Information for Employees

The health and safety of William Paterson University employees and community members remains our priority and the University continues to monitor state and federal guidelines and regulations, as well as guidance from the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, to inform our decision-making related to COVID-19.

The University is committed to sustaining a safe campus environment by continuing to:

  • Monitor and assess potential and actual COVID-19 spread;
  • Review existing policies and procedures to ensure effectiveness;
  • Disseminate and adhere to existing and updated public health directives; and
  • Adjust restrictions as needed, based on conditions.


With the expiration on May 11, 2023 of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, William Paterson University will no longer require COVID-19 vaccines for employees. However, it is strongly recommended that individuals, especially those who are at risk for complications, stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.


The University is a mask-friendly campus. Those who are at risk for complications related to COVID-19, who have a member of their household who is at risk, should feel comfortable wearing a mask around others. Masks are still required of everyone in the Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center.

Individuals who are exposed to COVID-19, whether vaccinated or exempt, should take precautions for 10 days and are required to wear a mask around others for 10 days following exposure. The University continues to monitor COVID-19 transmission rates in the community and may change the masking policy if conditions warrant.

A good-fitting mask is one of the best measures proven to work against this variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending that you wear an N95 or KN95 mask, or at least a 3-ply disposable surgical mask CDC Mask Guidance.


The Division of Human Resources, in partnership with the Counseling, Health and Wellness Center, Facilities, Public Safety, and others, will revise policies as needed and will include information during training to ensure that employees understand processes, procedures, and expectations.

Guidance and Resources

Resources include a review of CDC and New Jersey Department of Health guidelines on social distancing protocols, health information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, prevention of COVID-19, appropriate cleaning procedures, and institutional policies and procedures designed to limit the spread of COVID-19, such as the use and care of masks, and other topics. Resources provided to faculty and staff include:

Personal Protective Equipment

Essential employees, including University police and public safety officers, designated physical plant and facilities members, athletic training staff, and designated Counseling, Health, and Wellness staff, may be supplied with N95 face masks/respirators. Hand sanitizer stations are located around campus.

Employee Screening

The health and safety of the University community is a shared responsibility among faculty and staff.

Faculty and staff who have tested positive for, or who are showing symptoms of COVID-19, should stay home and seek medical care. Anyone with a fever of 100 degrees or higher should stay home.

NOTE: Individuals who have been in close contact with an individual that tested positive can return to work or school but you must remain masked in the public indoor spaces for 10 days post-exposure. It is recommended but not required that you be tested 5 days from your last exposure.  If you develop symptoms during this time, you must stay home and take a COVID-19 test.

Individuals with COVID-19 have reported a wide variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these signs and symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Other less common symptoms have been reported including, but not limited to, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  Since the list in this document is not all-inclusive, employees and visitors should visit the CDC website for more information. 

Any supervisor or manager who either notices a potentially ill employee, or who is informed of symptoms exhibited by an employee, should speak with the employee and tell the employee to leave work and seek medical consultation if the symptoms are new onset and/or not related to known allergies, common cold, or known pre-existing conditions. Call 911 or University Police to assist any employee in significant medical distress. 

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are not feeling well, with symptoms that you believe might be COVID-19, please stay home, consult with your health care provider, and contact Employee Benefits at to initiate discussion about your status.

Testing Due to Exposure or Symptoms


If you are exposed to COVD-19, you should get tested 5 days after exposure, and must wear a mask in public indoor settings for 10 days. If symptoms develop during this time, you must notify the University and stay home.


If you are exhibiting symptoms, you should be tested for COVID-19. We are now accepting at-home rapid tests, health care provider rapid (antigen) tests, or PCR tests for symptomatic individuals. Employees with symptoms should get tested through their medical provider, pharmacy, or local urgent care. All positive results must be shared with Human Resources.


Negative Viral Test (PCR or Antigen):

If you test negative for the virus that causes COVID-19, the virus was not detected.

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19:
    • You may have received a false negative test result and still might have COVID-19. You should isolate away from others and reach out to your medical provider for guidance about your symptoms, especially if they worsen about follow-up testing, and how long to isolate. Do not return to work if you are ill.
  • If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, and you were exposed to a person with COVID-19:
    • You must wear a mask, social distance, and monitor for symptoms for 10 days.

Positive Viral Test (PCR or Antigen):

If you test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, take the following steps to protect others regardless of your COVID-19 vaccination status:

  • Isolate at home and isolate away from others for at least 5 days from when symptoms began or if no symptoms from date of test. The day of test is considered day zero. You may return on day 6.
  • If you do not have any symptoms, you should still isolate at home for at least 5 days.
  • If you develop symptoms, continue to isolate for at least 5 days after symptoms began as long as symptoms have improved, and no fever is present for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.

Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you are more likely to get very sick (if you are an older adult or having underlying medical conditions) or if your symptoms get worse.

You are not permitted to return to campus if you have prolonged symptoms beyond the 5 days unless cleared by Human Resources. 


Anyone who tests positive (vaccinated or unvaccinated) will be required to isolate for 5 days from the day they test positive (if no symptoms) or from when symptoms began. The day you test is considered day zero. You may return on day 6. You cannot test out of this requirement; you are also not required to provide a negative test to return. Also, in order to return to campus for work or attend in-person classes or activities, you must isolate for 5 days and be symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

Isolation Guidelines for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff who are in isolation due to having symptoms of COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, stay in a specific “sick room” or area, and use a separate bathroom (if available).

This is the guidance that will be provided to individuals that been diagnosed with COVID-19:

  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
  • Wear a mask when around other people if able.

In order for any faculty/staff member to return to work, they must not be contagious. To return, the individual must meet the following criteria:

  • It has been 5 days since symptoms first appeared, and
  • It has been 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

Reporting of Positive COVID-19 Tests and Exposures

The health of our community continues to depend on the cooperation of students, faculty, and staff in identifying and reporting cases of COVID-19 in order to properly identify any exposures. It becomes even more challenging when there are high rates of transmission in our local communities. We ask that our community members be responsible and stay home if they are sick or if they think they have COVID-19. It is true, especially with the Omicron variant, that symptoms can also mirror a cold, allergies, flu, and other illnesses. 

If you are having any symptoms, we ask that you test for COVID-19 and do not return to campus until you have obtained the results of your test. If you receive a positive result, you must submit results on the WP COVID Testing Portal to ensure proper tracking and follow up. 

It is imperative that you continue to cooperate with any protocols. We will be contacting individuals through their WP email account, which you must check daily. 

Employees will be responsible for contacting their own close contacts. Once you upload a positive test, you will be provided with more information.

Employees should notify Human Resources via if they test positive for COVID-19. They can upload their positive test result to the WP COVID Testing Portal. Employees who test positive must follow the isolation guidelines and can only return after 5 days since testing positive or when symptoms began. They must also be symptom-free for at least 24 hours before returning. Employees do not need to be cleared by their medical provider to return after having COVID-19. However, if symptoms are prolonged and they are out for an extended period, this may be required. Also, if symptoms worsen, please reach out to your medical provider or go to your local urgent care center. For more information about COVID 19 symptoms visit CDC Covid-19 Symptoms


Employees who believe that, due a medical condition, they may need an accommodation may wish to seek a reasonable accommodation by completing the Reasonable Accommodation Form.

Employees Unable to Work Related to COVID-19

Pursuant to guidance set forth by the Civil Service Commission, COVID-19 Sick Leave and Family Leave are applicable to full time Career Service, Unclassified, Adjunct Faculty and part time employees whose job functions cannot be performed remotely. Coverage under these leaves is retroactive to January 1, 2021. For more information, please visit


All visitors to campus are required to adhere to established health policies to ensure the safety of the University community. It is up to the host to share all COVID-19 protocols with their guests.


Employees, please be advised that failure to adhere to WP health and/or reopening policies related to COVID-19 may be detrimental to the health and safety of the community. As a result, violations may result in appropriate corrective action consistent with the principles of progressive discipline not unlike violations of other University policies.