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What are the safety guidelines for colleges and universities?

Last Updated: 02/15/2023

Vaccination is the leading prevention strategy to protect individuals from COVID-19. The CDC recommends all faculty, staff, and students get vaccinated as soon as possible and remain up to date, including receiving a booster when eligible. Learn more.

The State no longer requires face coverings for most indoor public spaces, however institutions may choose to adopt stricter COVID-19 requirements, such as mandating mask wearing or social distancing, that are consistent with federal and state law.

The Department of Health recommends wearing a face mask whenever you have symptoms of COVID-19, tested positive, were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19, or live in a county with elevated or "high" COVID community levels.

For institutions of higher education that do not have a universal masking policy, the NJ Department of Health recommends requiring masks in the following circumstances:

  • During periods of elevated community transmission – when COVID-19 community levels are high, NJDOH recommends that institutions strongly consider universal masking for all students, faculty and staff, especially if there is difficulty incorporating other layered prevention strategies (e.g., adequate ventilation, adequate spacing of students).
  • After returning from isolation or quarantine – students, faculty, and staff who return to campus during days 6-10 of isolation or quarantine should be required to mask.

For more on safety recommendations, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) has issued COVID-19 Recommendations and Best Practices for New Jersey Institutions of Higher Education. The document along with the CDC's guidance for institutions of higher education is meant to inform ongoing institutional operations.

Source: Executive Order No. 242;;