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Coronavirus Campus Communication 9/5/2020

Coronavirus Campus Communication 9/5/2020

To: Students, Faculty and Staff
Date: September 5, 2020
Re: Campus Communication on Coronavirus

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As we enter into the Labor Day holiday weekend, we write to thank you for doing your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.  We are reminded that the spirit of Labor Day is to honor the achievements of our workforce.  We would not have been able to have a successful opening to the fall semester without the countless hours of devoted preparation work from the College’s faculty, staff, and administration.    One way you can join us in thanking our dedicated workforce is by taking personal responsibility, over this Labor Day weekend and thereafter, to keep yourself safe from COVID-19 and not bring the virus back to our campus.

As you may be aware, Governor Murphy has announced the opening of limited indoor dining, gyms, movie theaters, and indoor performing arts venues. While we can applaud the opening of these settings, we must also be mindful that, today, the rate of transmission is at 1.05, or just above the key benchmark of 1.0. The rate of transmission is an important data point as this helps public health officials determine how fast the virus spreads from person to person.  Any number above 1.0 means the virus spreads to at least one other person.

Public health measures never take a holiday, so please enjoy the weekend in a safe and responsible way by prioritizing your health through the prevention strategies that have been communicated to you.

Prevention Tips to Enjoy Labor Day Weekend

  • Practice social distancing (at least 6 feet of distance between others).  Remember that some people, without symptoms, may be able to spread the virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering;
  • Water safety: Make sure the area is designated for swimming, supervised by a lifeguard, and you maintain social distancing (in and out of the water) from people who are not in your household;
  • Spend time with family and friends outdoors.  Indoor house parties are of a high concern;
  • Clean your hands.  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;
  • 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);
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Daily Symptom Self Screening for Students, Faculty, and Staff
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 ask 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.

If you feel sick, stay home (except to get medical care) and do not return to the campus.

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 small, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.  The CDC has a self-checker here.
  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 you 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 stake 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. Below, are local Urgent Care Centers open for medical appointments and, as of today, have COVID-19 testing capabilities.

City MD, Ramsey 551-497-5679
City MD, Paramus 551-222-0800
Doctor’s Inn, Ramsey 201-785-0011
The Doctor’s Office, Midland Park 201-857-8400
Rite Aid, Waldwick, 201-670-1022 (*not an Urgent Care Center)
Synergy Health, Montvale 201-667-8680

Reporting
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 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 contact Jill Brown, Associate Director of Human Resources, jcbrown@ramapo.edu, HR2020@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.  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.

Supporting the Well-Being of the Campus
You may be aware of local and national colleges who have experienced surges in infections which have forced shut downs, the declaration of all remote learning, and the closing of residence halls.  Please do not engage in risky behaviors (such as large gatherings) that are dangerous to your own health and to those you care about. As a reminder, the guest and visitation and social gathering policies are suspended on campus.

In closing, we do not want the virus to threaten our community with an outbreak and reverse all of the hard work the faculty, staff, and administration have done to help promote a safe campus.  On this Labor Day weekend, join us in paying tribute and gratitude to our workforce for their contributions to academic and student life and do everything you can to stay safe while enjoying your friends and loved ones.

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