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Coronavirus Campus Communication 2/3/2021

Coronavirus Campus Communication 2/3/2021

To: Students, Faculty and Staff
Date: February 3, 2021
Re: Campus Communication on Coronavirus

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Welcome to the Spring semester at Ramapo college.  The Pandemic Assessment Team provides regular communications via Broadcast emails and through the COVID-19 webpage. Please familiarize yourself with the dashboards we have developed to stay communicative with you about how COVID-19 impacts our campus.  The COVID-19 webpage includes a positive case dashboard, information about on-campus self-isolation/self-quarantine beds in use, and a new dashboard for the weekly resident surveillance testing program, found here.

The Pandemic Assessment Team helps create a culture of preparedness in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.  The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain our top priority and why we required students to sign the Student Code for Heathy Living and Learning. Faculty and staff were required to sign the Ramapo College Employee Code for a Safe Working Environment. We expect that you will be proactive, helpful, and compliant in minimizing the risk of COVID-19 spread on campus and anticipate your cooperation in abiding by the below information, so that we can work toward a healthy Roadrunner experience.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Variants, and Symptoms
The CDC issues guidance related to COVID-19. Please be aware of symptoms, which may range from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.  The symptoms are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea (this list does not include all possible symptoms). Additional information about variants, which seem to spread more easily and quickly, can be found here.

The CDC lists emergency warning signs that should always result in seeking medical attention immediately such as: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and bluish lips or face. Emergency warning signs and a symptom self-checker are found here.

People Who Need to Take Extra Precautions
The CDC has issued guidance related to populations of people who must take extra precautions to prevent being infected with COVID-19. We recommend that you assess this information to determine if you are at a higher risk for this severe illness and consider ways to keep yourself safe.

Prevention Information
Make it a point to review prevention information from the CDC on a daily basis.  The guidance may change, so we encourage you to take responsibility for your health and stay informed.

Below is a summary of prevention steps, but please access the CDC site for the comprehensive information about prevention.

  • Clean your hands often.  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  If soap and water is not available, you can use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Practice social distancing.  Remember that some people, without symptoms, may be able to spread the virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  Always put distance between yourself and other people.  Social distancing (at least 6 feet of distance between others) is a mechanism to slow the spread of COVID-19;
  • For students who are currently living on campus, as a reminder, the guest and visitation policy and the social gathering policy are suspended and there are to be no gatherings (includes visitation between and among residential rooms);
  • Stay home if you are sick (except to get medical care). Do not, under any circumstances, come to the campus if you are sick;
  • Always cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue (and throw it away) or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.  Immediately wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water (or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol);
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when on campus and around others in public settings, (such as on-campus or at a grocery store, pharmacy and gas station), where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. The cloth face covering is meant to protect others, in the event that you are infected.  A face covering with a valve should not be used, as an exhalation valve allows unfiltered, exhaled air to be released and putting others nearby at risk. Always keep 6 feet of distance from others, as the cloth face covering is not meant to be a substitute for social distancing.  Please see the College’s Face Covering Fact Sheet
  • Face coverings are always required when picking up meals from Dining Services, riding the Ramapo Roadrunner Express or Coach USA bus (or standing in the transportation kiosk outside Bradley Center), or visiting the Food Pantry (location: ASB 130, appointments made through;
  • The CDC offers guidance on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Slow the Spread. Please review this advice as it describes how to properly wear (covering both your nose and mouth) and wash a face covering;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

What to Do If You Are Sick
If you are not feeling well, you should follow these steps for non-emergencies:

  1. Monitor your symptoms.  COVID-19 causes a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.  Monitor if you have a fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
  2. STAY HOME.  If you are an on-campus resident, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR RESIDENCE ROOM.   If you are a commuter student with classes on campus, DO NOT COME TO THE CAMPUS.  Faculty and staff should stay home if they are sick.
  3. Call for medical care.  Students may call Health Services at 201-684-7536 Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.  A member of the Health Services staff will consult with you about your symptoms and an appointment scheduled via telemedicine.  Alternatively, you may call your own medical provider and report any changes in your health to Health Services.

If you have a medical emergency, you should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention.

  1. Emergency warning signs of COVID-19 are: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face (this list is not all possible symptoms, so please call your medical provider for any symptoms that are severe or concerning to you)
  2. Call 911.  Notify the operator that you are seeking care for symptoms you suspect are COVID-19 related.

Where to Get Tested for COVID-19
New Jersey’s COVID-19 Information Hub, has information about where you can get tested for COVID-19. Local community providers open for medical appointments and, as of today, have COVID-19 testing capabilities are found here. The on-campus resident and student-athlete surveillance testing program in the Padovano Commons is not for sick or symptomatic students or employees.

If you are a student (resident or commuter) and have tested positive for COVID-19, told you most likely have COVID-19 by a medical provider, or have a COVID-19 sick individual in your home, please immediately contact Debra Lukacsko, Associate Director of Health Services, or 201-684-7536.  If you are a faculty or staff, and have tested positive for COVID-19, told you most likely have COVID-19 by a medical provider, or have a COVID-19 sick individual in your home, please immediately contact Jill Brown, Associate Director of Human Resources,, or 201-684-7507.  We require that you come forward and talk with us, so that we can provide you with Ramapo-specific resources and guidance.  If any member of the community becomes aware of a student, faculty, or staff with COVID-19 or under investigation for COVID-19, you may share this information with the above named resources.

Daily Symptom Self-Screening
Symptom screening is a helpful way to self-identify if you may have an illness and should stay home and/or seek medical attention.  In order to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, we require that you do your part and conduct a review of the Daily Symptom Self Screening for Students, Faculty, and Staff.  Please follow the directions in the Self-Screening tool.

Face Coverings
It is very important that you do all that you can to slow the spread of COVID-19.  When you are indoors, the face covering is required.  Students, alone in their residence room, do not need to wear a face covering, nor do employees in a private office/cubicle. For outdoor activity, the face covering is required when social distancing is not possible. Wearing a face covering incorrectly may put others around you at risk because you may be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.  You must wear the face covering in a manner where it covers both your nose and mouth.  Wearing the face covering any other way is incorrect and not acceptable on or off campus.   The Face Covering Policy for Students is found here; the Social Distancing and Face Covering Policy for Employees is found here.

Travel Registry (International and Domestic)
Individuals entering New Jersey (both travelers and NJ residents) from states with a significant spread of COVID-19 should self-quarantine upon arrival.  If you must engage in personal, international travel (to any country) or domestic travel to any of the travel advisory states, please complete the College’s travel registry questionnaire. By completing the questionnaire, you enable the College to support you with the most current resources and College-specific directions as students and employees will be directed to self-quarantine, off campus, after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.

Mental Health Resources
Students may call Counseling Services at 201-684-7522 for 24/7 support.  For faculty and staff, the Human Resources Department has a number of resources available to you that can be found on their website and on their wellness website.

Additional resources:
Crisis Text Line:  Text “HOME” to 741741
Family Helpline (for stressed parents): Call 1-800-843-5437
Trevor Lifeline: Call 1-866-488-7386 (suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ community under 25 years old)
Trans Lifeline’s Peer Support Hotline: Call 1-877-330-6366
Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-572-7233
Suicide Prevention Hopeline: Call 1-855-654-6735
Veterans in NJ Crisis line: Call 1-800-273-8255, Press 1
NJ Mental Health Cares Helpline: Call 1-866-202-4357

State of New Jersey General Resources
Call 211 for General COVID-19 Questions (24/7)
Call 1-800-962-1253 for Medical COVID-19 Questions (24/7)
Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive alerts
Download COVID Alert NJ app
The State of NJ COVID-19 Information Hub
NJ Department of Health
Vaccine Appointment Support: Call 1-855-568-0545  (8am to 8pm)

Ramapo Specific Resources
Health Services: 201-684-7536
General Questions: 201-684-7265 or
Roukema Center for International Education: 201-684-7533
Human Resources: 201-684-7506

The Pandemic Assessment Team remains committed to supporting our students, faculty, and staff during these unprecedented times and continue to punctuate communication and transparency as the cornerstone of our work.  Thank you for your understanding, flexibility and dedication toward working together to keep one another safe.


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