March 10, 2020

Coronavirus Update from The President's Office

Dear York College Community,

We, like the global community, continue to monitor developments related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The number of cases in NYC continues to grow through an increase in testing and awareness of symptoms. As of this writing, we are not aware of coronavirus cases involving anyone in the York College community. The news and recommendations are changing daily and we are working closely with CUNY Central.

We understand that the rapidly-changing news cycle regarding this story is overwhelming, and may be causing anxiety for some in our Community.  To help address this anxiety, we have been actively working to address the potential impacts of a wide range of scenarios. Your safety is of the utmost importance and I want to share the below information as a reminder and provide some updates:

Facilities

We currently have custodians restocking hand sanitizers, soaps and other cleaning supplies and ensuring spaces are clean. We are shifting two of the custodial evening crew to help support this effort. Signage has been posted around campus regarding proper hygiene (washing hands and covering coughs, etc.) and about the virus. Should you experience a bathroom facility, or sanitizer stand that is not properly stocked, please send an email to president@york.cuny.edu. We will dispatch someone to address the issue.

Culture of Respect

Although the virus is currently prevalent in a handful of European and Asian countries, the manner in which it is spread is universal and not limited to certain segments of the population. Kindly be reminded that, as a diverse campus community, York promotes a culture of respect.  Fear and misinformation do not excuse discriminatory conduct and any member of the campus community who believes that they are being treated in a discriminatory manner is encouraged to contact the Office of Diversity and Compliance at x5304 or by emailing compliance@york.cuny.edu.

Symptoms

For purposes of this virus, if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, 14 days after returning from a country under a CDC Level 3 warning, or after close contact with someone who has recently traveled to them and is displaying these symptoms, you should immediately contact your health care provider.

Employees who are sick and exhibiting symptoms of acute respiratory illness are asked to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer) and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines. Employees should notify their supervisor and keep them informed of their absence. For the health and safety of all employees, staff members who report to work exhibiting these symptoms may be sent home.

Employees returning from a country designated as “Level 3” by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are to contact the Human Resources Office before returning to work. The number to call for York’s Human Resources Office is 718-262-2135.

Students who need help connecting to a health care provider should call the Campus Health Services, located in AC1F01, at 718-262-2050.  CUNY Central has also requested that each campus designate a liaison to handle inquiries and concerns. For York College, that person is Chief of Staff Dana Trimboli; if you have specific concerns about yourself or another member of the community related to COVID-19, please contact Ms. Trimboli at X5374 or at dtrimboli@york.cuny.edu.

Prevention

As a community, we want to encourage elbow bumps and hand waves, as opposed to handshakes. Hand sanitizer is great, but experts say washing your hands regularly with soap and water is even better. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Do not touch your face with unwashed hands. Wearing a mask is not considered necessary unless you have received medical advice to do so.

Academic Continuity

CUNY has asked faculty and staff to be prepared to accommodate, to the greatest reasonable extent, affected students, including, but not limited to, permitting make-up exams, addressing absences and extending due dates of final assignments and projects. We are working with the Office of the Provost and Information Technology on business continuity plans in the event of a closure, or other possible scenarios.

Personal Concerns

We understand that members of the college community may be anxious during this time. Students can receive free, confidential services in the Counseling Center located in AC-1G03 or call 718-262-2272. For faculty and staff, CUNY’s Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) is available to help. CUNY’s EAP may be reached at 1-866-327-2400 or https://www.deeroaks.com

Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued additional guidance on best practices that can help stop the spread of COVID-19. For more information on the City's response, visit: https://on.nyc.gov/2TOFnsB.

For updates on coronavirus, text COVID to 692-692.

For Coronavirus preparedness tips and safety info, visit: www.NYC.gov/coronavirus.

For Immediate Assistance

New York State Coronavirus health hotline: 1-888-364-3065
Call with all questions or concerns

Wash Your Hands Often with soap and water

If you have specific concerns about yourself or another member of the community, please contact Ms. Trimboli, the campus coronavirus liaison dtrimboli@york.cuny.edu.