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Coronavirus Campus Communication 2/3/2020

Coronavirus Campus Communication 2/3/2020

To: Students, Faculty and Staff
Date: February 3, 2020
Re: Campus Communication on Coronavirus

Dear Ramapo College Students, Faculty & Staff:

In recent days, you have likely heard intensifying reports about the coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China.  The coronavirus has sickened more than 17,000 people, been diagnosed in 11 people in the United States and has led to more than 350 deaths worldwide.  The threat to the Ramapo College of New Jersey community is currently considered to be low, but outbreaks of new viruses in humans are always a public health concern.

The staff from the Center for Health & Counseling Services, the Office of Student Affairs, the Roukema Center for International Education and other offices are monitoring this evolving situation.   The College has a robust Emergency Preparedness Plan where the Pandemic Assessment Team makes recommendations around assisting in the control of the spread of a pandemic illness on campus, while also planning for business continuity and academic instruction. We learned that over the weekend, three cases of the coronavirus are being investigated in New York City.  Following the College’s Emergency Preparedness Plan, a campus communication is sent whenever a State with cases under investigation borders New Jersey. As the information on this disease is changing quickly, we advise you to check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most up-to-date information and guidance.

The CDC has recommended that there be no travel to China.  The U.S. Department of Health has issued a “do not travel” advisory for all of China.  Visitors coming to the United States from China are being screened at U.S. airports by the CDC.

Our own Roukema Center for International Education has taken measures to protect students and employees.  The March 2020 Study Abroad program to China has been cancelled, and an alternative site is being identified.   The Roukema Center continues to update their website related to travel warnings,, and Health Services maintains a fact sheet about the coronavirus on their website,

What you should not do:

  • Do not travel to China;
  • Do not use facemasks.  The CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general public to prevent the spread of this virus.

What you should do:

  • Stay informed – the CDC is updating its website daily with the latest information and advice for the public;
  • Remember to take every day preventative actions that are always recommended to prevent the spread of any respiratory virus;
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible;
  • Stay home if you are sick;
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw away the tissue.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.  Germs spread this way;
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based rub until you can wash with soap and water;
  • If you feel sick with a fever, cough or are having difficulty breathing and you have traveled to China or were in close contact with someone who has traveled to China in the past 14 days, seek medical care at the closest hospital Emergency Department;
  • Students may call Health Services with any questions, 201-684-7536; and employees may call Human Resources with any questions, 201-684-7506.

Health Services and administrators throughout Ramapo College of New Jersey will continue to work closely with the Bergen County Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Health to prepare for and to prevent the spread of illness and keep our community safe.

If you are feeling anxious or stressed about the news concerning the virus, contact Counseling Services at 201-684-7522 (for students) and Human Resources at 201-684-7506 (for employees).

We will follow with additional communications as the situation warrants.  In order to stay up to date on the College’s efforts or review information about the virus, please visit the websites for Health Services, and the Roukema Center for International Education,


Melissa Van Der Wall
Dean of Students
Pandemic Assessment Team, chair

Debra Lukacsko, MSN, BA, RN, APN, C
Associate Director of Health Services
Pandemic Assessment Team, member