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Updates Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Update 3/20/20: Please see here for an update from President Walk regarding a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Update 3/18/20: In the last few hours, the College learned of two students who were tested today for potential cases of COVID-19. Read more here.

Update 3/15/20: The College will be closed on Monday, March 16 to allow for a deep cleaning of the building due to a possible case of COVID-19 in an adjunct faculty member. Remote instruction will continue for the remainder of the semester and students are asked to vacate the residence halls and return home by Thursday, March 19. Read here for more details on these and other changes in the College’s operations.

Update 3/13/20: President Trump declared a national state of emergency at today’s White House Press Conference, opening up additional federal aid and making several other important provisions to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Read a summary.

 


The College is closely following expert national and international information regarding the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and is acting proactively to protect the health and safety of the community.

We are diligently following all of the recommendations and guidelines of the CDC, WHO, NYC Department of Health, and other local and state health authorities, and will continue to do so as the situation evolves.

We will update this page as necessary to reflect all new information and guidance as available. Please review the important information provided on these pages: 

About Remote Instruction MMC’s Actions
Regarding Travel Communications from MMC
FAQs COVID-19 Resources
Student Resources Faculty Resources
Staff Resources Response Team

Important Resources

The following resources will have the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19:


Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
  • New York declared a State of Emergency. What does that mean?

    The declaration of a state of emergency means there is an event or situation happening that requires a coordinated response. By declaring a state of emergency, resources are made available to focus a unified response to support the public well-being.  As Governor Cuomo noted , this declaration allows (among other things):

    • Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources
    • Qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing
    • Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment
    • Expedited personnel onboarding
    • Expedited leasing of lab space
    • Allowing EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals
    • Providing clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation
  • What is a coronavirus?

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, and more severe illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)  and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) , and COVID-19, which is causing the current global health concern. Coronaviruses commonly circulate in animals and sometimes also infect humans.

  • How is it spread?

    While COVID-2019 is believed to have originated from animals, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and landing in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly inhaled into the lungs.

    It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

  • What are the symptoms of this coronavirus (COVID-19)?

    For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild illness. However, it can make some people very ill and more rarely, it can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes) appear to be more vulnerable. The incubation period (how soon symptoms appear from the time of first exposure) is 14 days. Symptoms can include:

    • Runny nose
    • Headache
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Fever
  • What is the incubation period?

    An incubation period is how soon symptoms appear after the time of first exposure to a virus.

    The current evidence suggests a typical incubation period for this virus is 2 to 14 days. 

  • How can I protect myself against COVID-19?

    There are currently no vaccines available to protect against human coronavirus infection. To reduce your risk of infection:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Avoid contact with animals while abroad, including live bird markets.
    • Ensure food is thoroughly cooked, including eggs and meats.
    • Seek medical assistance as soon as possible if you develop symptoms during or after travel, especially if the symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • If I have cold or flu-like symptoms, what should I do? Should I self-isolate?

    If you are not feeling well, stay home from work, school, and other errands, if possible. Avoid public transportation. Remain home until you have been without a fever for at least 24 hours.

    Call your healthcare provider (students can call the Dow Zanghi Student Health Center at 212-759-5870 or your nearest urgent care center) and notify them of your symptoms. They will provide guidance on how you should proceed. You should always call in advance.

    If you have a suspected case of COVID-19, please notify safety@mmm.edu  immediately.

    Read here for detailed instructions from the CDC on what to do if you think you are sick.

  • What does it mean to self-isolate?

    Generally speaking a recommendation to self-isolate means you should stay in your room/apartment and avoid contact with others.  More specifically:

    • Stay home — in your room, your apartment, or your house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social gatherings.
    • If you are living in a shared accommodation, do not spend time in shared living spaces and limit contact with those you live with. 
    • Arrange for food to be delivered via friends, grocery delivery services, etc.; if you have concerns about this, please contact Residence Life for assistance.
    • Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-isolate.
    • Wipe down surfaces (including doorknobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces) frequently with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox® wipes.
    • Monitor your temperature twice a day.

    MMC’s Office of Residence Life and Dow Zanghi Student Health Center have identified potential self-isolation areas within the Residence Halls should the need for a student to self-isolate arise. If you suspect you may have coronavirus, please contact the Student Health Center (212-759-5870) or your nearest urgent care center, and also notify safety@mmm.edu .

  • What does it mean to quarantine?

    Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed symptoms from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease (14 days for this coronavirus).

    A mandatory quarantine is a formal, binding requirement for someone to be separated from other contacts in the interest of public health and may be enforced. Decisions to implement a mandatory quarantine are made by public health officials. MMC is closely monitoring guidelines from federal authorities and will follow all mandatory quarantine protocols if and when they are required.

    A recommendation for self-isolation serves to temporarily separate people who have been in an area of public health concern to help protect their health and that of their community. In most cases where self-isolation is recommended, most people willingly comply.

  • Who is being recommended to self-isolate?

    Currently, self-isolation recommendations are made on a case-by-case basis depending on exposure and risk factors. In most cases, a recommendation to self-isolate is being made out of an abundance of caution and not because of any real concern for a suspected illness. 

    Recommendations are made based on the guidelines of the CDC and the NYC Department of Health. Among those being asked to self-isolate are:

    • Those with close contact (prolonged face-to-face contact) with a person that has been confirmed to have COVID-19
    • Those that have traveled from or through higher risk countries in the previous 14 days
    • Those that have been in close contact with someone who has traveled from or through higher risk countries in the previous 14 days

    If you believe you fall into one of these categories but have not been advised to self-isolate, please contact the Dow Zanghi Student Health Center (students) or your primary care provider (faculty/staff). Please also notify the College by emailing safety@mmm.edu

  • I know someone who is self-isolating. Do I need to isolate too?

    In general, people who have had a close contact (prolonged face-to-face contact) with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or with someone who has recently traveled from or through a high risk area are being recommended to self-isolate for 14 days. 

    People who are close contacts of someone who is proactively self-isolating are considered second-degree contacts and are not being recommended to self-isolate at this time. The CDC advises that individuals who are “contacts of contacts” are not at an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.

  • I went to an event where someone later tested positive for COVID-19. What do I do?

    Local Departments of Health are conducting rapid contact tracing for all confirmed cases and providing individualized guidance. If you were at an event but did not have close contact (prolonged face-to-face contact) with a symptomatic person, then you likely do not need to take any specific actions. 

    If you were to be a confirmed contact (prolonged face-to-face contact) of someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you would be contacted by the local Department of Health and be given guidance on what steps are recommended or required. 

    Seek prompt medical evaluation if you have fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Students should call 212-759-5870 for the Dow Zanghi Student Health Center  or their nearest urgent care center.  Faculty and staff should call their primary care provider. 

  • How can I be prepared? What proactive measures should we be taking?

    Please follow the direction from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) regarding prevention. The recommended steps include washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when you are ill, and also cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

    MMC also recommends Staying Informed and Staying Connected! Monitor your MMC email and check this site regularly. MMC will continue to share important updates and information as this situation evolves and recommend any additional steps that students should take to stay well.

  • Are there any special cleaning protocols I should follow?

    No. Standard cleaning with common household disinfectants (such as Clorox® wipes) should be sufficient.  As is recommended each year during cold and flu season, be sure to clean high touch areas (e.g. doorknobs, telephones, remote controls, and bathroom surfaces) regularly.

  • Should we be wearing masks?

    NO! Masks are only recommended for those with symptoms. 

    The Department of Health  and CDC  are not  recommending masks to prevent transmission of this virus. 

    Distributing and wearing masks when not clinically indicated diverts key resources from essential areas and may cause unnecessary public alarm. Should the evidence-informed guidance change, the College will adjust protocols as appropriate.

    Learn more about proper mask usage here from the World Health Organization.

  • Is MMC planning on cancelling classes or closing campus?

    Academic and business operations will continue remotely for the remainder of the spring semester. The College will remain open (with limited access) unless guidance from the CDC or NYC Department of Health changes.

    See the following schedule for more detail:

    Thursday, March 12 Classes suspended for in-service faculty days to prepare faculty for remote education delivery.
    Friday, March 13 Classes suspended for in-service faculty days to prepare faculty for remote education delivery.
    Saturday, March 14 Classes continue as regularly scheduled.
    Sunday, March 15 Classes continue as regularly scheduled.
    Monday, March 16 Classes suspended for in-service faculty days to prepare faculty for remote education delivery.
    Tuesday, March 17 Classes suspended for in-service faculty days to prepare faculty for remote education delivery.
    Wednesday, March 18 Advisement Day. No classes scheduled and academic advising will take place remotely.
    Thursday, March 19 through Friday, April 3 Classes will all be delivered remotely via electronic channels. No in-person classes on campus.
    Saturday, April 4 through Sunday, April 12 Spring Break. No classes scheduled.
    Monday, April 13 – Thursday, May 21 Classes will all be delivered remotely via electronic channels for the remainder of the semester. No in-person classes on campus.

     

    This plan is subject to change at any time. Please continue to closely monitor your MMC email and this webpage.

  • Why hasn’t MMC moved all classes online?

    As of Thursday, March 19, the College will move to fully remote education delivery for students.

    Classes will be suspended on the following dates to allow for faculty in-service days of preparation and training for a state of remote instruction:

    • Thursday, March 12
    • Friday, March 13
    • Monday, March 16
    • Tuesday, March 17
  • Why isn’t MMC screening everyone?

    The College is following guidelines from local, state, and federal authorities on all screening and response protocols. These evidence-informed protocols are the national (and international) standard. It is not logistically possible to screen every student, faculty, staff, and visitor. 

    We rely on our community to understand the current situation, take action as guided by this resource, and reach out for clarification as needed. This includes staying home if sick and engaging in the routine preventive measures that have been repeatedly shared.

    For travelers, federal authorities are conducting screenings on departure and arrival and have implemented requirements on individuals traveling from several impacted areas.  Individuals who have traveled to areas of concern and are experiencing symptoms are being screened when seeking care.

    For those concerned about domestic spread, prolonged face-to-face, close contact with an infected person is the highest risk factor.  Individuals that have been in contact with a confirmed case will be contacted by the Department of Health and provided guidance.

    As the CDC  and WHO  issue new guidelines related to COVID-19, the College will adjust protocols as necessary. 

  • I have upcoming personal travel (including spring break). Should I change my plans?

    Due to the increasing spread of the COVID-19 virus globally, Marymount Manhattan College is suspending all business-related international travel, effective immediately, out of an abundance of caution. If you have already made arrangements to travel internationally on College-related business or for a College-funded conference, please speak with your immediate supervisor for next steps.

    In addition, given the difficulty of predicting how the virus will continue to expand or when additional travel restrictions may be imposed, the College strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to postpone or cancel all personal international travel plans.

    The College will also follow all federal requirements regarding community members traveling back to the United States. Those that travel to or through China (including Hong Kong), Italy, Iran, Japan, and South Korea, and those that have had direct close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, may be recommended to self-isolate on their return. Note that this list is subject to change based on guidance from federal authorities.

    Those who still choose to travel overseas should make every effort to stay up to date regarding often fast-changing governmental regulations, including Executive Orders and guidance issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of State, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    If you are currently outside the United States with plans to travel to campus, please follow the guidance and requirement of federal authorities.  The US Government has put in place restrictions on travelers coming to the United States from or through a number of impacted regions.

    Be sure to contact your airline as there have been numerous changes to commercial air travel.

    In addition, please complete this form to notify the College of your travel plans.

  • I’ve read about the deaths from COVID-19. Should I be worried?

    While the situation is still evolving, the currently available data shows that most of the deaths from COVID-19 have been in more vulnerable groups, including the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. These populations are at increased risk for more severe illness from all viruses, including the flu.

    The majority of people who contract COVID-19 display only mild symptoms and do not require hospitalization.

  • I have an underlying health condition that puts me at greater risk for COVID-19 complications. What should I do?

    For individuals with a higher risk for complications, please refer to the CDC’s guidance.

  • What is the current status of the virus at Marymount Manhattan College?

    There has been a suspected possible case of the virus in an adjunct faculty member; this individual has not been tested for COVID-19, but symptoms are consistent with the virus. She was asymptomatic while she was on campus, and all students who had direct contact with her were contacted. The College closed completely on Monday, March 16 to allow for a deep-clean and sanitization of the buildings.

    Health authorities throughout the world are focused on this illness and MMC has professional, highly-trained, medical staff members who are monitoring guidance from the CDC, WHO, and NYC Department of Health, are closely following developments, are working closely with other College offices to make well-informed decisions, and are committed to protecting the health of the MMC community. 

  • What will happen if there’s a confirmed case of COVID-19 at MMC?

    MMC has been actively working on our continuity of operations plans, following the guidelines and protocol set forth by the CDC, WHO, and NYC Department of Health, and we have established a comprehensive protocol to guide our response should the virus begin to directly impact our community.

    The current plan is that, should a confirmed case of COVID-19 be identified at MMC, the College will close for at least a day to disinfect and thoroughly sanitize any campus location the individual may have accessed. From that point on, the College would be closely in touch with the Department of Health and will follow any and all directives they provide regarding how long the school should remain closed.

    Currently, the practice is that any individual who is determined to be a “close contact” of a confirmed case will be instructed to isolate and self-monitor for a period of 14 days to minimize further spread of the virus.

    The College is developing continuity of business and academic plans for each department and division in the event that the College would be required to stay closed for a longer period of time.

    This plan is of course subject to change at any time depending on the current guidance from local, state, and federal health authorities, and the College continues to prepare to handle multiple possible scenarios.

For more information, check out the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19.

 
Questions About Remote Instruction & the Residence Halls
  • Will I get a tuition refund?

    While we understand that the delivery of your courses has had to be modified during this period of remote instruction, this is truly an unprecedented time, not only for MMC, but for all institutions of higher education. Our faculty are working diligently to ensure that the online instruction they provide will achieve the learning goals outlined in your syllabi at the beginning of the semester. As such, the College is not offering tuition refunds.

  • Will I get a refund on room and board?

    All residential students who leave the residence halls will receive a prorated reimbursement from March 19, 2020 through the end of the semester. This includes all students who left prior to this week, and applies even if you have been unable to completely empty your room of all belongings. As long as you are no longer living in the residence halls after March 19, you will receive this refund.

    Refunds will not be applied to students who receive permission to remain in the residence halls for the remainder of the semester.

    We are actively in the process of making arrangements for students’ remaining belongings to be retrieved/returned now that they are no longer on campus. We are considering accommodations for a variety of possible situations, including:

        • Arranging a date and time for students who live in the area to return and gather the rest of their belongings;
        • Enabling students to designate a “proxy” who lives in the area and can pack and store/return their belongings for them;
        • Shipping items to students who cannot feasibly return to campus; and
        • Other options as needed.

    We are assessing each of these possibilities and will provide more information as soon as we are able. Given the “NYS on Pause” order, we are not able to invite students back to the residence halls at this time, and we are also not permitted to ask staff to come to the residence halls to begin making arrangements for packing and/or shipping. We assure you that we will continue to safeguard your possessions until we are able to make arrangements. This won’t happen overnight, but we will keep you informed as we navigate the circumstances.

  • I left campus before I knew we were closing for the full semester and left behind my things. What should I do?

    We are actively in the process of making arrangements for students’ remaining belongings to be retrieved/returned now that they are no longer on campus. We are considering accommodations for a variety of possible situations, including:

      • Arranging a date and time for students who live in the area to return and gather the rest of their belongings;
      • Enabling students to designate a “proxy” who lives in the area and can pack and store/return their belongings for them;
      • Shipping items to students who cannot feasibly return to campus; and
      • Other options as needed.

    We are assessing each of these possibilities and will provide more information as soon as we are able. Given the “NYS on Pause” order, we are not able to invite students back to the residence halls at this time, and we are also not permitted to ask staff to come to the residence halls to begin making arrangements for packing and/or shipping. We assure you that we will continue to safeguard your possessions until we are able to make arrangements. This won’t happen overnight, but we will keep you informed as we navigate the circumstances.

  • I’m moving out of the residence halls on short notice and can’t take all of my things. What should I do?

    We are actively in the process of making arrangements for students’ remaining belongings to be retrieved/returned now that they are no longer on campus. We are considering accommodations for a variety of possible situations, including:

      • Arranging a date and time for students who live in the area to return and gather the rest of their belongings;
      • Enabling students to designate a “proxy” who lives in the area and can pack and store/return their belongings for them;
      • Shipping items to students who cannot feasibly return to campus; and
      • Other options as needed.

    We are assessing each of these possibilities and will provide more information as soon as we are able. Given the “NYS on Pause” order, we are not able to invite students back to the residence halls at this time, and we are also not permitted to ask staff to come to the residence halls to begin making arrangements for packing and/or shipping. We assure you that we will continue to safeguard your possessions until we are able to make arrangements. This won’t happen overnight, but we will keep you informed as we navigate the circumstances.

  • I left personal items in my locker. Can I retrieve them?

    We know many students were unable to empty their lockers before leaving, and we are also assessing the best ways for those belongings to be retrieved. That process may mirror the timeline and protocol that is put into place for retrieving belongings left in the residence halls, or may involve waiting until the fall for those who return to clean out their lockers before they are reassigned for the new semester. We will need to wait to make these decisions until we know when staff and guests might be allowed back into main campus buildings, given the current NYS on Pause order. As decisions are made, we will continue to update you. 

  • Why did MMC cancel commencement so far in advance?

    We understand and share your disappointment about the cancellation of Commencement, one of the most joyous events of the year for our entire community, and we recognize this turn of events is especially heartbreaking for graduating seniors and their families. 

    Current Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  guidance recommends that events with more than 50 people not be held in the US in the next eight weeks. We have made the decision to cancel current Commencement plans at this time based upon careful deliberation of this guidance and in an effort to accommodate families who will need to make or cancel travel plans in advance. 

    Members of MMC’s Commencement Committee are hard at work to reimagine the Commencement experience for our graduating seniors and to ensure that their achievements are celebrated in ways that are consonant with their health and safety. Please stay tuned for further information soon. 

  • When will the College open for in-person instruction again?

    We are currently operating with remote instruction and remote business operations through the end of the spring semester, on Thursday, May 21, 2020. While we cannot predict what policies and directives local and state authorities will issue in the coming weeks and months, we very much hope to be back to normal, in-person operations for our summer sessions and for the fall 2020 semester. We will of course keep our community updated as any new information arises or decisions are made.

  • Can my mail be forwarded?

    Please aim to check with the mailroom to pick up any mail or packages before you leave.

    If you would like your mail forwarded to you, please fill out the Mail Forwarding Form  with your forwarding address information.

    If you have gone home and have packages in transit, please arrange for a return authorization and copy the respective mailroom:

    55th STREET: neopost55@mmm.edu  

    COOPER SQUARE: neopost200@mmm.edu

  • What do I do if I’m having trouble with my online classes?

    MMC’s Center for Academic Support and Tutoring (CAST) is also providing remote tutoring. You can schedule appointments as usual at https://mmm.mywconline.com/ . You will receive brief instructions on how to click on your appointment when it’s time and upload any papers, homework, or materials from Blackboard, Google Docs, or other platforms. All currently offered subject areas will remain the same during the period of remote instruction. 

    If you are having trouble with your assignments and other coursework, you should first reach out to your professor. If you do not hear back from your professor in a timely manner, you should email your department chair. Department chairs are listed on the MMC website on the page for each major. The list of majors is here . You may also contact Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Tseday Alehegn at talehegn@mmm.edu.

    Are you having non-technology related issues or concerns regarding your online courses? Please complete this form  and the Division of Academic Affairs will reach out to provide assistance.

  • Will NYC go on lockdown? Will there be any travel restrictions?

    The College cannot predict the decisions of state and local authorities. We are carefully monitoring all updates from these agencies and are preparing for a variety of potential scenarios. We will provide our community with updates on any new or critical information as soon as it emerges.

    As of March 22, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the “NYS on Pause ” directive, mandating that 100% of employees to work from home, other than those performing essential functions or having a critical need to be at a workplace.

    All bars, restaurants, gyms, and theatres in NYC are closed (except for limited take out and delivery). Further restrictions on travel are also possible.

 


Updates from MMC regarding COVID-19

The College continues to send community-wide updates with any new, critical information. All of these communications are available in your MMC email account and can also be found here.

Read Our Community-Wide Messages