(updated January 13, 2021)
December 18, 2020
Dear Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences Students:
Congratulations to all on the completion of the Fall 2020 semester. I am writing with an update on COVID-19 status on the New York Medical College Campus, and continuing precautions in place to prevent its spread during the winter holidays.
As we transition into semester break and the winter holidays, I want to express my sincere wishes for good health and safety for you, your family, friends and colleagues. I want to thank the members of the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences community for your adherence to COVID-19 precautions on campus, and for those participating remotely, I thank you all for your cooperation and resilience during a very difficult situation.
We plan to begin the Spring semester using the same format of remote and hybrid instruction we offered during the Fall. Although there is much to be hopeful for in the early stages of distribution of a vaccine, the COVID-19 crisis is far from being under control. As members of a distinguished medical research institution, we have a special responsibility to serve as a power of example and uphold precautions and hygiene protocols in the face of a global pandemic. Risk-taking and exposures from bad decisions in not maintaining critical safety measures and limiting social interactions have significant effects. In addition to the risk of those exposed individuals becoming positive and infecting others, the requirement to quarantine takes them away from their work, their education, and their participation in laboratory research and clinical activities. It is most important for each of us to re-commit as a community to take these protective measures seriously, so that we may ensure the continuation of our critical mission of education and training in the basic medical sciences.
If you plan to travel over the break, please familiarize yourself with the NYMC travel requirements. The COVID-19 travel policy, incorporating the Governor’s mandate, is more restrictive for the NYMC community, recognizing our collective responsibility. This is to provide as safe an environment as possible. Those electing to travel outside the tri-state area will be required to notify Health Services of their travel plans and date of planned re-entry into New York State, and to quarantine until receiving a negative SARS-CoV-2 molecular test result on day 4 post re-entry into New York. The negative test result must be submitted to Health Services for clearance to re-enter campus buildings. As always, travel MUST be discussed prior to leaving with our GSBMS Travel Coordinator, Ms. Catherine Yankou, and you must submit - in advance - a quarantine plan for when you return. If you are placed on quarantine, please contact our GSBMS Academic Coordinator, Ms. Barbara Lewis, for guidance in keeping up with academic responsibilities. If you acquire SARS-CoV-2 infection or suspect exposure to SARS-CoV-2, PLEASE contact Health Services at (914) 594-4234, firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you are worried enough to get tested, you should not be engaging socially.
I hope you will find some much-needed rest and relaxation over the semester break and winter holidays. Best wishes for health and safety for you and your families, and Happy New Year.
Marina K. Holz, Ph.D.
Dean, Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences
Professor, Cell Biology and Anatomy