoms.
- Wear a mask in public indoor places for 14 days following exposure or until your test result is negative.
- If symptoms develop, get tested right away.
- Students: Upload your test report into OWL.
If you are exposed to someone with COVID and you are not fully vaccinated:
- Quarantine for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- Update the ROAR app Daily Self Checkup
- Get tested right away. If negative, test again in 5-7 days after the last exposure & immediately if you develop COVID-like symptoms. Students: upload your test reports into OWL.
- Remain in quarantine regardless of a negative test for 14 days.
To better gauge the rate of infection after the Thanksgiving holiday and allow a more timely and effective response to any significant spike, Bergen New Bridge will be conducting random testing on campus of a portion of the campus community during the week of November 29. This random testing applies only to vaccinated individuals because unvaccinated community members are already subject to weekly testing. Please keep an eye out for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you receive a notification that you have been selected for random testing, please follow the instructions in the email message to schedule your test immediately.
Thank you for doing your part to keep our community healthy. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.