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Coronavirus Campus Communication 4/30/2020

Coronavirus Campus Communication 4/30/2020

To: Students, Faculty and Staff
Date: April 30, 2020
Re: Campus Communication on Coronavirus

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

While we do miss our #HomeSweetPo, we understand that by staying at home, as much as possible, we can all do our part in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. However, there are essential employees at Ramapo College who have a special responsibility to keep the campus operating. Thank you to the team of Ramapo College essential workers who continue to report to campus and keep our critical operations functional. Public Safety Officers are staffing the main entrance (among other duties), Facilities staff are routinely cleaning and making repairs, Sodexo staff are preparing daily meals to on campus residents, staff from the Center for Student Involvement are keeping the Food Pantry operating, and members of ITS assure technology needs are met (to name a few).  Thank you to our essential workers.

We are writing to share updates about COVID-19, so that you can make informed decisions for yourself about your own prevention.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC has issued an update related to the symptoms of coronavirus.  In the past, the CDC identified symptoms were fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Please be advised that the following symptoms were added: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste and smell.  The CDC has also listed emergency warning signs that should always results in getting medical attention such as: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and blueish lips or face. Please consult with the above referenced CDC website, which also includes a symptom “self checker.”

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.

Reporting
As a reminder, if you are a student 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 contact Debra Lukacsko, Associate Director of Health Services, dlukacsk@ramapo.edu or 201-684-7536.  If you are an employee who meets the above mentioned criteria, please contact Jill Brown, Associate Director of Human Resources, jcbrown@ramapo.eduHR2020@ramapo.edu or 201-684-7507.  We ask that you come forward and talk with us, so that we can provide you with Ramapo-specific resources and guidance.

Coronavirus and Travel in the U.S.
Always consult with local and national resources before considering your travel.  The CDC offers guidance on Coronavirus and travel within the United States. If your trip is not essential, you should stay home.  The CDC also acknowledges that individuals face new challenges in running essential errands, such as to the grocery store, banking, and obtaining take-out food. We recommend reading through the above website to understand ways to protect yourself while shopping, accepting deliveries, and collecting mail.

Prevention Information
Make it a point to review prevention information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 protection.

  • 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 and stay home as much as possible.  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 is suspended and there are to be no gatherings (Executive Order 107).
  • 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 around others in public, such as a grocery store.  The cloth face covering is meant to protect others, in the event that you are infected.  Always keep 6 feet of distance from others, as the cloth face covering is not meant to be a substitute for social distancing.  On campus students are reminded that you are required to wear a cloth face covering when picking up meals from Dining Services or visiting the Food Pantry;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

State of New Jersey General Resources
If you have questions about COVID-19, you may wish to call the hotline set up by the NJ Department of Public Health, 1-800-962-1253 (24/7 for medical questions) or 2-1-1 (24/7 for general questions).  Or you can text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive alerts.

The State of NJ COVID-19 Information Hub

State of NJ Department of Health

Mental Health Resources
Crisis Text Line:  Text “NJ” to 741741
Family Helpline (for stressed parents): 1-800-843-5437
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-572-7233
Suicide Prevention Hopeline: 1-855-654-6735
NJ Mental Health Cares Helpline: 1-866-202-4357
The helpline, made available through the NJ Department of Human Services (DHS), is available 7 days per week from 8am to 8pm. DHS also offers emotional help and support to deaf and hard of hearing individuals during COVID-19.  Sign language users can communicate with ACCESS of St. Joseph’s Health in Paterson through video phone at 973-870-0677 (Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Ramapo Specific Resources
Health Services: 201-684-7536
General Questions: 201-684-7265 or communications@ramapo.edu
Roukema Center for International Education: 201-684-7533
Counseling Services: 201-684-7522 (business hours), 201-684-6666 (non-business hours)
Human Resources: 201-684-7506

We will continue to provide resource information on the Health Services website.  The situation is constantly changing, so please bookmark this website and continue to keep yourself informed of the COVID-19 positive cases we learn of impacting Ramapo College. The College has a 50 year history of teaching, learning, wisdom, and kindness for one another.  Let us draw upon these foundations to help us carry and support each other through this time.

Sincerely,

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