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Coronavirus Campus Communication 3/14/2020 – Official Message from the Office of the President

Dear Students, Colleagues, and Friends:

Ramapo College learned this evening that a member of our campus tested positive with COVID-19 (coronavirus). This is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at Ramapo College.

Confirmed Case
The individual is an employee who was last on campus on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. In line with College protocols and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the employee is self-quarantined at their home. We wish them a speedy recovery. For reasons of health privacy, the College cannot provide additional details regarding this case.

The College is actively working to trace the employee’s recent activity on campus.  Ramapo’s senior leadership is in communication with the employee. Based on our established protocol and guidance from the CDC and NJ Department of Public Health, local health authorities are reaching out to persons who may have had direct contact with the employee.

Per our protocols, guidance from the CDC and other health and safety agencies, the College is closed effective immediately through March 22. The College is scheduled to reopen on March 23, 2020.

College Closure
What does a College closure mean?

  • A deep clean of the campus will be conducted during this time.
  • Offices are restricted to function remotely in accord with their business continuity plans.
  • Essential employees (those employees whose duties and responsibilities are essential to the public health, safety, or welfare of the campus) are required to report to work.
  • Any student remaining in residence is directed to depart for home by 9AM on March 15, 2020.
  • Students and employees that must remain in residence will receive specific instructions from Residence Life following this message.
  • Courses are scheduled to resume remotely on Monday, March 23.

Precautionary Measures
As a reminder, COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • As the virus spreads, there may potentially be other cases in our community. Here’s what you can do to reduce the risk to yourself, your family, and our campus:
  • Wash your hands well and frequently, substitute a smile for a handshake, don’t share eating implements or cups.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes, stay home if you are sick, and seek medical treatment if you are experiencing symptoms such as fever or difficulty breathing.
  • Take care of your emotional health, get sleep, unplug from the news, meditate, exercise, and eat well – these all support your body’s immune system.

The College is taking many steps to reduce risk, including:

  • Delivering courses remotely, which helps to reduce risk because it decreases the number of situations in which large numbers of people are brought together in close proximity.
  • Using other “social distancing” strategies, such as postponing events and using videoconferencing for meetings.
  • Regular cleaning of the campus by our Housekeeping staff with particular attention to high-touch surfaces.
  • Banned College-related travel to locations where the risk of infection is higher; and we are not letting people who have been exposed to the disease, or have traveled to places where the risk is higher, back on campus until they complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine and receive medical clearance.

I encourage you to rely on evidence, official communications, and the guidance of experts as we continue to navigate this unfamiliar terrain together.

Peter P. Mercer
President

Ramapo

Ramapo College’s COVID-19 Resource Page: https://www.ramapo.edu/health/coronavirus-covid-19/

Should you have questions:

  • COVID-19 State of NJ Hotline: (800)222-1222
  • Ramapo College COVID-19 Information Line: (201)684-RCNJ or communications@ramapo.edu
  • Students: Health related questions should be directed to Health Services at (201)684-7536
  • Students who are studying abroad: Contact the Roukema Center for International Education at (201)684-7533
  • Counseling Services: Mental health related services for students can be secured at (201)684-7522
  • Employees: Questions regarding employment should be directed to Human Resources at (201)684-7498 or hr2020@ramapo.edu