Centenary University President Bruce Murphy
March 16, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has issued an executive order (104) directing all institutions of higher learning to cease in-person instruction until further notice. As a result, Centenary University has made the following decisions:
- All classes will move to online instruction for the remainder of the semester.
- All public events will be cancelled until further notice and events such as Academic Symposium, Leadership Awards, Commencement, etc., will be considered on a case by case basis.
- University offices will continue to remain open.
- We urge our campus community to continue to practice social distancing, as recommended by national health experts, to slow disease transmission.
Centenary will follow the ongoing guidance issued by Governor Murphy, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health.
Please continue to consult this website for the latest updates.
March 13, 2020
Centenary University continues to follow guidance on intercollegiate athletics from the Colonial States Athletics Conference (CSAC) and the NCAA. Effective Friday, March 13th, the CSAC has cancelled all competition through Friday, April 3rd. In addition, the NCAA has cancelled all tournament play for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.
As a result of these decisions, Centenary University has suspended all intercollegiate practices and competitions through Friday, April 3rd. We remain in close contact with the CSAC and NCAA on this evolving situation and will reevaluate as new guidance is issued. We’re very proud of our student-athletes, and we know they will meet this challenge.
March 11, 2020
While the university is holding classes online, the residence halls will be open on a limited / restricted basis during this time. All current Spring Break approved residents will be contacted regarding the continuation of their housing. Any residential student who needs to access their room are asked to submit their request in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org, If you have any questions or need anything, please feel free to contact the office of Residence Life at 908-852-1400 ext. 3950 or via email at email@example.com.
Mailroom and Welcome Center:
For Employees-the welcome center and mailroom will be open during regular business hours.
For Students- any packages sent thru UPS and FedEx cannot be forwarded once they are received in our welcome center. In order to receive your items promptly, we would suggest that you change the address to your home address on any packages that you will have delivered over the next few weeks. Some USPS packages may be able to be forwarded but not all. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to Carrie Frei in the Welcome Center at ext. 2316 or via email at Mailroom@centenaryuniversity.edu.
- For sport teams in their active season, all practices and contests will continue.
- The university will continue to follow guidance from our conference and the NCAA.
All students will continue to have access to a counselor 24/7 via telephone.
Students who are currently seeing a counselor will be notified of available options for remote meetings.
- Regularly scheduled appointments including the psychiatrist will take place over the telephone.
- Walk-in services will convert to open phone-in services from 12:30 to 1:30 and 3:00- 4:00 Monday thru Friday. Anyone interested in phone-in services is asked to email Lorna.Farmer@centenaryuniversity.edu.
Protocall remote counseling will continue for after hours calls.
All groups sessions will be cancelled.
Outreach services will be deliver via email and social media.
- Health Services will remain open during regular business hours for students.
- If you are in need of an appointment at the Health Office, please CALL ext 2209 FIRST. In the interest of safety, we cannot accommodate any walk-in patients at this time.
Student Life will be open during normal business hours for any student needs or questions. If you have any questions or need anything, please feel free to contact the office of Student Life at 908-852-1400 ext. 4291 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campus Security will be on campus during normal business hours. For emergencies, please call (908) 852-1400, ext. 0 for assistance or via email for non-emergency related matters email@example.com
Facilities will be open during normal business hours for all maintenance and housekeeping needs. Please submit all maintenance request using the following link: https://www.centenaryuniversity.edu/about-centenary/academic-facilities-at-centenary-university/our-facilities/
The cafeteria will be open on the schedule:
- Brunch Daily – 10:00am – 2:00pm
- Dinner Daily – 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Starbucks will be open Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 1:00pm
Equestrian Center Snack Bar – will continue to be closed during this break.
Student Accounts, located in Seay S103, will be open during normal business hours Monday – Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm. Please call (908) 852-1400, ext. 2245 if you have questions or need assistance or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The campus bookstore will be Monday – Friday from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Please call (908) 852-1400, ext. 2319 if you have questions or via email at email@example.com
Events and Meetings:
- All internal, institutional, and external events will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- Supervisors may direct employees to conduct appointment activities remotely.
- See above for information regarding NCAA/CSAC athletics events.
March 4, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
In response to the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19), we write to make Centenary University students and employees aware of the steps that the University has taken to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our campus community:
- All Centenary University sponsored international Spring Break trips have been cancelled.
- All maintenance and housekeeping personnel will be performing a major disinfection initiative of all campus buildings.
- Health services has increased stock of personal protective equipment to assist in infection control. Other departments will be trained in the use of this equipment as deemed necessary.
- Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout campus. A newly installed hand sanitizer is located outside of the Dining Hall. All dining patrons will be asked to wash their hands prior to entering the cafeteria.
- Because the risk of the virus outbreak is still not fully understood, we strongly recommend you do not travel abroad to countries where cases have been reported (you can find a list of those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website).
- With the over-arching goal of keeping our students and employees safe, and in keeping with other universities’ best practices, we implore your assistance in helping us to monitor the travel of our community members over Spring Break. Therefore, if you pursue personal travel over Spring Break, (either international OR domestic travel) we ask that you complete this voluntary travel registry form HERE.
Please be assured that this information will be kept confidential within the Health Services Department.
We also ask that you register with the U.S. Department of State through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. You should continually monitor ongoing guidance from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please note that those traveling internationally may experience disruption to their travel plans within countries, resulting in the alteration of their plans for re-entry to the United States due to U.S. or other nations’ quarantine decisions. If traveling to an impacted area, you may need to self-isolate and/or be quarantined for at least 14 days.
- If students are now in need of housing within your Residence Hall for Spring Break, please contact Matt Lavery at Matthew.Lavery01@CentenaryUniversity.edu
Should you have any questions or concerns, we are here to assist in any way. Please feel free to contact Health Services at ext. 2209, or Human Resources at ext. 2332
Wishing you all a restful and relaxing Spring Break!
Theresa A. Lord-Stout, RN, MSN, APN-C
March 2, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
In response to our recent influenza cases, and in light of the rapidly evolving coronavirus outbreaks throughout the world, we are asking your cooperation in helping keep our Centenary Family healthy. In an effort to enhance our infection control practices, we are reminding everyone of the importance of handwashing in controlling the spread of disease. Throughout the coming week, you will see Health Office staff outside the dining hall, asking that you wash your hands before entering. We will also be given an opportunity to disinfect your cell phone using our “Phone Soap” Machine, which uses UV light to kill bacteria present on your device.
To reiterate our previous plea for infection control, we remind you to also please:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
- Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Theresa A. Lord-Stout, RN, MSN, APN-C
February 7, 2020
Dear Centenary University Students, Faculty and Staff,
Many university students, faculty and staff in New Jersey are concerned about the current outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and its potential impact to their communities. In anticipation of questions or concerns you may have, I write to share how Centenary University is working to prepare for and prevent the spread of illness, and to promote wellness throughout our campuses.
First, it’s important to acknowledge that at this moment, the seasonal flu is the main public health concern in our region. In addition, although the CDC considers the 2019-nCoV to be a serious health concern, the immediate health risk to the general U.S. public is considered low at this time.
Centenary University Health Office is committed to safeguarding the health and wellness of our campus communities. As such, we are monitoring the 2019-nCoV through regular updates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH). We are working closely with our International Studies Department, and we have participated in the Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus which was held on January 31, 2020. In addition, we continue to maintain our exceptional standard of care which includes infection control practices, immunization compliance initiatives, health education on measures to prevent illness, and ongoing aggressive influenza vaccination outreach.
Information on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is rapidly evolving, but we are disseminating the most up to date details that we have received as of today. The following is an excerpt from the most recent New Jersey Department of Health Update:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working hard to learn as much as possible about this 2019‐nCoV so that we can better understand how it spreads and characterize its associated illness. The New Jersey Department of Health is also working hard to develop guidance and education materials, in the face of evolving information.
Though the CDC considers 2019‐nCoV to be a serious public health concern based on current information, the immediate health risk to the general U.S. public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the national and global situation and providing ongoing guidance. At this time, the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel to China. Updated travel information specific to 2019‐nCoV can be found at:
The New Jersey Department of Health is providing the resources specific to management of students who have returned to New Jersey from recent travel in areas with known transmission of 2019‐nCov. This guidance is, in part, based on new scientific information available on novel coronavirus (2019‐nCoV) transmission and the need to limit transmission in our communities.
What is the difference between seasonal and novel coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses and there are different types of coronavirus within that family, much like there are different types of influenza viruses. Coronaviruses in general are not new, they are quite common and are a frequent cause of respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. Coronaviruses tend to circulate in the fall and winter months, similar to influenza. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives.
The type of coronavirus that has recently emerged in Wuhan, China is a new type of coronavirus and is infecting people for the first time (which means that people do not have any immunity to it).
What are common symptoms of 2019‐nCoV?
Information to date suggests this virus is causing symptoms consistent with a respiratory illness such as cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
How is 2019‐nCoV spread?
At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Typically, with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Chinese officials report that sustained person‐to‐person spread in the community is occurring in China. Person‐to‐person spread in the United States has been detected in a close, household contact to an individual confirmed to have 2019‐nCoV, but the risk to the general public remains low. Cases in healthcare settings, like hospitals, may also occur.
What measures can be taken to prevent 2019‐nCoV?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019‐nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
How is 2019‐nCoV treated?
Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for the coronavirus. There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Specific measures include washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available and avoiding others who are sick.
If a person traveled to China in the last 14 days and is sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing they should:
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol‐based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Do school events need to be canceled?
At this time, there is no need to cancel school or social events. There are no cases of 2019‐nCoV in New Jersey, and there are no restrictions on public gatherings. Students should be reminded that part of good respiratory hygiene is staying home from events when they are ill.
HOWEVER, ANY STUDENT, FACULTY OR STAFF WHO HAS TRAVELED TO CHINA IN THE PAST 14 DAYS SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CONTACT UNIVERSITY HEALTH SERVICES.
What preventive measures should be taken to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses?
NJDOH recommends that schools increase education on respiratory hygiene. Students, faculty and staff should all be asked to follow these steps that prevent the transmission of respiratory infections:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve, not your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol‐based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home from class and work if you’re sick.
- Avoid people who are sick.
- Get a flu shot – it’s not too late to be protected.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
For additional information, the following resources are available:
- NJDOH – General Information Page
- CDC – General Information Page
- CDC – Home Isolation Guide
- NJDOH – Local Health Department Directory
Theresa A. Lord-Stout, RN, MSN, APN-C