Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on COVID-19 – for Essex County College

The following FAQs will provide information for protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, while maintaining academic continuity and safeguarding students’ ability to finish their semester and protect their financial aid.

For more information on COVID-19, call the NJ Coronavirus Call Center at (800) 222-1222 or visit our info page at https://essexedu2483.wpengine.com/coronavirusalert/

ARE CLASSES BEING HELD AT ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE?

The College’s President, Dr. Anthony E. Munroe, announced that a recess is effective Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 22, 2020. No scheduled courses will run on these days, except those of fully online programs and courses.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING THE RECESS PERIOD?

The recess will allow Essex County College to prepare faculty, students and staff to operate in a manner to appropriately enhance social distancing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Students should expect to receive email in their College accounts from faculty with assignments and plans for remote instruction by the end of the day Thursday, March 19.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN FOLLOWING THE RECESS?

Starting on Monday, March 23, instruction will resume remotely.

WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. As a result, the CDC recommends that people should keep a six foot distance between each other.

Click to Watch Social Distancing Video Instructions

HOW WILL THE RECESS AFFECT THE REMAINDER OF THE SPRING I SEMESTER?

Plans are being made to make up for the extra week of missed classes later in the term.

WILL THE SPRING II TERM STILL BE HELD?

Yes. The Spring II Term will now begin remotely on Monday, March 23.

WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR STUDENTS WITHOUT ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY AT HOME?

Academic Labs will be open with limited capacity as we comply with the Social Distancings recommendations.

WHAT ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE SERVICES WILL REMAIN OPEN?

Library/Information Commons, cafeteria, bookstore, computer labs with limited availability to allow for social distancing, tutoring and advising services, all Enrollment Services offices, Bursar, Student Wellness Center, Testing Center and Food Pantry.

WHAT SERVICES AND PROGRAMS WILL BE CLOSED OR SUSPENDED?

Dasher Student Center, Gym/Fitness Center, non-essential gatherings and community events, Student Abroad Experiences in China and Cuba, Spring sports.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These can be symptoms of other respiratory illnesses as well as COVID-19. If you are in a high-risk category, and have symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider for advice. If you are at risk for serious illness, your healthcare provider may arrange a test for COVID-19.

I HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS BUT HAVE NOT BEEN AROUND ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH THE VIRUS. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you do not have a high risk condition and your symptoms are mild, you do not need to be tested for COVID-19. Do not go out when you are sick, practice excellent hygiene, and wear a facemask when you are around other people if you can.

Cover coughs and sneezes. Avoid sharing personal household items. Clean your hands often. Clean all “high-touch” surfaces like doorknobs often. Monitor your symptoms and contact your health care provider if symptoms worsen. Stay home and avoid others for 72 hours after your fever goes down without the use of fever-reducing medication and symptoms get better.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE AN UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDITION?

People with preexisting health conditions are at higher risk to develop complications from a COVID-19 infection. Health officials recommend people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with crowds and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. This includes concert venues, conventions, sporting events, and crowded social gatherings.

People at higher risk include those:

  • Over 60 years of age
  • With underlying health conditions including include heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
  • With weakened immune systems
  • Who are pregnant

Caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home. Anyone who has questions about whether their condition puts them at risk for novel coronavirus should consult with their healthcare providers.

Your physician can also help you assess your current medications and conditions to help you think about actions that can minimize risk to you and your household.

WHEN CAN I USE ACCRUED SICK TIME?

If you are sick, stay home. Staff and student workers should continue to follow their unit’s procedure for requesting sick time off and can find more information by contacting the College’s Human Resources Department. Sick time off can also be used if you have had direct exposure to COVID-19 and you have been directed to complete a 14-day self-isolation.

IF I TRAVEL, WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF SELF QUARANTINE?

If you have travelled or plan to travel to country with a Level 2 or Level 3 heaLth notice, you are required to observe a 14-day period of self-quarantine and monitoring upon your return and report such travel to your supervisor or instructor.

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you are sick, stay home.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM GETTING SICK?

Practice good hygiene. Also avoid contact with others, do not travel while sick, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the tissue. You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using 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.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE EVENT OF A COMPLETE SHUTDOWN OF THE COLLEGE?

The priority of the College during the evolving pandemic situation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is to ensure the safety and health of students, faculty and staff while maintaining the continuity of essential academic and administrative operations and services of the institution. In the event of a College disruption (e.g., remote operations, closure), essential employees not suffering an illness may be required to work either from home, or on campus (if the essential job responsibilities cannot be performed at home) at their regular rate of pay as operational needs dictate at the discretion of the employee’s Supervisor, Department Head and/or Area Head.  In the event of staffing shortages that disrupt the usual delivery of services due to diagnosis and/or necessity of quarantine, it may become necessary for the temporary assignment or reassignment out of position title of essential work duties to ensure continuity of operations.

To address essential operational needs and staffing capabilities in the event of a disruption, Supervisors, Department Heads and Area Heads are advised to:

  • Immediately determine the operations and services of your department and area that cannot be suspended and must continue during a disruption.
  • Identify the personnel essential to providing these operations and services from home, remotely and/or on-campus.
  • Communicate with each employee the job requirements and attendance expected of the “essential employee.”
  • Identify, and cross train where necessary, alternate employees who can fulfill the essential duties in the absence of the primary employee designated as “essential.”
  • Ensure the accuracy of contact information of the “essential employees” and their remote access to key job-related materials.
  • Maintain attendance records for the work performed by each “essential employee.”

Supervisors ensure that your respective Department Head and Area Head are aware of the operations, services and personnel designated as essential for the College.

CAN EMPLOYEES WORK REMOTELY?

Supervisors can provide online options to employees, including student employees, whose job duties can be performed remotely without hampering operations.  Supervisors have maximum flexibility to implement this.

WHAT TECHNOLOGY IS AVAILABLE TO WORK REMOTELY?

Staff and student workers can prepare for the possibility of disruptions by becoming familiar with the technology tools that make it possible to work even when you can’t get to campus. These can involve videoconferencing, chat, collaboration, and online storage.

Dear Essex County College Family,

As everyone deals with the unprecedented Coronavirus outbreak and its impact on personal and family life, assistance may be needed to get through the rough times.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges and the New Jersey Department of Labor have provided a number of available  resources for assistance.

Resources for New Jersey Community College Students and Community Members Affected by the Coronavirus 

Have you lost your job or work hours been reduced?


If you have lost your job, your work hours have been reduced, or your place of work has closed you may qualify for unemployment insurance. Please visit the following website for more information:

https://myunemployment.nj.gov/

Has your job been impacted?


If you need food or financial assistance
If you and/or your family are in need of food or financial assistance, you may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and/or General Assistance (GA):

https://oneapp.dhs.state.nj.us/default.aspx

If you need food or financial assistance

If you and/or your family are in need of food or financial assistance, you may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and/or General Assistance (GA):

https://oneapp.dhs.state.nj.us/default.aspx

If you need help paying home energy bills

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps very low-income residents with their heating and cooling bills, and makes provisions for emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance within the Home Energy Assistance Program:

https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/hea.html

If you need help paying the rent

If you need help paying the rent
The State Rental Assistance Program provides rental assistance grants. To get more information and determine your eligibility, visit:

https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/srap.html

If you are caring for family members with special needs

The New Jersey Department of Human Services has guidance for individuals and families caring for people with developmental disabilities:

https://nj.gov/humanservices/coronavirus.html

More information on the Coronavirus can be found at: https://www.njccc.org/coronavirus

 


MESSAGES & UPDATES


 


Update concerning College Operations

03/22/2020

Dear Essex County College Family:

As you are aware, Governor Phil Murphy has announced several new Executive Orders over the past few days. In addition, Mayor Ras Baraka has announced enhanced restrictions for residents of three areas within Newark.  With these announcements, Essex County College continues to operate.  Classes resume via remote instruction on Monday, March 23rd.  However, the Governor’s and Mayor’s directives require the following changes to the College’s operations: Read More.

 


On Monday, March 16th, Governor Murphy released Executive Order 104 which states the following

concerning colleges and universities:

“All institutions of higher education shall cease in-person instruction beginning on Wednesday, March 18,

2020, and shall cease such in-person instruction as long as this Order remains in effect. Read More.


An Important Message from Essex County College President, Dr. Anthony E. Munroe

03/12/2020

Dear Essex County College Family,

As your President, my highest priorities in charting a response to the fast-evolving coronavirus threat are to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff while maintaining academic continuity and safeguarding students’ ability to finish their semester and protect their financial aid. I know that you are concerned for your own health, the health of your loved ones… Read More


 


Dr. Anthony E. Munroe

03/06/2020

This is a time, if none other, to stay focused, come together, plan, and prepare. Essex County College has been in the planning and preparation mode in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have in place, the Essex County College Coronavirus Emergency Task Force. With representation from across the College community, we have been meeting and communicating regularly to prepare for, and respond to matters concerning the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Read More


Statement from the Essex County College Coronavirus Emergency Task Force

03/04/2020

The Essex County College (ECC) administration has assembled a College-wide inter-disciplinary team, the Coronavirus Task Force, to identify and plan for a range of scenarios and potential near- and longer-term impacts from the respiratory illness caused by the virus. As our team continues to monitor developments and prepare, we will communicate with you on a regular basis.  Read More


 


03/02/2020

Community Mitigation Guidance for COVID-19 Response in the United States: Nonpharmaceutical Interventions for Community Preparedness and Outbreak Response

Nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are public health actions that can slow the spread of emerging respiratory diseases like COVID-19 for which vaccines and drug treatments are not yet available.1  They include personal protective measures implemented by individuals and community measures implemented by affected communities.1   NPIs are used to build community preparedness in communities without known COVID-19 disease and to support outbreak responses in communities where local cases or cluster of diseases have occurred. Read More