LIVE TRACKER: University reports over 100 cases of coronavirus in two weeks, urges testing

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November 19

Seton Hall reported one case of coronavirus Thursday after an employee from the South Orange campus tested positive.

The employee has entered isolation and no contacts on campus have been detected, the University said.

The University’s twelfth case since Sunday marks an apparent slowdown in the growth of COVID-19 cases on campus after dozens of cases were detected in the previous two weeks.

Daniel O’Connor, News Editor

November 17

The University has reported 7 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Five of the cases were on the South Orange campus, with the remaining two at the IHS campus.

The new cases come as the University urges residents to be tested as soon as possible. An email from Dean of Students Karen Van Norman asked students on campus to retrieve tests on Tuesday.

“If you have not left campus for the semester break yet and if you have not submitted you COVID-19 saliva swab test – DO IT NOW!” the email said.

-Daniel O’Connor, News Editor

November 15

On Sunday, the University reported 14 new cases of COVID-19. Twelve of the students were living on the South Orange campus, while two live off campus.

Sunday’s update brings the total number of cases reported by the University to 152 since fall reopening, with 85 of those cases reported in the past seven days, and 106 reported since the beginning of November.

-Daniel O’Connor, News Editor

November 13

Coronavirus cases surged at Seton Hall on Friday as the University reported 22 new cases of COVID-19 on its South Orange campus for a total of 90 in the last ten days. 

The new cases, which represent the highest single-day increase at Seton Hall since the start of the pandemic, come just one day after the University’s pivot to all-remote learning went into effect. 

“It is clear that the pandemic’s anticipated ‘second wave’ has arrived throughout the nation, state and region,” University President Joseph Nyre said in a campus-wide email announcing the move. “Our University has experienced an increase in positive cases as well.”

According to Seton Hall’s COVID-19 dashboard, 19 of the 22 cases were detected in resident students, while three were reported in off-campus students. The University said all 22 were detected through its “symptomatic testing and contact tracing protocols,” but did not specifically report how many of the cases were related. 

On Tuesday, the University began administering optional coronavirus tests to its entire student population living in South Orange as students prepare to depart the University for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Once students depart, they will remain home at all residence halls on campus are set to close for the remainder of the semester. 

According to the University, test results are supposed to come back within four days. 

“We have a sufficient number of tests to accommodate all students and strongly encourage our students to avail themselves of testing prior to departure,” University spokesperson Michael Ricciardelli said in a statement on Wednesday. “Many students have already done so.”

On Thursday, the University announced in an internal communication to Resident Assistants that it would convert Serra Hall to accommodate students in isolation in quarantine to supplement existing space in Ora Manor. 

November 13

The University reported 13 cases of the coronavirus, with 12 students at the South Orange campus and one student at the IHS campus testing positive. Nine of the cases in South Orange were on campus, with four students testing positive off campus.

All cases were detected through Seton Hall’s surveillance and symptomatic testing protocols, as well as contact tracing, according to the University.

The total number of cases at the University since the pandemic began is now 123.

South Orange Village President Sheena Collum called on the Village to “double down” on efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in an emergency alert on Thursday.

South Orange has seen 222 positive COVID-19 cases, a number which includes students whose primary residence is in South Orange, according to Collum.

-Daniel O’Connor, News Editor

November 12

Coronavirus cases continued to rise at Seton Hall on Wednesday, with the University reporting 14 cases in students and three cases in employees. According to the Health Intervention and Communication Team dashboard, 12 of the students and the three employees are related to previously reported cases.

All of the cases were detected through Seton Hall’s surveillance and symptomatic testing protocols as well as contact-tracing efforts, the school said. The University did not report if students were located on or off campus.

The new numbers pushed the University past 100 total cases since the start of the semester and came just hours after President Joseph Nyre announced that Seton Hall would transition all of its classes to a remote format citing the uptick in cases on campus.

In the email, Nyre cited an increase in statewide, national and University cases as a rationale for the pivot.

“Current statewide positive tests are approaching levels not seen since April’s outbreak peak,” He said. “The United States now has seen more than 10 million cases and is adding more than 100,000 a day. Our University has experienced an increase in positive cases as well.”

On Wednesday evening, the Seton Hall men’s basketball team also reported “positive COVID-19 test results” among its Tier 1 personnel, which include student-athletes, coaches, managers and staff. It is unclear as of Thursday morning how many of the 17 cases are related to the men’s basketball team.

Wednesday also marked the seventh straight day of newly reported cases at the University, surpassing the record of six days previously set in October.

The new numbers now put Seton Hall at an estimated 59 active cases, the most the University has seen since the start of the pandemic.

November 11

For the second consecutive day Seton Hall saw its highest number of daily coronavirus cases on Tuesday, detecting 12 cases of COVID-19 through its testing protocol on Tuesday and an additional case on its Interprofessional Health Sciences campus in Nutley for a total of 13 cases.

Of the 12 cases in South Orange, seven were reportedly connected to on-campus resident students – a dramatic increase for the University which had only reported sporadic instances of on-campus infections since the start of the semester.  

Though the University declined to state which residence hall the students were from, on Monday it ordered students living on the second floor of Aquinas Hall to immediately begin a 48- to 72-hour quarantine after detecting two cases of COVID-19 on the floor in one week.

As of Wednesday morning, the University had not said if any of the on-campus cases were related to one another nor did it express what the risk of potential exposure to other members of the campus community may be.

The remaining five cases were reported as detected in off-campus students, three of which were said to be “related to a household cluster” – indicating that there may now be a third coronavirus cluster in addition to the two previously reported in Greek Life and athletics.

Read more here.

November 10

Seton Hall announced late Monday night that eight students tested positive for the coronavirus yesterday, the highest number of daily cases in over two weeks. All eight of the students were reportedly from the University’s South Orange campus.

Of the eight students, two lived on campus in a residence hall, though the University declined to specify which one. On Monday afternoon, Seton Hall announced that it had ordered all students on the second floor of Aquinas Hall to shelter in place for a mandatory quarantine after two students from that floor tested positive for coronavirus.

According to the University, the other six students live off campus and are in isolation, with two of the off-campus cases described as being related to the “previously reported clusters” in Greek life and Athletics.

The new cases mark the second sharp increase of the semester in the University’s coronavirus numbers with now 73 cases recorded since the University reopened in August and 29 cases in the last seven days alone.

November 8

Seton Hall has reported an additional five cases of COVID-19. The University says one of the cases was detected via contact tracing from another case.

One of the new cases is a resident on the South Orange campus who reportedly had no contacts. Three of the students lived in an off-campus residence. It is not clear where the fifth student lives.

The update, which brings Seton Hall’s total number of cases to 65 since the start of the pandemic, does not specify the risk of exposure to the Seton Hall community.

Daniel O’Connor, News Editor

November 7

The University reported that two additional cases of COVID-19 were detected on Friday, both students living off campus. The update did not state if or when the students was last on campus.

The cases were detected via contact tracing, though the University has not specified which cases are connected to each other.

Daniel O’Connor, News Editor

November 6

Seton Hall reported four cases of coronavirus late Thursday night. All four cases are students near the South Orange campus, three of whom live off campus, with the other living on campus. The on-campus case has entered isolation off campus, according to the University.

Health Services detected one of the three off-campus cases via contact tracing from an earlier case, according to the University.

The University did not state the risk of exposure on campus.

-Daniel O’Connor, News Editor

November 5

Seton Hall reported six additional cases of the coronavirus among its student population on Wednesday evening, five of which were detected in students who are based at the South Orange campus and one from Seton Hall’s Law School campus.

According to the University, three of the five students from the South Orange campus were connected to a previously reported case and were discovered through the University’s own testing protocol. The remaining two students, as well as the law student, tested positive off campus and are reportedly all unrelated.

In the last two weeks alone, the University has reported a total of 33 cases in students on the South Orange campus and now two cases at the University’s Law School campus in Newark. Of those 33 cases, 17 were reported to be connected or discovered via contact tracing.

The cases were reported on the same day that New Jersey saw its highest increase in cases since early May, clocking in at 2,427 cases on Wednesday according to the state’s official coronavirus dashboard.

The University did not say if any of the additional cases were related to the previously announced clusters in athletics or Greek Life.

November 2

The University announced four student cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of cases since fall reopening to 48.

Three students with COVID-19, all of whom live together off campus, were detected through contact tracing. All three students, the report says, have entered quarantine. It is not clear if or when these students were on the South Orange campus.

The University also reported one student case at the Seton Hall Law campus in downtown Newark, the first such case Seton Hall has reported.

The report did not state the risk of exposure on either campus.

Daniel O’Connor, News Editor

October 31

One more case of COVID-19 was detected on campus Saturday, according to the University’s COVID dashboard. The case, reported on Sunday, is a student who was living off campus

Daniel O’Connor, News Editor

October 30

The University announced one case of COVID-19 on Friday night after one employee at the South Orange campus tested positive for the virus. The employee had been on campus, and their contacts have been notified, according to the University’s COVID dashboard.

The report did not state the risk of exposure on campus.

The new case has brought the total number of cases reported by the University to 50, with 43 cases since fall reopening.

Daniel O’Connor, News Editor

October 28

Seton Hall announced one additional case of the coronavirus on Wednesday, which was reportedly detected in an off-campus student who was said to already be quarantined at the time of the test.

According to the University, the case was located through a contact tracing effort related to a previous case, bringing the total number of related infections to 15 since Oct. 20, when the first connected case was reported.

In a statement provided to The Setonian on Wednesday by University spokesperson Laurie Pine, Seton Hall confirmed that a “majority” of the recent cases were connected to the clusters, adding that the University “believes that most of the cases are isolated to these clusters and not indicative of a greater community spread.”

The University has so far declined to say just how many cases it believes are associated with each cluster. The University has also refused to reveal from where it believes each cluster originated and which organizations within Greek Life and athletics are believed to be impacted at this time.

According to Pine, Seton Hall claims that health privacy laws prohibit the University from providing any additional information about the clusters. 

“While the rates at Seton Hall remain substantially below county and state rates, we recognize that we are beginning to experience an increase in positive cases – primarily off campus,” She said. “Our protocols have enabled Seton Hall to identify these clusters of COVID-19 cases.”

October 28

One off-campus and two on-campus cases of the coronavirus were detected through Seton Hall’s testing protocol on Tuesday, according to a late-night update to the University’s dashboard. The numbers come after the University reported no new cases for the first time in six days on Monday.

The University has now reported 34 total cases of the coronavirus since the start of October, 24 of which have been detected in off-campus students, as well as two employee cases.

Of the three cases, two were identified through a contact tracing effort related to a previous case, bringing the total number of connected cases to 14 since Oct. 20. The University did not say if the cases were related to either of the two recently announced clusters in athletics and a Greek organization.

Read more here.

October 26

Seton Hall reported that it detected one case of the coronavirus on Sunday, announcing the additional case late Monday evening on the University’s Health Intervention and Communication team dashboard.

According to the University, the case was detected in an off-campus student through contact tracing related to a previously reported case but did not say if it was tied to either of the two clusters announced on Sunday.

The additional case brings the University to a total of 38 recorded instances of the coronavirus since the start of the semester, 12 of which have now been identified as being tied to other cases.

Seton Hall has now reported conducting 342 tests in the last seven days, according to a Setonian analysis of the University’s dashboard, adding another 106 cases on Monday — though the University previously had not updated its test numbers since Oct. 23.

During that same period, a total of 22 cases were detected through Health Service’s testing protocol for a test positivity rate of 6.4% since Oct. 19.

October 25

Seton Hall reported eight new cases of the coronavirus early Sunday morning, pushing the total number of cases the University has seen since the start of the semester to 37. Seven of the cases, which were detected on Saturday, were reported in five off-campus and two on-campus students all connected to the South Orange campus.

The eighth case was said to be an employee who was found to be infected on Friday through outside testing.

The University has now detected 30 total coronavirus cases during the month of October – 25 of which were found in the last seven days – accounting for 80% of all cases since Seton Hall reopened in August.

Read more here.

October 23

For the second day in a row, Seton Hall saw six new cases of the coronavirus on its South Orange campus on Friday, pushing the University to 29 cases total since the start of the semester, 19 of which were from this week alone.

According to the Health Intervention and Communication Team dashboard, five of the individuals — all identified as students who live off campus and have not visited campus recently — were detected on Friday through the University’s testing protocol. The sixth case was detected in a University employee, who notified Seton Hall today and has not been on campus since Thursday.

Masked students sit on the University Green near a hand sanitizer spray bottle in late August. (Nicholas Kerr/Editor-in-Chief)

The University reported that the students were identified through contact tracing related to previously reported cases, but did not specify which cases.

Off campus students have made up for the lion’s share of those reported since last Friday, accounting for 16 of the 19 cases.

“All have received isolation instructions and are now in quarantine,” The University reported. “Any contacts identified in our community have been notified along with the local Department of Health.”

October 23

Seton Hall reported six new cases of the coronavirus on Friday the third straight day in which the University reported new cases and the largest single-day increase, topping Wednesday’s numbers.

According to the Health Intervention and Communication Team dashboard, four of the students were identified through the University’s testing protocol on Thursday. The fifth student was tested off campus. On Friday morning the University had initially reported only five cases from the prior day, but updated its dashboard later in the afternoon to indicate an additional student had been identified as testing positive.

The University has now reported 24 cases since the start of the fall semester and 30 cases overall, with October accounting for 51% of all cases since the start of the pandemic.

All of the students were reported as living off campus or commuting from home.

The University said that two of the cases were identified by contact tracing from a previously reported case, while the other three were already quarantining off campus, but did not say if these cases were related to the four connected cases from Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 or if any of these cases stem from a single event or series of events.

“Any contacts identified in our community have been notified along with the local Department of Health,” The University said. “Health Services continues to follow up on students who have tested positive; all are doing well.”

South Orange Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Egelberg said that Seton Hall was keeping “in constant contact” with the Village’s Department of Health regarding the status of the students and their cases, adding that at this time there “does not appear to be any additional risks to the broader South Orange community other than the risks that already exist.”

“We always knew having cases would be inevitable and this increase in positive tests have been consistent with the recent increases seen in South Orange, the county and the state as a whole,” Egelberg noted. “The University appears to be following all the necessary protocols needed to isolate the infected students.”

When asked if any of Thursday’s cases were connected to any other prior cases on campus, Egelberg said that the Village doesn’t comment on information shared with contact tracers “unless there is a high risk to the public.”

October 22

Seton Hall recorded four new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday evening, its highest single-day increase. According to the Health Intervention and Communication Team (HICT) dashboard, three of the cases appear to be related – another first for the University which, until this point, had only reported isolated cases.

The new numbers now bring the University to 17 coronavirus cases since the start of the semester for a total of 24 cases since the pandemic began in March.

Read more here.

October 21

Seton Hall reported its third case of the coronavirus in just five days on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the fall semester to 13.

Since the start of October, the University has reported six cases of the virus, accounting for 30% of its cases since the pandemic began in March.

According to the University, the case was detected through Health Service’s own coronavirus testing protocol on Oct. 20. The individual was identified as a student who lives off campus and had not been present on the University’s South Orange campus since last week.

“Contacts identified in our community have been notified along with the South Orange Department of Health,” the University reported on its coronavirus dashboard. “The risk of exposure to other campus community members is believed to be low.”

October 19

Two students on Seton Hall’s Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Nutley, New Jersey were reported as having tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 12 since the start of the fall semester and 19 since the start of the pandemic in March.

According to the University’s coronavirus dashboard, the cases were initially detected on Oct. 17.

The cases mark the second and third instances, respectively, of the coronavirus on the University’s IHS campus. The first case was reported on Sept. 29 after a student who was present on the campus tested positive for the virus.

The two new cases appear to be unrelated, the University said, and contacts of the students were notified through a contact tracing effort, adding that “the risk to the University community is believed to be low.”

October 10

Seton Hall reported one additional case of the coronavirus on Saturday morning — its second in just two days and the third this week. The University has now recorded 10 cases of the coronavirus since the start of the fall semester and 17 since March.

The individual was identified by the University on Oct. 9 as a student who had been both taking classes and living on Seton Hall’s South Orange Campus, but will now be isolating at home.

According to Seton Hall’s Health Intervention and Communication Team dashboard, close contacts of the student have been notified, alongside the South Orange Department of Health, and the risk of transmission to other members of the community “is believed to be low.”

October 9

Seton Hall reported its ninth case of the coronavirus for the fall semester on Friday, the second positive test this week. The announcement brings the University to 16 total cases of COVID-19 since March.

According to Seton Hall’s Health Intervention and Communication Team dashboard, the individual was identified as a student who lives off campus and has not been present on campus in the last two weeks. The case was first detected on Thursday.

A tent sits outside of the Seton Hall Health Services building in September. (Nicholas Kerr/Editor-in-Chief)

The University said that the student is currently isolating at home and that “any contacts identified in our community have been notified, and the South Orange Department of Health has been notified.”

The risk of exposure to other campus community members is believed to be low.

October 5

Seton Hall reported its eighth case of the coronavirus for the fall semester on Monday, bringing the University to a total of 15 cases since the start of the pandemic.

The latest case brings the University to a total of 5 cases in the last two weeks alone, a stark increase from a relative lull in reported cases during much of September.

According to the University’s Health Intervention and Communication Team dashboard, the student — who lives off campus — tested positive on Oct. 3.

The student was last on campus on Sept. 23 and is isolating at home, the announcement said.

“Any contacts identified in our community have been notified,” the University reported, though it did not note if any additional students were required to quarantine or what the risk of exposure to other members of the campus community is estimated to be.

September 30

Seton Hall reported two new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the University to a total of seven cases since the start of the fall semester and 14 since the beginning of the pandemic in March. According to the University’s COVID-19 dashboard, the cases were detected through “off-campus testing.”

The individuals were recorded as having tested positive on Tuesday, Sept. 29, though the University’s dashboard did not note the cases until Wednesday.

Seton Hall’s Health Services building sits along South Orange Avenue. (Nicholas Kerr/Editor-in-Chief)

According to the announcement, one of the individuals who tested positive was recorded as being based at Seton Hall’s Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Nutley, New Jersey, while the other was based at the University’s main campus in South Orange. The two cases are thought to be unrelated.

“Contacts with these individuals, on and off-campus, have been notified and will quarantine, following health protocols,” the announcement read. “Health Services will continue to follow up with them to monitor their status.”

Tuesday’s case marks the first recorded instance of the coronavirus at Seton Hall’s IHS campus.

Unlike in previous statements, the University did not note what the risk of exposure to other members of the campus community is estimated to be.

September 24

Seton Hall reported its fourth and fifth cases of the coronavirus for the fall semester on its dashboard today. The cases, which were detected on Sept. 23, bring the total confirmed number of coronavirus cases on the University’s South Orange campus to 12 since the start of the pandemic.

According to the University’s dashboard, “Neither case was related to exposure on campus, and neither individual has been on campus since exposure.” Additionally, it is believed that the cases are unrelated and that “neither individual has had contact since exposure with anyone on campus” with the exception of Health Services, where the tests were performed.

Both individuals have now entered isolation off-campus, where Health Services says they will continue to follow up on and monitor their status. The risk of exposure to other members of the campus community is said to be “low.”

August 24

Seton Hall reported its second and third confirmed coronavirus cases 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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