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Coronavirus Campus Communication 3/20/2020 – Official Message from the Office of the President

Dear Students, Colleagues, and Friends:

I write unfortunately to share with you that Ramapo College learned this evening that a member of our campus tested positive with COVID-19 (coronavirus). This is the second confirmed case of COVID-19 at Ramapo College.

As a result of the expected spread of the virus and the development of additional testing capacity, there will likely be additional cases in the coming days. As described below, the College has taken several precautionary measures to protect our community and we continue to require your support and cooperation in mitigating the spread of this virus.

Confirmed Case
The diagnosed individual is a commuter student who was last on campus on Thursday, March 12, 2020. In line with College protocols, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and medical professionals, the diagnosed student is self- quarantined at their home.

Ramapo’s senior leadership is in communication with the student and, as needed, is assisting local health authorities in tracking the student’s activities on campus. Local health authorities will reach out to persons who may have had direct contact with the student. The College is proceeding with its deep clean and restrictive access protocols. For reasons of health privacy, the College cannot provide additional details regarding the student.

The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. We realize a case of COVID-19 within our student body creates a heightened sense of anxiety and concern. The College’s COVID-19 website offers a number of resources to help community members stay healthy and to cope with the strain this pandemic is placing on all of us.

Please join me in wishing this member of our community a speedy recovery and please take this time to reach out by telephone to family, neighbors, and friends that might be at risk to check on them.

Precautionary Measures
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 will surely be other cases in our College. I implore you all to do what you can to reduce the risk to yourself, your family, and our community:

  • Wash your hands well and frequently, substitute a smile for a handshake, don’t share eating implements or cups.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • 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.

As mentioned earlier, the College has taken many steps to reduce risk, including:

  • Delivering courses and non-essential operations remotely for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.
  • 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.
  • Discontinued College-related travel to locations where the risk of infection is higher; and 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.

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

Please do your best to stay well and take good care of those around you.

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