Office of the President

March 6, 2020

To the William Paterson Community:

Shortly after I sent yesterday’s email regarding COVID-19, we learned of a second presumed case in New Jersey. I want you to know that our teams of administrators continue to meet regularly to assess the situation. The University is ready to respond to new developments in accordance with our preparedness plans and state and federal guidance. Like many other schools and colleges, we are making preparations in the event that we are asked by state officials to move all class instruction online or close the campus altogether.

The best source of information for our campus community is the special Counseling, Health and Wellness webpage that I linked to in yesterday’s communication. The page is being updated regularly, so please check-in there if you have additional questions. You should also know that steps are being taken to provide additional sanitization of campus, including stricter cleaning and food preparation protocols.

With spring break approaching, a primary area of concern is international travel. To help the University manage its response to a fast-changing situation and provide employees and students with appropriate guidance, we are asking that anyone who travels abroad to any country complete our online travel registry before returning to campus.

Additionally, because cruise ship travel has been deemed a higher risk, we are requiring that any employee or student who travels on a cruise self-isolate at home for 14 days upon their return to the U.S. If you are planning to go on a cruise, staff should notify your supervisor, faculty notify your Chairs, and students notify the Counseling, Health and Wellness Center as soon as possible to make appropriate arrangements for the additional absence from campus.

As with everything we do, these steps are being taken in the best interests of the health and safety of the entire William Paterson community. This brings me to another important point. A key part of staying healthy is avoiding undue stress. I know that the pace of developments regarding COVID-19 can be worrisome. So please know that the University is prepared, that the Centers for Disease Control continue to report that the risk to the general public is low, and that the best steps we can all take are simple ones like regularly washing hands, replacing handshakes with smiles, and staying home or seeking medical care as appropriate, if sick. 

We will continue to update you as circumstances require. As always, if you have additional concerns, you can call the New Jersey Department of Health hotline at 800-222-1222.

Richard J. Helldobler, PhD
Office of the President | 973.720.2222 |