Third COVID-19 case reported on University’s South Orange campus

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August 24

Seton Hall reported its second and third confirmed coronavirus case of the fall semester on its South Orange campus, bringing the University to a total of 10 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.⁠ ⁠

According to the University’s Health Intervention and Communication team webpage, the individuals were detected on Aug. 20 and Aug. 24, respectively, through its coronavirus testing protocols and has been moved to isolation, noting that the risk of transmission to the campus community remains “low.”⁠

Students gathered on the Green Sunday for the University’s annual Blue Day Carnival. (Nicholas Kerr/Editor-in-Chief)

It remains unclear if the infected individuals are students, staff or faculty members.

“The appropriate public health department officials and Seton Hall University’s Health Services were immediately notified, have gathered all appropriate information from the affected individual, and have contacted anyone who needed to be interviewed,” both announcements noted.

The news comes as South Orange Village President Sheena Collum told The Village Green on Sunday that she would meet with University officials on Monday to discuss Seton Hall’s reopening.

August 17

In an email sent out to the University community, Seton Hall reported on Monday its first positive on-campus case of COVID-19 since April, bringing the University to a cumulative total of 8 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.

According to the University, the asymptomatic individual was identified via its testing protocol on Aug. 15 and has been moved to isolation. The email did not specify whether the individual was a student, faculty or staff member but noted that the “risk of exposure to other members of the campus is low.”

A mask-wearing individual exists the University parking deck on Aug. 16, 2020. (Nicholas Kerr/Editor-in-Chief)

“The appropriate public health department officials and Seton Hall University’s Health Services were immediately notified, have gathered all appropriate information from the affected individual, and have contacted anyone who needed to be interviewed,” the email from University Relations read.

News of the positive case comes just one day after the University began its general move-in of resident students on Sunday.

The University also sought to reassure students of the robustness of its reopening plan despite the positive case in the email, noting that it already had protocols in place for the enhanced cleaning and sanitization of facilities across campus in its restart plan.

“Unassigned and general use bathrooms will be cleaned and sanitized twice a day, seven days a week and public restrooms will be monitored and cleaned throughout the day and sanitized seven days per week,” The University said.

On Friday, Seton Hall announced that it would pivot back to a hybrid semester beginning on Aug. 31 following an executive order from N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy allowing colleges and universities statewide to resume in-person classes.

Nicholas Kerr can be reached at nicholas.kerr@student.shu.edu. Find him on Twitter @nickdotkerr.

Author: Nicholas Kerr

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