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COVID-19 - USJ Reopen plans

The University of Saint Joseph is continuously monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing to reopen based on state guidelines

Update as of May 19, 2020

Watch President Free's video on reopening USJ, here.


Update as of May 15, 2020

At the University of Saint Joseph, your safety and well-being have always been our top priorities. Over the next few months, the University will prepare to reopen for the fall semester, providing value to students through academics, service, and inclusion.  Changes will be made to protect the community from health risks, but in assessing the extent of the changes required we are comforted by our small size and location that provides ready access to resources.

We are living in a new era where citizens around the world are adopting new behaviors and social norms. Language evolves to describe new circumstances, and the new word being used in higher education is “hyflex,” a combination of hybrid and flexibility. Hyflex refers to the ability to offer a campus life and classes that are hybrid and flexible, changing as necessary to respond to the external environment.

What does this mean at USJ? While prioritizing health and safety, and maintaining compliance with government recommendations and regulations:

  • Residence halls, dining services and campus activities will return as much as possible to “normal” operation by the beginning of the fall 2020 semester but, if necessary, changes will be made quickly and with flexibility.
  • Student services like Advising, Career Planning, and Tutoring can and will be provided in person and virtually to meet student needs.
  • Classes may start with some remote delivery and some face-to-face meetings, but then switch to all face-to-face or all remote. Even if classes are face-to-face, students will be able to participate remotely in most cases. Regardless of the mode of delivery, face-to-face or remote, classes will continue to be small, personalized and engaging, and taught by the full-time faculty for which USJ is known.
  • Student activities may be restricted by limits on the size of gatherings but then change over the course of the semester.
  • Athletic practices may be conducted as usual, but practices and competitions will comply with NCAA or GNAC recommendations. As soon as it is safe, USJ teams will return to normal competition schedules.

What does this mean for you?

  • You will be able to participate in most classes on campus or remotely, as your circumstances require.
  • You can plan to live on campus, knowing that if authorities require the University to close, your charges will be adjusted.
  • Our commitment to keeping you safe will have an impact on your experience on campus – strict protective measures will be in place for access to campus, cleanliness, social distancing, and personal protection equipment. We don’t know what all of these procedures will be yet because they will be adapted to the changing circumstances.

Based on state guidelines, USJ will begin to reopen on May 20 with some offices and research labs resuming operations. Additional staff will return to campus as needed. In early June, some lab and clinical courses will be taught on campus, although most summer classes will be taught using a hybrid or remote method. Technology will be used in a way that maintains the traditional face-to-face USJ class environment as closely as possible. Classes that were designed to be taught 100% online will continue to be taught that way. These early phases of reopening represent steps toward full reopening in the fall semester – as we determine how to create the best learning environment possible consistent with maintaining safety and health and strict compliance with government guidelines.

We will stay in touch with current and new students over the summer, but encourage you to enjoy the next few months, stay safe, and harness your flexibility and determination to be ready to be a hyflex student in a hyflex fall 2020 semester at USJ.



University of Saint Joseph U.S. CARES Relief Fund Report

The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) is required to provide regular reporting to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on the use of funds authorized by the CARES Act. Funds received by USJ under the CARES Act were authorized by Congress and signed into law by the President on March 27, 2020.  The information in the linked report (above) is intended to meet the reporting requirements of the CARES Act.


Answers were last updated on May 15, 2020, at 12 p.m. ET. USJ will be updating this FAQ as needed.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 has similar symptoms to the flu and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Facebook Covid ReopeningThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Limit Risk of Exposure

Connecticut has prepared tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19, feel free to share this poster with tips.

The CDC recommends the following steps to help limit the risk of exposure:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Singing happy birthday is a good way to time it out. If soap and water isn't available use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people that are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home if you're sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Make sure you throw away any tissues once they have been used.
  • Clean and disinfect including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks

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