Dear Seminary Community,
As we prepare to begin the fall semester, we look forward to gathering together in-person again in classrooms and the workplace. Given the rising number of cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey and around the country we are taking a layered approach of many measures to keep our community safe, including requiring vaccination for all people, using face coverings, and improving air ventilation across campus.
Some of the most important means of keeping our community safe rest upon the daily, faithful actions of individuals, including washing your hands regularly and staying home if you feel ill. Keeping our campus healthy this fall semester must be a community-wide effort.
Fall Health Guidelines
Our fall health guidelines have been developed in accord with the most recent guidance from the CDC and local public health officials. Our guidelines will be reviewed regularly through the semester and updated accordingly as conditions change.
Please read these guidelines closely for information about protocols in classrooms, around campus, and during move-in days. Highlights include:
- We will begin the semester requiring face coverings indoors for all people, regardless of vaccination status. This is due to the current surge in cases and the fact that we will be welcoming people from many different parts of the country and the world to campus at the start of the year. We will regularly review this policy through the semester.
- Vaccination against COVID-19 is required for all students and all employees. Those who are not able to receive the vaccine and are granted exemptions will be expected to comply with additional health measures, including participating in COVID-19 testing as requested and maintaining quarantine after travel as necessary.
- Vaccination is expected for all campus visitors and guests.
Keeping our community healthy is a responsibility that belongs to each one of us. Please be sure to:
- Monitor yourself for symptoms every day and do not attend class or come to campus if you are feeling ill.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who does, please notify the health team immediately through the COVID-19 Notification form.
We are also taking measures across campus to provide a safe environment for learning and working. This includes:
- Daily cleaning and disinfection of common spaces and high-touch surfaces across campus.
- Ventilation systems in campus buildings have been upgraded to ensure air quality, including upgrading filters to MERV-13 rating, which is the CDC-recommended level for capturing small particles in the air, and increasing buildings to a minimum of 30 - 40% outside air intake.
- All ventilation equipment in campus buildings will be running constantly and monitored regularly.
I am very grateful to Jan Ammon and Anne Stewart, who have guided our health and wellness efforts since the beginning of the pandemic. They have been instrumental in keeping our community safe and in developing the health guidelines that this constantly changing situation has required. In the coming academic year, a health consultant will be available to assist all members of the community with questions regarding exposure, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine. More information about this appointment will be coming soon.
You can continue to contact the health team at email@example.com for questions and confidential conversation.
This is an exciting season as we anticipate gathering together, yet it also brings uncertainty as the pandemic continues to impact our daily lives. Please remember that members of our community may have different levels of comfort in returning to in-person activities. You may not realize that someone has compromised health or is caring for vulnerable family members at home. Please be gracious with one another in this season and sensitive to making others feel comfortable as we transition to new rhythms of life together in classrooms and campus spaces.
Your care with your own health and the health of this community is part of how we love our neighbors in this season.
M. Craig Barnes
President, Princeton Theological Seminary