Coronavirus Updates

CARES Act Emergency Fund FAQ

May 18, 2020
What is the CARES Act Fund Emergency Fund?

The CARES Act—the federal stimulus package providing financial relief as a result of campus disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic—has made stimulus funding available to Saint Peter’s University students. Saint Peter’s University has received $1,957,293; 65% is to be distributed directly to students who automatically qualify and 35% of the fund to be dispersed by student application through the Saint Peter’s University CARES Act Emergency Fund Application.

How are grant amounts determined and awarded?

Pursuant to federal regulations that institutions have “discretion to determine the amount of each individual emergency financial aid grant consistent with all applicable laws including non-discrimination laws,” Saint Peter’s University has developed a hybrid approach to granting assistance in multiple phases.

Phase I: The University will automatically disburse 60% of the CARES Act grants; awards range between $350 and $1000 based on eligibility requirements associated with enrollment at the time of the disruption. These requirements include:

  • Full-time undergraduate status enrolled in an on-ground program
  • Pell eligibility
  • Resident v. Commuter status
  • Confirmed FAFSA filer for spring 2020
  • Calculation of pro-rated unexpected expenses based on the university’s non-tuition cost of attendance during the semester disruption including but not limited to: food, housing, moving expenses, technology (i.e. internet, hardware, software), child care, medical expenses, and supplies, and miscellaneous expenses.

Grants will be disbursed by check, mailed to the address that is currently associated with your student record. Students will receive a personalized email indicating the amount of their grant within the next 3-5 business days. Students with questions about their grant amount after Friday, May 22nd may email studentaccounts@saintpeters.edu for more information. Students who wish to update their mailing address may do so by Friday, May 22, 2020. Students may update mailing addresses directly through SPIRIT On-line. DEADLINE to update a preferred mailing address is 11:59 pm Friday, May 22, 2020.

Phase II: Approximately 35% of relief funding has been set aside in order for the University to consider students’ appeals for assistance who did not meet the criteria for automatic distribution. This may include students from any undergraduate or graduate degree program, but who are also eligible for Title IV funds. Also, students awarded funding from Phase I may apply for additional funding through the Phase II fund if they feel more relief is necessary given their individual circumstances.

The application process is designed to allow individuals to appeal for funds and further substantiate their need for assistance by providing documentation of need during these difficult times. The documentation may include a written appeal explaining your circumstances and may in some cases require copies of expenses (i.e. bills) to lend support to your request.

Any student may apply for assistance using the fund but students must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Students applying for additional assistance through the emergency application process must file a FAFSA, or certify they are eligible to file a FAFSA, and would be qualified to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA including, but not limited to:
    • U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
    • A valid Social Security number
    • Registration with Selective Service (if the student is male)
  • And hold a high school diploma, GED or completion of approved homeschool setting

Students who meet the basic eligibility must utilize the Saint Peter’s University CARES Act Emergency Funding Application to request financial assistance. The application process is designed to allow individuals to appeal for funds and further substantiate their need for assistance by providing documentation of need during these difficult times. The documentation may include a written appeal explaining your circumstances and may in some cases require copies of expenses (i.e. bills) to lend support to your request.

Once the form is completed and submitted a committee will review the appeal for assistance. Students may request grants ranging from $100-$1000; any request above $500 may require documentation of need.
Funds in Phase II are limited. Application deadline is June 30, 2020.

Phase III

Approximately 5% of the relief funds will be disbursed to students who study in the summer terms at Saint Peter’s University and continue to experience expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, Phase III will provide emergency grants ranging $100-$300 to support students who are enrolled in 3 or more credits of summer study. These grants will be administered following the last date to withdraw for the term.

How can I find out how much my grant award will be?

Students receiving assistance through Phase I will receive a personalized email to their Saint Peter’s University email account that provides information about their grant amount; the email should be received 3-5 business days after the general email notification about CARES Act funds has been released. Students with questions about their grant amount after Friday, May 22nd may email studentaccounts@saintpeters.edu for more information.

Students who do not receive an email may reach out to studentaccounts@saintpeters.edu to inquire.

Students who apply for funding through Phase II will receive an email notification after their application has been processed and reviewed for funding. Determination of award funding is expected to take 3-5 business days from date of submission.

Notification regarding Phase III will be sent following last day to withdraw from the summer term the students is registered to study.

What if I don’t qualify for Phase I, II or III funding?

Students who do not qualify for any of the phase of funding are encouraged to reach out to Student Life and Development to seek alternate emergency funding options.

If I have additional questions, who do I contact?

Students should continue to check this page for information updates. If questions are not answered through the FAQ, students may also contact Caresfund@saintpeters.edu for assistance.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

CARES Act Letter to Student

May 18, 2020

Dear Student:

The CARES Act, the federal stimulus package providing financial relief as a result of campus disruption due to the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, has made stimulus funding available to Saint Peter’s University students. Saint Peter’s University has received $1,957,293; 65% is to be distributed in two phases directly to students who automatically qualify and 35% of the fund to be dispersed by student application through the Saint Peter’s University CARES Act Emergency Fund Application.

This emergency funding is intended “to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”1

The CARES Act is a federal program. The U.S. government guidelines have instructed colleges/universities that, “only students who are or could be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA but who are eligible to file a FAFSA also may receive emergency financial aid grants. The criteria to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include but are not limited to the following: U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen; a valid Social Security number; registration with Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED, or completion of high school in an approved homeschool setting.” Moreover, those students who were enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, 2020 (the date of the President’s Proclamation of a National Emergency) are not eligible for emergency financial aid grants.”2

Saint Peter’s University will distribute CARES Act funds in three phases:

Phase I:

Immediate need-based grants (approximately 60% of the funds): These grants, ranging between $350 and $1000, will go to all eligible full-time, dependent, undergraduate students via check payments. Students will receive a personalized email indicating the amount of their grant within the next 3-5 business days. Students with questions about their grant amount after Friday, May 22nd may email studentaccounts@saintpeters.edu for more information.

Check payment will be mailed to students using the mailing address listed in the student’s SPIRIT account; students may update mailing addresses directly through SPIRIT On-line. DEADLINE to update a preferred mailing address is 11:59 pm Friday, May 22, 2020.

The amount of the various individual grant awarded in Phase I will be determined by:

  • Full-time undergraduate status enrolled in an on-ground program
  • Pell eligibility
  • Resident v. Commuter status (at the time of the disruption)
  • Confirmed FAFSA filer for spring 2020
  • Calculation of pro-rated unexpected expenses based on the university’s non-tuition cost of attendance during the semester disruption including but not limited to: food, housing, moving expenses, technology (i.e. internet, hardware, software), child care, medical expenses, and supplies, and miscellaneous expenses.

Phase II:

Approximately 35% of the relief funding has been set aside in order for the University to consider students’ appeals for assistance who did not meet the criteria for automatic distribution, as well as for students who may need to appeal for additional financial support. Students from any undergraduate or graduate degree program eligible for Title IV funding may apply.

Also, students awarded funding from Phase I may apply for additional funding consideration by completing the application if they feel more relief is necessary given their individual circumstance.

The application process is designed to allow individuals to appeal for funds and further substantiate their need for assistance by providing information. In general, students will be asked to provide a written appeal explaining circumstances and may in some cases be required to submit copies of expenses (i.e. bills) to lend support to their request for help.

Awards for Phase II are only available while funds last. We strongly encourage students to complete the Saint Peter’s University CARES Act Emergency Funding Application by June 30, 2020 and provide us with the information to make a holistic decision. Please keep in mind the more information we have at the time of application the quicker the review and processing of assistance.

We may not be able to fund your request due to the criteria outlined by the Department of Education, but will do our best to guide you to alternate resources through the Office of Financial Aid, the Jane Moulton Reuter ’72 Needy Student Emergency Fund, or other opportunities that may better assist you.

Questions regarding the CARES Act emergency grants should be directed to CaresFund@saintpeters.edu.

Phase III:

Finally, we realize that many students who study in the summer terms at Saint Peter’s University are continuing to experience expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). In Phase III approximately 5% of the relief funding will provide emergency grants of $100-$300 to support students who are enrolled in 3 or more credits of summer study. These grants will be administered following the last date to withdraw for the term.

Saint Peter’s University hopes that these emergency grants to students through the CARES ACT will help to provide some relief to the pressing financial needs of students associated with the coronavirus.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Sullivan
Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing
Saint Peter’s University

1. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/heerfstudentscertificationagreement42020.pdf
2. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/heerfstudentfaqs.pdf


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

April 24, 2020


The latest video message from Saint Peter’s University President Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., is focused on how he is finding inspiration from the Saint Peter’s community, which keeps on going even when it seems the world has stopped in many ways.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

April 21, 2020

Good afternoon,

I write to inform you that we have learned that an outside contracted employee has tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19 and is self-quarantining at home. Please keep this individual in your thoughts in hopes for a speedy recovery.

This person was last on campus on Monday, April 13 in the Mac Mahon Student Center and The Rev. Victor R. Yanitelli, S.J. Recreational Life Center and was wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) the entire time. Those few individuals that have recently accessed either of these buildings have been notified and both buildings have been cleaned and disinfected.

As previously stated, we will only be issuing updates on confirmed cases that involve someone who has been on campus within two weeks of their diagnosis.

Be well and stay safe.

Sincerely,

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

April 2, 2020

Good evening,

While we are unable to divulge the names of individuals affected by coronavirus, COVID-19 please know that the person I referenced in my earlier communication is an outside contracted healthcare official who assists health services. We appreciate everyone’s concern but ask that you respect the privacy of the employees in the Office of Health Services at this time.

Sincerely,

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

April 2, 2020

Good evening,

I write to inform you that we have learned that an individual in the Office of Health Services has tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19 and is self-quarantining at home. Please keep this individual in your thoughts in hopes for a speedy recovery.

Fortunately, this person was only on campus for one hour last week and did not see any patients during that time. The other members of the health services team have been informed and have been asked to self-quarantine at home but are still available for continued support via healthservices@saintpeters.edu.

Those individuals that may have accessed Saint Peter Hall during the day the individual was on campus have been notified and asked to self-monitor for symptoms. The building has since been shut down to be cleaned and disinfected.

The number of cases in New Jersey is growing quickly. Therefore, unless we become aware of a person with a confirmed case who has been on campus within two weeks of their diagnosis, we will not be issuing updates on each new case.

Let us continue to support each other as community members in solidarity, hope and prayer.

Be well and stay safe.

Sincerely,

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

March 30, 2020

Saint Peter’s University President Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., is sharing a message about how he is experiencing his Peacock Pride during these challenging and uncertain times.

Future video communications are being developed due to the limitations in place for face-to-face interactions for the remainder of the spring terms. The next video will highlight the amazing work that Saint Peter’s community members are doing in their respective communities. Have you been donating to healthcare workers, helping the elderly or volunteering during these difficult times? We want to hear from you! Please send your personal story (with photos or video if you have them) to officeofthepresident@saintpeters.edu by Tuesday, April 7.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

March 24, 2020

Good afternoon,

I write to inform you that we have learned that two Saint Peter’s University students have tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19. Neither student has been on campus since March 13. Both are self-quarantining at home.

Those who may have had close contact with these students have been informed and advised to self-monitor for any symptoms. We do know that both individuals didn’t exhibit symptoms until a few days ago so the probability that they were contagious while still on campus is very low.

Please keep both of these individuals in your thoughts. We wish them a speedy recovery.

Sincerely,

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

March 19, 2020

Good evening,

I write to provide an update to my email from Saturday, March 14. We have been informed that the Collegiate Officiating Consortium, LLC official who worked at the men’s basketball game at The Rev. Victor R. Yanitelli, S.J. Recreational Life Center (RLC) on Friday, March 6 during spring break has tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Anyone who was in close contact with this individual has been contacted and advised to take the necessary precautions.

As previously stated, we do know that the official didn’t exhibit symptoms until Wednesday, March 11. We have been advised that the probability that the official was contagious at the March 6 basketball game is very low – and the chance that a student-athlete may have contracted the virus from the referee is even lower. The likelihood that anyone else (those who may have been exposed to players, but not the official) would potentially contract the virus is also extremely low. It is also positive to note that we are approaching the end of the incubation period as tomorrow will be 14 days since any potential exposure. Those that have been self-monitoring report no symptoms to date.

Again, we have no reason to believe any member of the Saint Peter’s community has been affected by this, but we will alert the community immediately if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 among the Saint Peter’s population.

Sincerely,

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

March 16, 2020

Good evening,

As you know we moved all classes online as of today. In light of Governor Murphy’s declaration of a state of emergency and related decisions, we are now making the following announcements:

  • The University will extend its online instruction through the end of the spring terms. Please continue to check your email and Blackboard for communication from faculty.
  • Residence halls are now closing. We ask that students vacate their rooms, including all of their belongings, by noon on Tuesday, March 24. Students who are unable to return home due to a hardship or other extreme circumstances will be accommodated. The Office of Residence Life will be emailing all resident students shortly with specific details.
  • Beginning Wednesday, March 18 employees will be working remotely in consultation with their supervisor until further notice. This may not be possible for those employees whose presence on campus is necessary during this emergency situation. Each division is initiating its plan consistent with remote working, business continuity needs and the health and safety of each member of our community. Vice presidents and their management teams will provide their employees with further guidance. Employees with additional questions should contact the Office of Human Resources directly.
  • All University sponsored events, both on and off campus, are postponed until further notice.
  • The University remains open virtually. Student support services such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Center for Career Engagement and Experiential Learning (CEEL), the Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE) and Campus Ministry, among others, will be assisting students virtually. Again, email will be the primary form of communication for these and other services.

As you may imagine, I have received many, many questions over the past week – will an event be held, will face to face classes resume, when will things return to normal – many of which I don’t have the exact answer for during this time of uncertainty.

There is one thing that I am certain of. During this time of doubt it is important to remember that you’re still part of a community, the Saint Peter’s Community. While we might not all be together on campus, we are still on this journey together and we will continue to support one another.

I am thankful and grateful for the entire Saint Peter’s University community. Students, faculty, staff and administrators have demonstrated great flexibility during a time of uncertainty. I am so very proud to be a Saint Peter’s Peacock.

I promise everyone that we will continue to make decisions in the best interest of the community. As previously mentioned, please continue to check your email on a regular basis as this will be the primary form in which we directly communicate updates to the entire University. You may also refer to our Office of Health Services page for updated information. There you will also find a list of frequently asked questions surrounding COVID-19.

Take care and be well.

Sincerely,

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

March 14, 2020

Good morning,

To continue to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our community and for the campus community to stay informed of developments, I write to make you aware of the following.

I learned last night that a Collegiate Officiating Consortium, LLC official who worked at the men’s basketball game at The Rev. Victor R. Yanitelli, S.J. Recreational Life Center (RLC) last Friday, March 6 during spring break is currently being tested for the coronavirus, COVID-19. The results of these tests are not yet complete.

We do know that the official didn’t exhibit symptoms until Wednesday, March 11. We have been advised that the probability that the official was contagious at the March 6 basketball game is very low – and the chance that a student-athlete may have contracted the virus from the referee is even lower. The likelihood that anyone else (those who may have been exposed to players, but not the official) would potentially contract the virus is also extremely low.

In an abundance of caution and after consulting the New Jersey Department of Health, student-athletes, coaches and staff are now self-monitoring for symptoms following CDC guidelines. We have been told that the risk to our team, coaches and staff as well as the greater Saint Peter’s community is extremely low. In the unlikely event that a self-monitoring student-athlete or staff member develops symptoms, people who interacted with that student-athlete or staff member will most likely be asked to self-monitor for any symptoms.

Again, we have no reason to believe any member of the Saint Peter’s community has been affected by this, but we will alert the community immediately if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 among the Saint Peter’s population.

We will be conducting a more intensive cleaning of the RLC immediately and will continue to keep you apprised of any further developments in regards to this situation.

Sincerely,

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

March 13, 2020

Good afternoon,

The University’s Emergency Decision Team, which includes representatives from across campus areas, has continued to closely monitor the evolving coronavirus, COVID-19, situation and continues to be in close contact with the New Jersey Department of Health. The team has also been following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and updates.

While there are no known cases of COVID-19 among the University community, a presumptive positive case has been identified in Jersey City.

I urge all students, faculty, staff and administrators to continue to check their email on a regular basis as this will be the primary form in which we directly communicate updates to the entire University. Information can also be found on the Office of Health services page where you will find a list of frequently asked questions surrounding COVID-19.

  • As a reminder, please note that beginning Monday, March 16 faculty will teach their classes to students via online instruction. Online instruction will continue through and including at least Wednesday, March 25.
  • The Office of Information Technology is available at servicedesk@saintpeters.edu or (201) 761-7800 to assist students and faculty with any issues or questions surrounding online learning.
  • The University remains open. With the exception of face-to-face classes, all functions continue, and all services and facilities remain open, including the residence halls, dining services, health services, counseling and psychological services (CAPS), campus safety, information technology, the Mac Mahon Student Center, the Theresa and Edward O’Toole Library, computer labs, The Victor R. Yanitelli, S.J. Recreational Life Center, etc.
  • Yesterday, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and its Council of Presidents decided to cancel the remainder of its conference basketball tournament. In addition, all Division I spring sports competitions and other athletic related activities have been canceled for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester. I know it is a great disappointment to our student-athletes and coaches, whose hard work and dedication to their sports is immeasurable, but the health and well-being of students and our community comes first.
  • The Office of Human Resources distributed an email to all employees on Wednesday outlining employee-related procedures. If you have not had a chance to review those, please do. If you have any questions, please contact human resources or speak with your supervisor directly.

We continue to monitor the latest developments in this rapidly changing situation and will provide an update as to any changes in the above measures.

This is clearly an unprecedented moment for our communities and the world. I am confident that the Emergency Decision Team is aligning its efforts with our mission and the best interests of our students, faculty, staff and administrators. I remain grateful to the faculty, staff and administrators who are working tirelessly to serve and safeguard our community.

Sincerely,

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

March 11, 2020

Good afternoon,

As I mentioned in my previous communication, the University’s Emergency Decision team has been closely monitoring the evolving coronavirus, COVID-19, situation and responding as needed based on the circumstances. We have been in close contact with the New Jersey Department of Health and have been following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and updates.

While there are no known cases of COVID-19 among the University community or in the city of Jersey City at this time, we will be instituting precautionary measures to help to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus by implementing social distancing best practices. Social distancing is the public health practice of encouraging people to keep their physical distance from each other during disease outbreaks in order to slow the spread of infection. Therefore, we have made the decision to temporarily suspend face-to-face classes because we want to reduce potential pathways for community spread of COVID-19 on campus. Though this is may be considered by some a disruption of academic instruction, we feel that it is the best way to minimize the risk of spreading the virus within the campus community.

Below is a list of the full strategies that the University will implement.

  • Face-to-face classes are canceled on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13. Faculty can use this time to finalize their plans for offering online instruction. They should contact the Office of Information Technology at servicedesk@saintpeters.edu or (201) 761-7800 with any questions. The University will remain open.
  • Courses that are already being offered fully online will continue in accordance with the original schedule.
  • Beginning Monday, March 16 faculty will teach their classes to students via online instruction. Online instruction will continue through and including at least Wednesday, March 25. During this time, the University will be closely monitoring the situation and will provide an update via email as to the return to face-to-face classes.
  • The University is not closing. With the exception of face-to-face classes, all functions will continue, and all services and facilities will remain open, including the residence halls, dining services, health services, counseling and psychological services (CAPS),  campus safety, information technology, the Mac Mahon Student Center, the Theresa and Edward O’Toole Library, computer labs, The Victor R. Yanitelli, S.J. Recreational Life Center, etc.
  • All non-faculty employees are expected to report to work as normal. The Office of Human Resources will be sending an email to all employees shortly outlining employee-related procedures.
  • Students in internships, clinicals or student teaching should follow their placement site’s guidance. Work study students should report to work or contact their supervisor with any questions.
  • All University-sponsored events, both on campus and off campus, will be postponed effective immediately through and including at least Wednesday, March 25.
  • Our Division I athletics program will continue to compete as scheduled. We will be following guidance from the MAAC and the NCAA and will update the community in regards to any changes.
  • For those on campus, large in-person meetings are strongly discouraged. Meeting organizers should use remote technology whenever possible, including substituting conference calls and phone conversations for in person meetings. Meetings that must take place should use social distancing best practices.

Recognizing the evolving nature of the virus, the University is continuing to monitor the situation closely and will provide an update as to any changes in the above measures. Please refer to our Office of Health services page for updated information. There you will also find a list of frequently asked questions surrounding the Coronavirus.

Let me assure you that we are taking these measures because we believe they are the best way to protect the health and well being of the campus community. To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our community, it is critical for all of us to stay informed, diligently practice good hygiene and support each other. Please know that we will continue to have facilities step up measures to clean and disinfect surfaces in public areas that are touched frequently.

In times such as this, we are reminded that respect for every individual, cura personalis or care for the whole person, and support of those in need are values at the core of our Jesuit, Catholic identity. I would like to remind everyone that COVID-19 is not in any way connected with nationality, race or ethnicity nor should those returning from affected geographic areas face discrimination.

We appreciate the understanding and flexibility of everyone in our community during this difficult and rapidly changing time. We are especially grateful to the faculty, staff and administrators who are working tirelessly to safeguard our community and stay true to our academic mission.

Thank you again for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D.


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

March 9, 2020

Saint Peter’s University has been closely monitoring the evolving new coronavirus, COVID-19 and is in close contact with the New Jersey Department of Public Health. While the current risk at Saint Peter’s is low, we are preparing for the possibility that the virus will cause a public health threat to our community.

Additionally, the University keeps abreast of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates and follows CDC guidelines regarding the new Coronavirus.

There are currently no confirmed or suspected cases at Saint Peter’s University or in the City of Jersey City.

The University is continuing to monitor the Coronavirus situation closely and may provide further advice as warranted. Please refer to this site for updated information.

FAQ


Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Update

March 5, 2020

Good afternoon,

In preparation for the return to classes on Monday, I write to provide an update regarding Saint Peter’s efforts to monitor the evolving new coronavirus, COVID-19, and safeguard the campus.

As more COVID-19 cases are confirmed worldwide and in the U.S., the University is taking proactive steps to ensure the safety and health of our community out of an abundance of caution, since there is still much about the situation that is unknown.

There are currently no confirmed or suspected cases at Saint Peter’s University or in the city of Jersey City.

As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to expand and as testing capacity in the U.S. increases, CDC expects more cases to be detected across the country, including more instances of person-to-person spread in more states.

The University keeps abreast of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates and follows CDC guidelines regarding the new Coronavirus. In addition, we are in close contact with the New Jersey Department of Public Health. While the current risk at Saint Peter’s is low, we are preparing for the possibility that the virus will cause a public health threat to our community.

The University’s Emergency Decision Team has been meeting regularly to monitor and discuss the evolving situation and will continue to do so. Plans have been put into place should the University become affected in some way. During spring break, we sterilized restrooms and common areas on campus. In addition, facilities crews have stepped up measures to clean and disinfect surfaces in public areas that are touched frequently. This includes surfaces such as door handles, banisters and elevator buttons.

There are also dispenser stations throughout campus containing hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, though proper hand-washing technique is deemed to be more effective by the CDC.

Below are some everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

We ask that anyone who develops fever and respiratory symptoms and has traveled internationally in the past 14 days stay home. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Students may contact the Office of Health Services at (201) 761-7445. Faculty, staff and administrators should contact their primary care provider and alert the Office of Human Resources.

Please note that individuals who have traveled internationally, but do not have symptoms, pose no risk and should not be excluded from classes or campus activities.

The University is continuing to monitor the situation closely and may provide further advice as warranted. Please refer to our Office of Health Services page for updated information. There you will also find a list of frequently asked questions surrounding the Coronavirus.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We thank you for your vigilance and cooperation in ensuring the health and safety of our community.

Sincerely,

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D.


University Response To Coronavirus

February 28, 2020

Saint Peter’s University is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and following the lead of public health officials to do everything possible to keep our community safe and healthy. The University is in close contact with students studying abroad and is preparing in case the virus spreads closer to home, which we hope will prove unnecessary. This is an emerging situation that the CDC is closely monitoring. The organization is providing updates and guidance here as well as FAQs.

Below are some everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

Please contact The Office of Health Services at (201) 761-7445 if you are exhibiting any symptoms or feel you may have come in contact with someone with the virus. Please contact Scott Keller, director of the Center for Global Learning, at (201) 761-6028 or skeller1@saintpeters.edu for questions about study abroad programming.


What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in at least 60 countries internationally, including cases in the United States (U.S.).

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:

  • It is newly identified and much is still unknown about it.
  • Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is spread

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • By respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • Possibly by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching own mouth, nose or eyes—not the main way the virus spreads

According to the CDC, the virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas, such as China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

In the United States (U.S.), there have been imported cases of COVID-19 from travelers and person-to-person spread in close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan, China.

Most recently, the CDC reported community spread of COVID-19 in several states: California, Oregon, and Washington. The first reported deaths in the U.S. occurred in Washington state as a result of community spread.

What is the risk of exposure to COVID-19?

According to the CDC, at this time, the general American public, including Saint Peter’s University students and employees, are unlikely to be exposed to this virus. The immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. The virus is NOT currently spreading widely in the U.S. The risk assessment will continue to be updated as the situation evolves.

What are the symptoms of this infection?

Symptoms usually appear within 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Risks for developing symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Travel to any of the following affected geographical areas within the past 14 days:
    • China
    • Iran
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • Hong Kong
  • Having close contact with someone who is known to have had COVID-19

What do I do if I feel sick?

  • Monitor your symptoms closely. Remember that the likelihood is low that you have coronavirus. Take your temperature if you believe you have a fever.
  • Stay home from school and work until at least 24 hours after your fever ends. If you must go out of the house or be around others, wear a mask and avoid close contact. Be especially careful around infants and small children as well as people who have compromised immune systems and/or are over the age of 65. Guidelines for travelers returning from affected countries are available from the CDC.
  • Take care of yourself. Rest as much as possible. Drink lots of fluids.

The CDC also advises you to:

  • Avoid contact with others and do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If no soap and water is available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

Additionally, if you have NOT returned in the past 14 days from travel to a country with a COVID-19 outbreak OR have NOT been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19 but do have fever and respiratory symptoms, please seek medical advice and call ahead to your healthcare provider. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first.

Students may contact the Office of Health Services at (201) 761-7445 or their primary care provider.

Faculty, staff and administrators should contact their primary care provider.

What if I HAVE symptoms and have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or I am a traveler returning from an affected geographic area?

If you develop symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your return from travel to a country with a COVID-19 outbreak OR you have been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19, please take the steps listed below.

Before you go to any healthcare facility call ahead and tell them about your exposure to COVID-19, your recent travel and your symptoms. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other health facility without calling first. Your provider will need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.

If you are a student, contact the Office of Health Services at (201) 761-7445.

Faculty, staff and administrators should contact their primary care provider and alert the Office of Human Resources.

If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and report your symptoms to the dispatcher.

What if I am a traveler returning from an affected geographic area and do NOT have symptoms?

As you are returning from a country with a COVID-19 outbreak, please plan to stay home for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms.

We recommend anyone returning from a country with a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Notice check in with the University’s Office of Health Services even if you have mild or no symptoms.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

According to the CDC, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

I want to get tested for COVID-19. Where can I go?

Only healthcare providers can request a test for the virus that causes COVID-19 and those tests are run through a county or state public health office. Testing is based on symptoms and risk factors such as travel history or exposure to individuals known to have the disease. For this reason, walk-in testing is NOT available at any healthcare facility in the region, including the Office of Health Services.

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, please do not go to a health care provider before calling first. Please follow the directions in the “What do I do if I feel sick?” question if you are ill.

How do I help prevent the spread of viruses, including COVID-19?

There is no vaccine to prevent this virus. The most effective prevention at this time is to avoid exposure. You can visit the CDC website on prevention for detailed information. A summary of this information is below.

The CDC recommends the following actions to minimize your risks:

  • Stay informed and up-to-date by monitoring the CDC website.
  • Get vaccinated for influenza (the flu) and other respiratory diseases.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you think you are sick, call your health care provider first for assistance.

There are also several “do not” actions the CDC recommends:

  • Do not travel to affected geographic areas.
  • Do not use face masks. CDC does not recommend the use of face masks for the general public to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Do not show prejudice to people of/from affected areas out of fear of this new virus. Do not assume that someone from an affected area is more likely to have the virus.

I feel anxious about coronavirus. What can I do?

We understand that some community members are concerned. Remember that according to our state and local health departments, the risk to the Saint Peter’s University community and to the U.S. population as a whole is currently low. If you would like to talk with someone, the counseling and psychological services (CAPS) office, located on the second floor of Saint Peter Hall, is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Please call (201) 761-6420 if you are seeking support.

How does Saint Peter’s University clean and disinfect?

The University’s custodial cleaning program uses a disinfectant to clean touchpoints, public and common area restrooms daily.

There are also dispenser stations throughout campus containing hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, though proper hand-washing technique is deemed to be more effective by the CDC.

Facilities crews have also implemented extra measures to clean and disinfect surfaces in public areas that are touched frequently. This includes surfaces such as door handles, banisters, and elevator buttons. The University has stepped up these preventative measures to further mitigate risks of the novel coronavirus. It is also recommended that all departments use disinfectant wipes for human touch points within their work spaces such as keyboards, public counters, credit card readers, phones, and shared surfaces and items. We will continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC for preventing the spread of the virus.

Many of us are concerned about what the people in our communities may be experiencing, including possible stigmatization or discrimination based on racial bias or appearances and recent return from areas most affected by COVID-19. Please help others understand that the risk of coronavirus is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. As stated by the CDC, travelers from affected areas have performed a valuable service to everyone by helping make sure this disease does not spread further. Helping fight an outbreak can be mentally and emotionally challenging. These travelers need social support upon their return.

Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. We can fight stigma and help not hurt others by providing social support. We can communicate the facts and prevent the unnecessary harm of stigma.

How is Saint Peter’s University managing COVID-19?

Saint Peter’s University is in direct contact with the State of New Jersey Department of Public Health. The Office of Health Services is following strict guidelines developed by public health officials for care of students who have concerns about COVID-19. Saint Peter’s employees should work with their healthcare provider for questions about COVID-19. The Office of Human Resources is available to help employees with questions about their healthcare benefits and resources.

What happens if I live on campus?

Students living on campus should monitor and take precautions as you normally would to prevent the spread of colds and viruses. At this time there are no restrictions placed on students who are already living on campus.

I’m hosting an event on campus. Should I cancel it?

There are no restrictions on campus events at this time. Take precautions you would normally take to help prevent the spread of colds and viruses during flu season and remind attendees of these precautions.

Where can I get more information about COVID-19?

For current information about this evolving public health situation, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page.

What financial refunds/credits will Saint Peter’s University provide?

Saint Peter’s University is committed to providing prorated refunds or credits for housing, meal plans and parking due to the government mandate to move our operations online; we will be communicating details as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience as we work diligently to develop the policies and procedures for this process.

Please note that tuition refunds will not be issued. We are still holding classes, albeit virtually, now under the direct order of the state government. Academic credits are still being earned toward your degree and all support services remain open virtually to support your progress. We encourage all students to take advantage of the extensive resources of CASE, CEEL, the library and the many other programs and services that foster academic, personal and social achievement.

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