Operating Status Update

Instruction at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

  • RBHS deans from the relevant schools will communicate with students regarding more detailed plans for instruction and clinical rotations.

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Six RWJBH employees flex in full PPE as they welcome patients

RBHS Campus Status and Repopulation

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) has remained devoted to its mission throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Our health care heroes are on the front lines caring for patients; our researchers are leading scientific investigations in SARS-CoV-2 testing, treatment, etiology, epidemiology, and public health; our experts are lending their voices and knowledge to inform and guide the public and public policy; and our staff and students are working diligently to support each of these initiatives and keep our academic objectives on track. You can learn more about the incredible work done at Rutgers University to fight COVID-19 by visiting our WeRUnited webpage.

New Jersey is experiencing reduced infection rates and decreasing hospitalizations, key milestones that have afforded us the opportunity to begin a phased repopulation of the RBHS campuses. In the coming months, our goals are to resume clinical office hours, schedule surgeries, ramp up research, and plan to accommodate the needs of our educational programs by combining remote learning with limited on-campus, in-person simulations and clinical rotations. 

Our expertise was critical to the development of the Return to Rutgers university recovery document, which details key factors that will be implemented across the university as we welcome our community members back to our campuses. As such, our plan is in alignment with this guidance while remaining intentionally flexible and adaptable to allow RBHS leadership, faculty, and staff to further articulate and calibrate as needed to meet the needs of their constituencies. The draft plan was developed in conjunction with our schools, centers, and institutes, central support services, with state and federal health agencies, and in alignment with the guidance developed in the Returning to Rutgers and Returning to Research documents. It has since been enhanced by many of our community members’ suggestions, and Repopulating RBHS - Operating Plan Summer/Fall 2020 is now available in its final-yet-adaptable form.

Health and Safety:

The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our paramount concern. Therefore, all in-person activities such as patient interactions, clinics, labs, and simulations will be conducted using situation-appropriate social distancing, and low density. We will not hesitate to postpone or cancel individual or programmatic activities if they cannot be done safely.  RBHS expertise was critical to the development of the university wide Return to Rutgers recovery document, which includes key protocols such as symptom checking, testing, and contact tracing.  We encourage you to learn more about the many health and safety efforts being implemented at the university by visiting coronavirus.rutgers.edu.

 

Academics:

Our educational mission is conducted across eight schools and numerous clinical affiliate sites with over 7,000 students enrolled each semester. Given the breadth of programs offered and the divergent needs for clinical, simulation, lab, and other student experiences, the RBHS deans and directors will be further articulating and calibrating the RBHS operating plan as needed to meet the needs of their schools, research institutes, clinical units, and constituencies. 

Learn more by visiting the COVID-19 update pages of our academic institutions:

 

Research:

The COVID-19 shutdown has significantly impacted the RBHS research mission, in particular wet-lab bench research which cannot be conducted outside of our laboratory facilities. Currently, only critical research and maintena,nce are permitted. While the patience and resilience of the RBHS research workforce has been exemplary, ongoing delays could potentially jeopardize the progress of this important work and put NIH and other funding at risk. The RBHS operations plan envisions an incremental repopulation of the 525,000 square feet of lab space across 17 separate buildings to full capacity by the fall semester of 2020. These activities will be guided by the Office of Research and Economic Development's Return to Research report and will address the needs for infrastructure support, undergraduate student involvement, and the return of clinical research to 100% activity.

 

Clinical Care:

Recovery planning for and updates to clinical activities at Rutgers Health will be guided by compliance with relevant federal, state, and local laws, as well as New Jersey State Executive Orders, and coordinated with our health care system partners. Faculty and staff safety and resiliency is paramount to maintaining excellent service to our patients. We will work to ensure that sufficient supplies of appropriate PPE are available for our faculty, staff, and patients. Telehealth visits will continue to be a primary mode of care delivery, except where the benefit to the patient outweighs the risk of in-person visit, or in instances where care cannot be delivered adequately via telehealth.

 

Information for Employees:

RBHS employees should refer to the "For Employees" tab on the coronavirus.rutgers.edu webpage for important information regarding human resources policies and benefits, telecommuting, remote instruction, maintaining health and wellness, and more.  Additionally, a Health Care Provider Resource Center webpage is available with guidance for our health care heroes.

 

FAQs

If you are a department with an update to the information below, please use our online form to send your update.

Health and Safety

Last updated August 7, 2020
 

How is the university mitigating risk for on-campus courses?

With only select courses being held on campus, the university will implement all CDC guidelines for social distancing, including limited numbers of students receiving in-person instruction, requirements to wear facial masks/coverings when in public, and limited face-to-face interactions. Due to the limited number of in-person courses being held on campus, the university is able to safely accommodate students, faculty, and staff. For more information, please read the Rutgers' Returning to Campus (PDF) plan.

 

Will faculty, staff, and students on campus be required to wear face coverings?

Yes. Faculty, staff, and students in public areas on campus or when interacting with one another in offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc., will be required to wear face masks. This requirement also applies to visitors. For more information, please read the Rutgers' Returning to Campus (PDF) plan.

 

Will Rutgers-New Brunswick and Rutgers-Newark housing offices implement protocols to manage exposed and ill students on campus?

Yes. Residents will be required to comply with campus and public health guidelines in order to reside in campus housing. Spaces will be dedicated to accommodate ill students and monitor their symptoms via a web-based program. Health Services also will provide on-call consultation for symptomatic students, and meal or grocery service will be available to them.

 

Do I need to limit my activities if I recently traveled to a region included in New Jersey’s quarantine travel list? [UPDATED August 7, 2020]

The State of New Jersey has enacted an in-coming travel advisory for individuals who are arriving from states and territories with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven day rolling average. The list of states and territories included is updated and amended regularly by the State. You can access the current list on the State's COVID-19 Information Hub.

In recognition of our shared responsibility, and in adherence to this guidance, RBHS is prohibiting RBHS students from returning to a Rutgers University campus or clinical affiliate location for fourteen days after traveling to one of the states on the New Jersey Travel Advisory List. We also encourage students to avoid interacting with others during this fourteen-day window, consistent with the Governor’s advisory.  Students will be responsible for notifying the appropriate school or program administrators if their participation in academic or clinical activities will be impacted by this travel restriction.  Because students will be prohibited from returning to these physical locations, we encourage faculty and school administration to work with students to determine whether remote learning accommodations can be made available during this time period.  Alternatively, students can consider returning to New Jersey early, so that their fourteen-day self-quarantine can be completed by the time they are due on campus.  Please read more about this guidance by reviewing the messages for employees and students from Rutgers Executive Vice President of Health Affairs, RBHS Chancellor Brian Strom.

Academics and Remote Learning

Last updated July 21, 2020
 

What is open at my school?

Most of the hours of operations for RBHS are set at the school and departmental level. Check with your specific school to learn more. However, the RBHS operating plan is by intention and design flexible and adaptable to meet these circumstances as they evolve. The leadership, faculty, and staff of RBHS will further articulate and calibrate this operating plan as needed to meet the needs of their schools, research institutes, clinical units, patients, students, and community constituencies.

 

Is my class online or in-person?

We have resumed our educational programs combining online didactics with limited on-campus, in-person simulations and clinical rotations in the summer and fall across our eight schools. Each program is different, so please check with the appropriate school to find out more about the plan for a specific course or program.

 

Are tuition rates the same for online courses?

Yes. Remote courses are being designed and taught by the same world-class faculty who teach on-campus courses. Faculty, with support by the university, have redesigned their courses and approach to remote instruction to best serve our students.

 

Why will RBHS operate in a largely remote format for education and training programs in Fall 2020?

Public health officials and the health and safety of our campus community have informed our decision making. We continue to coordinate closely with local, state, and national health agencies and monitor infection rates around the country. Given the current spikes of COVID-19 across the U.S. and predictions of additional spikes of cases in the fall, the decision was made to hold many courses in a remote format. For more information, please read Rutgers President Holloway's message to the university, Chancellor Strom's message to the RBHS community, and messages shared by your school’s leadership.

 

How was the decision made about which courses to hold on-campus?

The health and safety of students is our primary concern. Courses which require physical presence, such as clinical courses and studio courses, have been given priority for on-campus offerings. Classes are only approved to be held on-campus when all safety precautions are put in place.

 

How do I find out how my classes will meet in the fall semester?

Additional information will be shared by your school leader and program coordinator. These updates will tell you whether your class will meet on-campus or remotely and whether you will be expected to attend remotely following the regular class schedule. These changes will not affect which classes you have already registered for or create any new time conflicts. It will not be necessary to change your schedule, but you may after August 1.

 

Will remote classes be taught by Rutgers faculty?

Yes! Remote courses are being designed and taught by the same world class faculty who teach on-campus courses. Faculty are participating in a wide range of training and professional development opportunities this summer to transform the learning experience to a virtual environment. They are learning how to leverage technological tools and design activities to engage students socially and intellectually as they work together to deepen their understanding of the material.

Our world class faculty across disciplines are bringing their expertise to the remote classroom to help us understand the multiple causes and consequences of the unprecedented pandemic and protests of 2020, and together, are equipping us to build a better future.

 

Will students be able to talk with the faculty teaching their courses?

Yes! Faculty will hold remote office hours, allowing students to schedule time to meet and talk with faculty, and will be available for video conferencing as well as connecting with individual students through email.

 

Will I be required to "meet" virtually for my class at certain days/times each week?

Some courses will require you to meet at a regular date and time each week. Other courses will have regular schedules of work and assignments due throughout each week, but they will not require you to be online at a particular time.

 

What accommodations and services will be available for students with disabilities who are taking courses remotely?

Our Office of Disability Services is offering its full range of services remotely and has developed a guide for how the most commonly used accommodations work in an online environment.

 

What technology will students need for remote learning?

Students will need, at a minimum, high speed internet access, a laptop or desktop computer and a built-in or external microphone and camera. Students should check with their specific school, courses, or majors regarding any additional requirements. Learn more from our the Remote Technology Resources for Students guide.

 

I’m an international student on an F-1 Visa, what does this mean for my fall 2020 status? [UPDATED July 21, 2020]

Students who are outside of the US can enroll at Rutgers with a fully online course load. International students with an F-1 visa can activate their F-1 status when they enter the U.S. and report to the university. Review the FAQ for Incoming International Students available on the Rutgers Global Alerts web page for the latest information and updates. Incoming students who have additional questions should contact the appropriate admissions office.

Housing, Dining and Transportation

Last updated July 6, 2020
 

What will happen to my housing contract?

The university will soon reach out to impacted students to discuss the next steps.

 

Will the university refund housing deposits and fees?

Yes. Any student who submitted a $200 housing deposit for fall 2020 who will not be assigned to on-campus housing will receive their deposit back. The university will soon update this section regarding how and when the deposits will be returned. Please note that if you paid the deposit by check and the university did not yet deposit the check, the university will return the check by mail to the student's home address. As a reminder, a student only pays this deposit once, on their first application for housing.

 

Will Rutgers-New Brunswick and Rutgers-Newark housing offices implement protocols to manage exposed and ill students on campus?

Yes. Residents will be required to comply with campus and public health guidelines in order to reside in campus housing. Spaces will be dedicated to accommodate ill students and monitor their symptoms via a web-based program. Health Services also will provide on-call consultation for symptomatic students, and meal or grocery service will be available to them.

 

Is Rutgers curtailing off-campus housing by students?

No. Students still have the option to live in off-campus housing not operated by Rutgers. However, be aware that living in close proximity to others can increase the risk for contracting COVID-19.

 

What dining options will be available on campus in Fall 2020?

Most university-operated retail dining facilities will be closed or operating with significantly reduced hours. While there will be some dining facilities available to students, seating will be significantly reduced to accommodate social distancing. Alternatives, such as “Grab ‘n’ Go” or additional food trucks, will be expanded.

 

How will Rutgers handle busing and transportation around campus?

Rutgers’ buses will be operating at reduced capacity to meet health guidelines, and all riders will be expected to wear face coverings. In addition, only rear doors will be used for loading and unloading to minimize risk to the driver, and the routes will be modified to accommodate campus changes. For more information, visit Rutgers Department of Transportation Services.

Student Services

Last updated July 6, 2020
 

Will there be any on-campus programs or events?

In an abundance of caution, no student gatherings, events, or socials will be implemented until university guidelines stipulate that it is safe to do so.

 

What student services will be available in the fall for RBHS students?

Rutgers is committed to maintaining—and in some cases enhancing—the services and support it provides to students in light of our current environment. Student services such as Financial Aid, Disability Services, Student Support Services, and Academic Advising will continue to provide limited in-person services, as well as a robust complement of virtual services.

 

What student health services will be available on campus?

Student Health Centers can provide health care services for current students. Please call the health centers on your campus. Staff are available to provide care through video visits, telephone visits, and in some cases personal visits to the Health Centers.

 

What counseling services will be available for students?

Rutgers prioritizes the emotional and mental health needs of its students just as much as their physical health. To that end, a variety of in-person and virtual counseling options will be available. Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) or University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) will continue to engage with students and expand their support via telehealth appointments, workshops, and other skill-building programs.

Costs and Financial Aid

Last updated July 6, 2020
 

Will tuition be the same for remote courses?

Yes. Remote courses are being designed and taught by the same world-class faculty who teach on-campus courses. Faculty, with support by the university, have redesigned their courses and approach to remote instruction to best serve our students.

 

Will I receive a discount on my tuition since courses are remote?

No. Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year has already been determined. Students will be charged the same credit hour rate as on-campus classes.

 

Will I receive a refund of my student fees since courses are remote?

No. Student fees are still being charged and will not be refunded. The university will be operating with the full range of support services from learning centers to computing support. While classes are remote, all offices are fully staffed and delivering the necessary services to support all our students. The university realizes the economic hardships faced by students and their families. We are allocating university resources as well as federal CARES funding to students and families experiencing economic hardships.

 

How can I get help if my family's economic circumstances have been impacted by COVID-19?

Rutgers University was awarded funds from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist students who are experiencing financial hardships due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. If your economic circumstances have been impacted by COVID-19, the emergency assistance application will be live the week of July 27. Once your application is reviewed and it is determined that you are eligible for funding, the Office of Financial Aid will contact you.

 

Resources

For Students

Office of Academic and Student Affairs (as currently listed)

Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance

  • Working remotely, no reduction in services.
  • 973-972-4636

Title IX

Disability Services

  • Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • 973-640-0058

Libraries

For Employees

Employee Health (as currently listed)
Employee Health Clinic at Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOSHI)

  • Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • 848-445-0123

Employee Health at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

  • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • 732-507-8386

New Jersey Medical School Occupational Medicine

  • Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • 973-972-2900

Health Care Provider Resource Center

Well-Being Resources