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Alerts: Coronavirus

The following FAQs reflect the Seminary’s current coronavirus guidelines and resources. These FAQs will be updated as needed.

For Students

Health

What do I do if I feel sick or had possible exposure to the virus?

There are several symptoms associated with COVID-19, ranging from mild to severe. If you have any of these symptoms listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 (even though you may not be experiencing symptoms), please follow the guidelines below:

  • Please stay at home. If you are on campus, please return to your residence.
  • If you are sharing an apartment, please isolate from your roommate.
  • Consult with your medical doctor on how to respond to symptoms or determine level of risk from possible exposure.
  • Complete the confidential Health Notification Form online.

The Health and Wellness Team will be in conversation with you regarding notification of faculty or supervisors, and anything else you might need.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you receive notification of positive test results, you should get medical guidance from a physician. We do not provide health services on campus. In addition to following medical care instructions, please be certain to complete the confidential Health Notification Form.

What should I do if I was instructed to isolate or quarantine following a COVID-19 diagnosis?

This means that you are not to leave your residence for any reason except for medical care. This also means that you should not have anyone from the community in your residence.

If you are in a shared living situation, you may have the option of moving to a quarantine apartment. The Health and Wellness Team can also arrange for additional support that you need.

Will my positive test results be shared?

The Health and Wellness Team will need to communicate with the community if there are individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. However, your name will not be shared with the community. Everything will be done to assure your privacy and confidentiality.

Note that positive tests results will be reported to the local Board of Health by testing sites. They will be in touch with you regarding contact tracing, as well as the Seminary’s Health and Wellness team regarding contract tracing in our community.

What are the guidelines if I am living in quarantine as a precautionary measure?

If you are instructed to quarantine as a precautionary measure, for example if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have returned from a state that is on the New Jersey State list, you may only leave your residence to get medical care, groceries, and medication.

You must wear a face covering, maintain physical distancing, and practice rigorous hand washing.

Who is defined to be a close contact?

According to the CDC, a close contact is defined as anyone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.

What should secondary contacts do? I am not sick but I have been in the proximity of someone who is under self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.

Being a secondary contact does not require you to self-quarantine. You would only self-quarantine if you are a close contact of a presumptive or confirmed coronavirus case. You should continue to monitor yourself for symptoms. If you notice that you have symptoms and feel that you need to be medically evaluated, contact your health care provider and stay home.

What should tertiary contacts do? If I have been in contact with someone who has had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, what do I do?

Being in contact with someone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 does not require testing. For example, if you have a coworker whose family member is a confirmed case, you would not need to be tested. Despite coming into contact with the coworker, you did not have close contact with the person who actually has COVID-19.

Monitor yourself for symptoms and practice good hand hygiene. If you notice that you have symptoms, contact your health care provider and stay home.

I’ve been vaccinated. Who should I notify?

We request that all students, student spouses, and employees who are completely vaccinated please submit a copy of your vaccination record to the health team through the vaccination form. All information will be kept confidential.

Academics

Are summer language courses taking place?

Summer language courses this year will be fully online, as they were last summer. Courses will include daily synchronous elements (live online meetings at scheduled times) and asynchronous elements (independent work to be completed on your own time). Students should be prepared to dedicate several hours each weekday to course work, including attending live web conferences, interacting with recorded lectures, participating in virtual study groups, taking quizzes and tests, and joining cohort discussions.

Additional information on summer language courses will be available soon.

When will the fall semester begin?

The fall semester will begin on September 2.

Will fall classes be in person or online?

It is our hope to return to our classrooms in the fall semester, or at least have in-person components for most classes. Planning is currently underway for a variety of scenarios for in-person learning in the fall, about which we are now in conversation with our faculty. Our plans will depend on public health conditions and the availability of the vaccine.

The degree and scale of in-person learning in the fall will depend, among other factors, on the percentage of the community that has been vaccinated. The Health and Wellness Team remains in close contact with our local public health officials about vaccine availability.

I don’t have a computer. How can I participate in digital classes?

Please contact help.desk@ptsem.edu for assistance. IT Support Services will help ensure you have access to a computer.

How do I join a live class session?

All you need is the internet and a computer, phone, or tablet. Click here to learn how to find your Webex class link in Brightspace. Click on the following links to learn how to:

What if I can’t join a live class session?

We understand that a number of issues may prevent you from joining a live class session (losing your internet connection, a time zone change, or other demands on your time). If you expect to miss a session or have ongoing concerns about attendance, please talk with your instructor. If you unexpectedly miss a session, please email your instructor to let them know that you will view the recording when it is available.

What do I do if my kids are at home, or if I have roommates or other family?

We understand that many of you are working at home alongside family or other roommates. Try to join the live class, if possible, and feel free to use the mute and video off features as needed. If, for personal reasons, you are unable to attend a live class session and a recording is available, be sure to watch it on your own time.

Who can I contact when I need support or accommodations for specific challenges?

If you have ongoing challenges that prevent you from staying on track with a particular class, please reach out to the instructor first. For academic issues that your instructor cannot or does not address, contact Academic Support (academic.support@ptsem.edu). If you are dealing with an illness or other personal challenges, contact the dean of Student Life (deanofstudentlife@ptsem.edu). If you need support navigating Webex and/or Brightspace, please contact the Office of Digital Learning (learning@ptsem.edu), IT Support Services (help.desk@ptsem.edu), or Brightspace (brightspace@ptsem.edu).

Can I use Webex on my own to meet with other students?

Yes! You are able to host a meeting yourself. Feel free to use this to collaborate with others on your own time. To learn how to schedule a meeting on the website, click here. To learn how to schedule a meeting on the desktop application, click here. To learn how to use your personal meeting room, click here.

Student Life

What are the Seminary’s plans for commencement?

We will hold virtual commencement exercises this May for our graduates. This will allow every graduate to participate, regardless of their current location, and to do so safely. A committee chaired by Dean John White, and including representatives from the graduating class, will be planning these virtual festivities. We trust that the Spirit will bring us together across the miles in virtual celebration, even as we look forward to a future time when we can gather on campus for in-person celebrations and reunions.

More information regarding this year’s virtual commencement will be forthcoming.

Is campus housing available next year?

We anticipate welcoming all students back to campus housing in Witherspoon, CRW, and Tennent-Roberts apartments, as well as the newly renovated Brown Hall, which now has private bathrooms in all suites. We expect that Alexander Hall and Hodge Hall will remain closed next fall to minimize shared living facilities.

Can I bring outside visitors to campus?

We ask that you do not bring outside visitors into the Seminary community for the remainder of the academic year. Even fully vaccinated individuals can carry the virus, and we have too many unvaccinated individuals in our dense residential community who are at risk. This will help us manage the health and wellness of our community, especially if contact tracing needs to be done. This includes significant others and non-resident family members.

Can I travel?

As per the CDC guidelines, we strongly request that you do not travel except for essential needs such as school, employment, obtaining groceries, and attending medical appointments.

For those who are away for an extended period of time, it is expected that students and/or family members will monitor their health for COVID-related symptoms for 10 days prior to returning to campus. It is expected that students and/or family members will refrain from participating in behaviors that would increase the risk of exposure to COVID for 10 days prior to returning to campus.

If you need to travel, please complete the Travel Notification Form. If you leave your Seminary housing for more than 24 hours, you will be required to self-quarantine for 10 days upon your return. This includes individuals who have been fully vaccinated, per current public health guidelines.

Will the Seminary require a period of self-quarantine upon my arrival to campus?

Following CDC guidelines, we recommend limiting all non-essential travel. If you must travel, it is your responsibility to follow New Jersey guidelines and self-quarantine upon your arrival to campus for 10 days. The travel quarantine is required for all residents who leave their Seminary housing for more than 24 hours, including travel within New Jersey. The travel quarantine includes individuals who have been fully vaccinated, per current public health guidelines.

Please complete this form to notify the Princeton Seminary Health and Wellness Team of the date you plan to return, which will begin your 10-day quarantine.

What are my responsibilities when quarantining?

The parameters of a travel quarantine are as follows:

  • Students and/or family members will remain in their residences during a quarantine, except for getting groceries, going to medical appointments, or to remove trash or recycling.
  • You may leave your residence to take a walk or run on your own, wearing a face covering at all times. It is imperative that you do not interact with others and avoid crowds. Please do not use the canal path, which is widely used by Princeton-area residents as well as Seminary residents.
  • When leaving your residence during a travel quarantine, wash your hands, wear a face covering, and keep physical distance of six feet or more from others at all times.
  • It is expected that individuals will not leave their residence for in-person employment or field education during a travel quarantine. We ask that residents please be mindful of when they may need to return to work on site so that the 10-day quarantine period may be completed.
  • Students and/or family members will not welcome other mem­bers of the Seminary community into their residence during the 10 days.
  • All residents must complete the full 10-day travel quarantine, even if they have a negative COVID test.
  • The travel quarantine will end after 10 days if individuals do not experience any symptoms during that time period. If individuals experience any symptoms of COVID-19 during the quarantine period, they should notify the Health and Wellness Team for guidance and support.

What are my responsibilities when quarantining with a roommate?

It is the responsibility of the person who has traveled to protect their roommate(s) in their residence. It is expected that the person who has traveled will spend the majority of their time in their own room. In addition, the person quarantining will:

  • Wear a face covering when in common spaces.
  • Wipe down shared surfaces in kitchens and restrooms prior to and after each use and wash all kitchenware immediately after each use. It is best not to share food or serving utensils.
  • Communicate with their roommate/s to be certain there is an agreed upon understanding of the travel quarantine and that everyone feels comfortable.

Will the dorms be open next year?

The newly renovated Brown Hall, which now has private bathrooms in all suites, will be open. We expect that Alexander Hall and Hodge Hall will remain closed next fall to minimize shared living facilities. Campus apartments will remain open.

I am fully vaccinated. What does this mean in the context of the Seminary’s guidelines?

You are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after you have received the second dose of a two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna), or two weeks after receiving the single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson.) If you are fully vaccinated, please submit your vaccination record online.

We ask that fully vaccinated individuals please:

  • Continue to wear a face covering and keep physical distancing when outside of your residence
  • Keep all health protocols in place when with unvaccinated individuals, or members of your household who are unvaccinated and at risk for COVID-19
  • Quarantine and consult your health care provider regarding testing if you develop symptoms of COVID-19
  • Maintain a travel quarantine if you travel from the area for more than 24 hours

Indoor visits with other fully vaccinated people are likely low risk. In such circumstances, you do not need to wear a face covering or maintain physical distance from one another.

Are we allowed to have outdoor gatherings with Seminary community members?

As the weather improves, we encourage con­necting with your friends and neighbors out­side. We are increasing the outdoor number for social gatherings to 20 if the group can wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. If you are sitting outside, at a distance of six feet or more, you may remove your face coverings. At the end of March, tents will be placed at CRW and Roberts/Tennent. Tents can be reserved by contacting the Office of Student Life.

Are we allowed to have indoor gatherings with Seminary community members?

For unvaccinated individuals, if you meet inside a residence with others who are not in your household, please maintain physical distancing and wear a face covering. Please note Seminary apartments can safely accommodate three guests.

Indoor visits where all individuals are fully vaccinated are likely low risk. In such circumstances, you do not need to wear a face covering or maintain physical distance from one another.

Can I attend chapel in person?

We have approved up to 25 to gather inside of the Chapel provided face coverings and physical distancing are maintained. Singing continues to be limited to one cantor for each service. There will be a sign-up form, and additional information will be forthcoming.

What’s happening with the fitness center, fitness classes, and sport events?

Seasonal yoga and fitness classes have resumed and take place online or outdoors. Please contact the Office of Student Life for more information.

The basketball court, exercise room, gym, and fitness center will remain closed until further notice.

I have a preexisting health condition that puts me at increased risk. Who can I contact for support?

If you or a family member has a health condition that puts you at increased risk, we invite you to keep in communication with the Health and Wellness Team for confidential support.

Who can I contact for emotional support and care?

The concept of social distancing is a difficult one to embrace even though we understand its benefits for our community. We are mindful that this may create isolation and anxiety for members of our community. If you are feeling anxious or unsettled, please feel free to email Rev. Jan Ammon or Rev. Wanda Sevey, director of Student Counseling. We are very glad to meet with you to talk and pray. We will also be creating opportunities for support and care as these days unfold.

How do I address concerns?

We hope that the Seminary’s Health and Wellness Guidelines will enable us all to navigate this complex season. However, if you encounter a situation that raises any concerns for your health and wellness or the health and wellness of others, we ask that you please consider the following:

  • Please approach situations with kindness and grace. These are such tough times.
  • If you have a concern, please address a person directly if you feel safe doing so. It is always best to approach a conversation speaking out of the “I.” For example, “I would feel more comfortable if you would please cover your nose with your mask. Thank you.”
  • If you do not feel comfortable approaching a per­son or the person has regularly been out of compli­ance with the Health and Wellness Guidelines, we are creating a Health and Wellness Concern Form that you may complete and submit. The form will go to Rev. Yedea Walker in the Office of Student Life Office for follow up.

Please do not call Security for concerns about the health guidelines.

Can I still go to campus? What about town?

For your health and safety and the health and safety of others, it is recommended you limit your travel. Only leave campus for essential services.

What are the hours of operation for the mailroom?

Please see below for times when students can receive services, including pick-up of mail and packages:

Mon: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tue: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Wed: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Thu: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Fri: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Outside of the hours listed above, students will have access to their mailboxes using their Seminary ID cards from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Please enter the mailroom via the student lounge door, on the side of Mackay Campus Center near the steps. Please be sure to remember your mailbox key.

Mailroom staff will go to the post office on Mondays and Thursdays only, therefore all outgoing USPS mail will go to the Post office on those days.

What happens if I incur a significant amount of absences due to illness?

Students who miss classes due to a documented illness should inform the dean of Student Life and their specific situations will be addressed individually.

What are the Seminary’s guidelines regarding the playgrounds at CRW and Roberts/Tennent?

The playground is for Princeton Seminary families only. We are sorry that we cannot welcome outside visitors at this time. For any child using the playground, parental presence and supervision is required to help keep health and wellness protocols.

When using the playground, please:

  • Use hand sanitizer prior to and after equipment use
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet between each child or family unit
  • Use face coverings for adults and children above three years of age when others are on the playground
  • Be mindful of your time on the equipment if other children are waiting to play

Please do not go to the playground if you or your child are not feeling well or if you have been exposed to someone who possibly has COVID-19. Note that playgrounds will be closed each day for cleaning between 8:30-9 a.m. and 1-1:30 p.m.


For Employees

Health

What do I do if I feel sick or had possible exposure to the virus?

There are several symptoms associated with COVID-19, ranging from mild to severe. If you have any of these symptoms listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 (even though you may not be experiencing symptoms), please follow the guidelines below:

  • Please stay at home.
  • Consult with your medical doctor on how to respond to symptoms or determine level of risk from possible exposure.
  • Notify your supervisor and complete the confidential Health Notification Form online.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you receive notification of positive test results, you should get medical guidance from a physician. In addition to following medical care instructions, please be certain to complete the confidential Health Notification Form.

What should I do if I was instructed to isolate or quarantine following a COVID-19 diagnosis?

Please do not come to campus for any reason. Health guidelines dictate that you should not leave your residence for any reason except for medical care.

Will my positive test results be shared?

The Health and Wellness Team will need to communicate with the community if there are individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. However, your name will not be shared with the community. Everything will be done to assure your privacy and confidentiality

Note that positive tests results are reported to the local Board of Health by testing sites. They will be in touch with you regarding contact tracing, as well as the Seminary’s Health and Wellness team regarding contract tracing in our community.

What are the guidelines if I am living in quarantine as a precautionary measure?

If you are instructed to quarantine as a precautionary measure, for example if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have returned from a state that is on the New Jersey State list, you are not permitted on campus and should only leave your residence to get medical care, groceries, and medication.

You must wear a face covering, maintain physical distancing, and practice rigorous hand washing.

Who is defined to be a close contact?

According to the CDC, a close contact is defined as anyone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.

What should secondary contacts do? I am not sick but I have been in the proximity of someone who is under self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.

Being a secondary contact does not require you to self-quarantine. You would only self-quarantine if you are a close contact of a presumptive or confirmed coronavirus case. You should continue to monitor yourself for symptoms. If you notice that you have symptoms and feel that you need to be medically evaluated, contact your health care provider and stay home.

What should tertiary contacts do? If I have been in contact with someone who has had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, what do I do?

Being in contact with someone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 does not require testing. For example, if you have a coworker whose family member is a confirmed case, you would not need to be tested. Despite coming into contact with the coworker, you did not have close contact with the person who actually has COVID-19.

Monitor yourself for symptoms and practice good hand hygiene. If you notice that you have symptoms, contact your health care provider and do not come to work.

I’ve been vaccinated. Who should I notify?

We request that all students, student spouses, and employees who are completely vaccinated please submit a copy of your vaccination record to the health team through the vaccination form. All information will be kept confidential.

Workplace

How are work spaces being cleaned?

Seminary cleaning services will regularly clean and disinfect common spaces throughout the day. Hand sanitizing stations and disinfecting wipes will be available in certain common spaces, and instructions will be posted regarding their use.

Community members are responsible for cleaning our own personal items and workspaces including phones and computers.

Please clean or disinfect any items before and after sharing with someone else. It is best not to readily share items that cannot easily be cleaned or disinfected, such as papers or books.

What are social distancing measures?

Each department has developed and implemented a social distancing plan that is appropriate to their work and schedule. This may include:

  • Encouraging employees to work from home whenever possible
  • Allowing for flexible work hours
  • Limiting in-person meetings and using digital technology to communicate whenever possible
  • Avoiding large meetings or meetings in rooms that cannot hold at least three times the number of persons

Managers have developed departmental social distancing policies for their teams. You should talk with your manager about expectations for social distancing.

Do I have to come to work if I’m concerned, at risk, or have preexisting conditions?

Employees who are able to fulfill their job responsibilities remotely will continue their work with a normal schedule. Employees may choose to use paid time off (PTO) in accordance with the Seminary’s regular policy.

If you are at particular risk because of preexisting conditions and your duties cannot be performed remotely, please contact HR for further guidance.

How do I address concerns?

We hope that the Seminary’s Health and Wellness Guidelines will enable us all to navigate this complex season. However, if you encounter a situation that raises any concerns for your health and wellness or the health and wellness of others, we ask that you please consider the following:

  • Please approach situations with kindness and grace. These are such tough times.
  • If you have a concern, please address a person directly if you feel safe doing so. It is always best to approach a conversation speaking out of the “I.” For example, “I would feel more comfortable if you would please cover your nose with your mask. Thank you.”
  • For employees, if you do not feel comfortable approaching a person, please reach out to your supervisor or the Office of Human Resources.
  • Please do not call Security for concerns about the health guidelines.

How do I handle my childcare if schools are closed?

Confer with your manager about changes in work location or flexible hours that may help to accommodate caregiving. If the Seminary is open, you are expected to work a full schedule and perform your job as assigned. Employees may choose to use paid time off (PTO) in accordance with the Seminary’s regular policy.

What happens if I incur a significant amount of absences due to illness?

Employees should reference the salary continuation policy in Section III of the employee handbook under “Disability Leaves of Absence.” For questions regarding work policies, employees can contact Human Resources.

How will my pay be affected if I’m required to work more than my normal hours due to employee shortages?

Current pay practices and overtime rules are in effect for all employees.

I was away from home for more than 24 hours. Do I need to fill out a Travel Notification Form?

For employees, if you travel away from your home for more than a 24-hour time period, we ask that you submit a Travel Notification Form and please do not return to campus until cleared by the Health and Wellness Team to do so. This includes employees who have been fully vaccinated.

What are the hours of operation for the mailroom?

Please see below for times when you can receive services, including pick-up of mail and packages:

Mon: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tue: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Wed: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Thu: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Fri: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Everyday from 7:15 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., employees will have access to their mailboxes using their Seminary ID cards. Please enter the mailroom via the student lounge door (on the side of Mackay Campus Center near the steps). Please be sure to remember your mailbox key.

Mailroom staff will go to the post office on Mondays and Thursdays only, therefore all outgoing USPS mail will go to the Post office on those days.

Mail will not be delivered to offices or departments.

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Associate Rector at Trinity Church, Princeton, New Jersey

Nancy Hagner, Class of 2013

“Preaching is one of the most important things we do as pastors. You get to challenge people’s minds and hearts, as the gospel challenges all of us.”