How NJ Universities are Responding to Coronavirus


Colleges and universities across New Jersey have taken a variety of measures to prepare for COVID-19.

On March 4th, state officials announced the first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New Jersey. On March 9th, Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency as at least 11 people tested positive for COVID-19. The case count rose to 15 Tuesday, as the state reported its first COVID-19 associated death.

New Jersey’s colleges and universities have responded with a variety of social distancing measures.

On March 9th, Monmouth University cancelled all classes for the remainder of the week leading up to spring break. The decision was made after a student reported flu-like symptoms to the health center and was transported to Monmouth Medical Center, though the student later tested negative.

Monmouth is expected to move to online classes on return from spring break.

What are other New Jersey universities doing to prepare for COVID-19? See below to learn more.

  • Rowan University extended its spring break through Friday, March 27th, in order to allow faculty time to convert course content for online classes.
  • As a result of possible COVID-19 contact at an off-campus gathering, 2 Princeton University staff members are under self-quarantine. The university will move to virtual instruction on March 23rd.
  • Montclair State University has extended its spring break to March 22, and a majority of classes will switch to online instruction.
  • Rutgers University cancelled the annual Dance Marathon. Subsequently, the university decided to begin spring break early on March 12. After spring break, classes will be conducted remotely until at least April 3.
  • Seton Hall University cancelled all study abroad programs, created a Coronavirus Updates webpage, and formed a health communication team. Classes will be online until at least March 22.
  • Rider University suspended all university travel to countries with a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 3 health notice. The school's spring break will run until March 27.
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University suspended some travel activities, and encouraged staff or students with potential COVID-19 contact to self-isolate. Face to face instruction will be switched to online classes on March 16.
  • William Paterson University discontinued travel to CDC level 2 & 3 advisory countries. The university said it would be making preparations to teach classes remotely if needed.
  • Drew University has been making preparations to teach classes remotely, and will begin holding classes online from March 16 through April 3. Drew has cancelled a forum and cancelled spring break programs going to foreign countries over COVID-19 concerns. Reusable water bottles were banned in dining halls.
  • The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) suspended all study abroad programs and official travel to countries with a CDC travel advisory level 2 or higher. The university has also switched to online classes.
  • The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) had previously continued classes on a normal schedule. Beginning the Monday following spring break, however, TCNJ will conduct classes online. TCNJ created an international travel form for community members traveling abroad to complete on their return.
  • Stevens Institute of Technology cancelled classes on March 9th, intending to resume all classes in an online-only format on March 10th. The campus will remain open, but all classes will be conducted online.
  • Stockton University extended spring break. Upon return, and through April 5, the university will hold classes online.

Italy closed all colleges and universities nationwide on March 4th. Italy has faced some of the highest case counts outside of China in recent weeks.

In the United States, decisions about social distancing are being made on a more case by case basis thus far. Events like South by Southwest have been cancelled, as well as many medical conferences, out of an abundance of caution.

For the most recent case counts in the COVID-19 outbreak, check out the Contagion® Outbreak Monitor.

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