PISCATAWAY, NJ—Almost a year after being selected as Rutgers University’s 21st President, Dr. Jonathan Holloway revealed that he recently tested positive for COVID-19.
In an announcement posted on the University’s website, Holloway said he contracted the virus through his home and is self-quarantining, albeit following strict preventative measures.
“Despite my strictly following all appropriate health hygiene advice, it appears that I contracted the virus at my home. Even with an initial negative test result, I have been in strict self-quarantine since being made aware of exposure this past Wednesday,” wrote Holloway.
As we reported, the University shut down most of its operations and transitioned to online classes in March 2020, and has announced plans to fully re-open this September.
Holloway’s diagnosis is a reminder of COVID-19’s presence within New Brunswick and the Rutgers community.
On January 11, Holloway stated he is experiencing mild symptoms and has taken proper precautions since testing positive, including notifying everyone he interacted with previously.
“I am fortunate, my symptoms are minimal and like a common cold. I will continue to self-quarantine and closely monitor any health changes. I will be paring back my schedule for the next ten days in order to get proper rest at home and return to full health.”
Holloway, however, was not the only Rutgers official who contracted the coronavirus. Back in March 2020, the head of the Rutgers University COVID-19 task force, Antonio Calcado contracted the virus, sending him to a hospital with more violent symptoms.
According to TapInto New Brunswick, Calcado experienced double pneumonia and oxygen deprivation in addition to viral symptoms while fighting for his life at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.
It took Calcado several weeks before he was able to resume his position as the University’s COO, Executive VP for Strategic Planning and Operations, and head of the task force.
Both Holloway’s and Calcado’s firsthand experiences are a reminder to the public about the seriousness of the virus, with both figures reiterating the precautions necessary to decrease risk of exposure when in public.
COVID-19 is not the only challenge that Dr. Holloway faces with his arrival at Rutgers University. Aside from the pandemic derailing his plans to visit and interact with different areas of the Rutgers community, Holloway enters his tenure amid a financial crisis regarding employment and the university’s budget and Black Lives Matter protests.
His academic background as a professor in History and African American Studies makes him more cognizant of the struggles facing Rutgers and New Brunswick, as well as the university’s checkered past regarding slavery and systemic racism.
Prior to becoming the 21st president of Rutgers, Holloway served as a provost at Northwestern University and a Dean at Yale University, where he received his doctorate.
Holloway’s term as university president began on July 1, 2020, making him the first non-white President of Rutgers. He is paid a $780,000 base salary with the university, but took a modest pay cut due to the financial crisis.
Jad is a local writer, organizer, and life-long resident of New Brunswick. He is a graduate of both Rutgers University and The University of Toronto.