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COVID-19 Update from the GSBMS Dean

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

(updated June 24, 2020)


June 4, 2020

Dear Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences Students:

The safety and well-being of the students is our priority. In March of 2020, even before any government stay-at-home orders were issued, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences transitioned to online learning. For the remainder of the Spring semester, our faculty and staff continued to deliver high-quality instruction, advising and support to our graduate students.  On May 19, we celebrated the class of 2020 graduates in a virtual hooding and awards ceremony.

While the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States is not completely under control, we will continue online instruction during the summer 2020 semester, and will begin the fall 2020 semester online as well. However, we are monitoring the developments closely, and when it is safe to do so, we will resume some in-person small group instruction. New York Medical College has made plans for safe and gradual reopening of research activities on campus, including resumption of research by PhD students, and we will be ready to welcome new PhD students for their fall laboratory rotations, adhering to the research recovery plans developed by each laboratory. Master’s students would be able to conduct research in active labs according to the approved individual safety plans developed by the labs.  Clinical Laboratory Science students can resume hospital rotations, following the instructions of program staff. The dormitories at New York Medical College have remained open during the duration of this health crisis, and will be able to welcome students who require on-campus housing.

We are all looking forward to having you here at select times on campus.  We want to make you aware of some of the procedures and precautionary measures being taken by Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, New York Medical College, and the local and New York State authorities.

  • All persons on campus will continue to adhere to the New York State’s Governor’s orders for social distancing and use of face masks.    
  • We require scrupulous attention to hand hygiene and disinfection of environmental surfaces.
  • Persons who display any symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19 infection will not be allowed into the public buildings on campus.  
  • Upon arrival to campus, all students will receive a safety pack, which will include a washable cloth face mask, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and other essentials.
  • In New York State, there is active contact tracing for all persons with COVID-19 infection.  All COVID-19-positive persons must isolate and must identify all contacts they have had for the 48 hours before symptoms develop (for asymptomatic persons, 48 hours before a diagnostic test).  Through the Westchester County Department of Health, certified contact tracers will inform all contacts of COVID-19 cases and have those persons placed on quarantine.  Additionally, the NYMC Health Services assists with the monitoring of students on quarantine and students on isolation to be sure that anyone developing or having a worsening of symptoms is given appropriate medical attention.
  • For students who develop symptoms or are concerned about COVID-19 infection, diagnostic testing for COVID-19 can be performed at the NYMC Family Health Center on our campus at 19 Skyline Drive or at diagnostic testing sites/tents in Westchester county.  Antibody testing, to determine if one has previously been infected with COVID-19 is also available.  Information about resources for diagnostic or antibody testing will be available to you when you return to campus. 
  • For students who live in college housing, we have set aside units designated for quarantine and self-isolation for students who test positive for COVID-19.

At the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, our goal is to ensure that you achieve your educational goals without a setback, and we will make every effort to ensure that this happens in a safe and supportive environment.

Sincerely,

GSBMS Dean Signature

Marina K. Holz, Ph.D.
Dean, Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences
Professor, Cell Biology and Anatomy