Protecting the NJCU Community

Citizen+taking+a+COVID-19+test.+Photo+courtesy+of+Staff+Sgt.+Justin+Andras+%2F+Indiana+National+Guard.

Citizen taking a COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy of Staff Sgt. Justin Andras / Indiana National Guard.

David Wilson, Photo Editor

This fall will not be a typical semester as NJCU students must take a COVID-19 test and schedule a virtual appointment and evaluation before returning to campus. The university has entered into an agreement with Diligent Urgent Care LLC, a medical care company that has been treating COVID-19 patients since the pandemic started.

Students can schedule an appointment at a nearby Diligent Urgent Care Facility. While a testing center is recommended, students may use their own physician. There is no charge to upload outside test results.

By using a telemedicine platform, Diligent Urgent Care will help develop a database of NJCU students, faculty, and staff. This platform will take into consideration medical health history, COVID history, medications, allergies and other important information.

Students taking online classes are asked to follow the same procedure, so the entire community is reached. Administrators say this plan will help NJCU in protecting and educating students about their health.

Several students sent comments via Instagram to the Student Government Association (SGA) after they posted about this article. Students who wrote to SGA seemed concerned.

One student wrote “It does not make sense. You can test negative for COVID today and be positive the next week.” Another said, “Testing prior to the start is not enough. There should be monthly testing, especially for those housing.”

When asked why NJCU decided to take this path, Jodi Bailey, associate vice president for Student Affairs said, “NJCU has a really dedicated staff, but we didn’t have the manpower to be able to provide screening and education for 7,000 students, 8,000 if you count the faculty and staff. We needed somebody to assist us with this.”

If a student has tested positive before the fall semester, that student should follow any steps given by their doctor. Also, the student is advised to quarantine. If a student tests positive once we return to campus, they should contact the student health center for further instructions. Students will have access to COVID-19 testing on campus when classes resume.

In an email interview, Katherine Reyes, a student majoring in Media Arts said, “Other schools had decided to not open up altogether and avoid the risk completely. Rutgers for example is closed for the rest of the year and that school is much further from the NYC area, which is/was the epicenter of the outbreak. Our school, being much closer to the epicenter may need to take a similar precaution, or at least weigh out which students are able to be admitted.”

Reyes continues and said, “I just hope the school is sanitized and takes social distancing measures seriously if NJCU follows through the idea of reopening.”