NYMC > News and Events > For Media > coronavirus

COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China, which has now been detected elsewhere internationally including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.”

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Please be assured that New York Medical College (NYMC) has been, and continues to be, in contact with the Westchester County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health for specific updates relevant to our region. Individuals are encouraged to monitor the websites of these sources for official information.

  2. a. Online Learning and Reduction in Class Size for In-Person Learning: Online learning was extensively developed to complete the 2019-2020 academic year, and in preparation for select classes for the new academic year. In-person learning has been re-developed to allow for small group sessions. We also have had a full facility review, re-purposing large spaces to allow for social distancing.

    b. Requirement for face masks to be worn at all times when in the buildings of New York Medical College (NYMC) and the Touro School of Dental Medicine (TCDM): Students are being provided with safety packs upon return to campus. These packs include a face mask, hand hygiene supply, disinfectant wipes and a thermometer. These will be distributed by respective schools.

    c. Always try to maintain six feet of social distancing: Common areas will be set up in ways to promote at least six-foot distancing. In areas where this cannot be done, the requisite personal protective equipment will be used.

    d. Scrupulous attention to hand hygiene: All individuals must be cognizant of the need for frequent hand washing. Increased alcohol-based hand hygiene dispensers are being placed throughout campus to promote hand hygiene where handwashing might not be as convenient.

    e. Scrupulous attention to surface disinfection: Our cleaning services are providing enhanced disinfection, which includes more frequent disinfection services provided for high touch surfaces and disinfection stations are placed in common areas. All persons are encouraged to disinfect their workspace, computer keyboard and telephone, and high touch surfaces prior to use. Questions about disinfectants: contact: NYMC_EHS@nymc.edu.

    f. Symptom Screening of all persons entering the buildings: All persons entering the buildings of NYMC and TCDM must chart their temperature and report any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection or any exposure to COVID-19. This will be done by self-attestation with the option to complete the temperature screen and attestation at entry.

  3. a. Reusable cloth masks will be provided to all students for non-clinical use.

    b. N95 Respirators:

    • NYMC School of Medicine: Faculty have worked very closely with our major affiliates to be sure that we can fit test students for the N95 respirators that the hospitals will have available for the students. N95 respirator fittesting will occur for the third-year students the week of June 22, and, as needed, for fourth- year students the week of June 29. Students will be provided with the N95 respirator at the time of successful fit testing.
    • TCDM: All students in clinical rotations are being fit-tested for an N-95 respirator and will be provided with this respirator at the time of successful fit testing. Any student who has not yet been fit-tested or has questions, please see Ms. Samantha Silver to schedule a fit test appointment.

    c. Face masks: A surgical face mask is used over the N95 to allow for re-use of the N95 respirator. These will available at clinical sites.

    d. Eye protection: Will be available at clinical sites and through NYMC / TCDM as needed.

    e. Gowns and Gloves: Will be available at clinical sites and through NYMC / TCDM as needed.

    f. Training in the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment is being arranged for each program.

  4. There are several options for testing. At the NYMC and TCDM campus, the Family Health Center (914-828-0435) can test students, employees and visitors for either a diagnostic test for COVID-19, or a COVID-19 antibody test to determine possible prior infection. Other options include the tent at Westchester Medical Center; one can call 914-202-4530 or an appointment can be booked on-line:

    https://www.westchestermedicalcenter.org/news/coronavirus-update-1401

    and testing sites are available throughout New York, listed at the New York State Department of Health:

    https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/find-test-site-near-you

  5. Currently COVID-19 diagnostic testing is not a requirement for students returning to campus. COVID-19 diagnostic testing and antibody testing is available for anyone who would like to be tested. Please see above.

  6. Symptomatic students/employees who have not been tested:

    a. Must first stay home. Any symptomatic person must seek medical advice by first calling either their physician, or students may call Health Services (914-594-4234) and employees may call the Family Health Center (914-828-0435).

    b. Any student who is symptomatic is also to inform Health Services even if the student has spoken with their physician.

    c. Persons with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must isolate and begin to identify contacts within the 48 hours before symptom onset, in the event this is a case of COVID-19. Assistance with the identification and notification of contacts will be done under the guidance of Health Services for students, and in collaboration with Departmental directors, Human Resources and Health Services for employees.

    Confirmed COVID-19 cases (Those with a positive diagnostic test):

    a. Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 on a diagnostic test:

    • Students: Notify Health Services
    • Employees: Notify your supervisor

    b. All confirmed cases must isolate in accordance with New York State law.

    c. The Westchester Department of Health will be involved with all cases, identifying the contacts of these cases. Contacts are identified beginning 48 hours before the onset of symptoms; for asymptomatic cases of COVID-19, contacts are identified beginning the date of the positive test. Contacts must quarantine for 14 days and are followed for the development of symptoms.

    d. Department supervisors and Health Services will notify Energy, Environmental Health and Safety with the areas the COVID-19 infected person occupied so that enhanced cleaning will be done.

    e. All symptomatic persons will be asked to begin a list of potential contacts at the time of symptom onset, or for asymptomatic persons, at the time of a positive diagnostic test, to begin the notification process and ensure persons are prepared to work with the Department of Health.

    f. Once a case is confirmed with a positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, the Westchester County Department of Health will notify contacts.

  7. a. Quarantine or isolation can be done in an apartment with a shared bathroom or kitchen as has been done by many persons living in apartments since the onset of COVID -19, but requires scrupulous attention to disinfection, with clear procedures for distancing. The person will be provided with the isolation/ quarantine protocol which specifies in detail how to minimize contamination.

    b. If there are circumstances in which an exposed person may be at high risk of COVID-19 associated complications, the exposed person will be given the option to quarantine in another location outside of the apartment to minimize any risk. Every effort will be made by the Office of Student and Residential Life to assist with such accommodations.

    c. After completion of isolation, Facilities Management will arrange for a decontamination of the apartment and any other indicated areas.

  8. School of Medicine

    Year One and Two of the M.D. Program:

    Coursework will be delivered in hybrid format with a mix of live and asynchronous virtual lectures with live small group sessions. Examinations will be delivered remotely.

    Year Three and Four of the M.D. Program:

    In-person clerkships resume on July 6.

    School of Health Sciences and Practice

    Effective Friday, May 1, 2020, the following measures will be in place for the School of Health Sciences and Practice (SHSP) departments and programs, in accordance with New York Medical College (NYMC) policy through the Summer 2020 session:

    • SHSP will deliver all classes online, to the extent feasible. Clinical students should consult with their department chairs regarding laboratory experiences.
    • External clinical and academic experiences will adhere to the host sites policy

    As we continue with virtual instructional formats, please be patient and understand that we will do everything in our power to address any unintended problems expeditiously, should any arise.

    Faculty are relying primarily on Canvas-based and asynchronous delivery methods for course content rather than live video-based lectures. Students who encounter problems accessing the online class should contact SHSP eLearning at dberger6@nymc.edu.

    If you are having technical issues or have questions on course content or structure, contact your instructor first, then your department chair if no response is forthcoming within a reasonable amount of time. If you need additional assistance, please contact vice dean Ben Johnson at BFJohnson@nymc.edu.

    At this point, we cannot say with certainty what the plan for course delivery will be for the Fall 2020 semester but that decision will be made as quickly as we have direction from the New York Governor’s Office and the NYMC Chancellor’s Office. We pledge to provide as much notification as absolutely possible as we, too, are eager to return to normal operations but recognize that is not possible until we have the medical and scientific information to do so safely.

    Graduate School of Basic Medical Science

    Effective Friday, March 13, 2020, and until further notice, the following measures will be in place for the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences (GSBMS) departments and programs, in accordance with New York Medical College (NYMC) policy:

    • GSBMS will deliver all classes online, to the extent feasible.
    • Clinical Laboratory Sciences practicums off campus are discontinued at this time. Students should consult the program director regarding alternative instruction plans.
    • Research laboratories will operate on modified and restricted basis according to current policies communicated by the NYMC Research Taskforce. Students should follow directions of their research advisors.
    • PhD defenses and public seminars will proceed via Zoom.
    • Access to all public and common areas on our campus and in our buildings is restricted to authorized personnel, as described in NYMC communications.

    As we transition from on-campus to virtual formats, please be patient and understand that we will do everything in our power to address any unintended problems expeditiously, should any arise.

    We recommend that faculty rely primarily on Canvas-based and asynchronous delivery methods for course content rather than live video-based lectures. Students who encounter problems accessing the online class should contact eLearning at William_Gibbons@nymc.edu if you are having technical issues. If you have questions on course content or structure, contact your course director first, then your program director if no response is forthcoming within a reasonable amount of time. If you need additional assistance, please contact Barbara Lewis, GSBMS Director of Academic Administration Barbara_Lewis@NYMC.EDU

    Our faculty and staff remain committed to the optimal strategy to address this situation, which at present is a combination of institutional measures, as above, and personal best practices to avoid exposure and minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our community and ourselves.

  9. Because international travel carries unforeseeable risks, NYMC/TCUS sponsored international travel is being curtailed and other College related travel will require pre-approval.

    Based on the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a policy on College sponsored travel has been instituted, which outlines restrictions on travel imposed by the spread of the virus.

    Please be aware that personal travel plans, at this time, may have an impact on your education, including your ability to participate in clinical care. For this reason, NYMC's Office of Student Affairs recommends that, if possible, you minimize personal travel for the next few weeks as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop.

    If you have any concerns about family, travel, or other questions, please email them to healthinfo@nymc.edu. Please also review the CDC website for the latest travel advisories when considering travel for yourself or your family.

    For the latest information, read the CDC Travel Health Notices, the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories and the WHO's suggested safety precautions. We encourage you to monitor these websites and share this information with your families. And above all else, we encourage you to practice the utmost vigilance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  10. As many programs at the College have moved their coursework to an online/virtual platform many of you have asked about the status of housing on the New York Medical College (NYMC) campus. We are not planning to close student housing nor do we plan to suspend or modify housing operations at this time. Currently, we believe there is no need to do so and we understand that for many of you, on-campus housing is your primary residence.

    At this time, we will put a temporary hold on any new sublet applications. The office will not be accepting any additional sublet applications until further notice. This is not the time to create an entrée for additional individuals into the campus housing community.

    As an additional precautionary measure, we have implemented daily disinfection practices within all Student Housing, the Student Center and laundry areas.

    We understand that there is a great amount of concern, uncertainty and anxiety. The safety and wellbeing of our students are our highest priority. Please limit the number of outside guests in your apartments.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact Office of Housing and the Residential Life should you have any questions or concerns. Contact information is available at www.nymc.edu/housing.

  11. There is no specific treatment available for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). People infected with coronavirus should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

  12. Since there are no vaccines available to date, to protect against human Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. To reduce your risk of infection:

    • Maintain six foot distancing and wear a face mask. It will help reduce the spread.
    • 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 a sneeze or a cough with the crook of your arm (inner elbow), or with a tissue and immediately discard used tissue.
    • Clean and disinfect surface areas frequently.
    • Stay at home when feeling sick.
    • Minimize contact with others in large gatherings or public settings.
    • Make sure that your influenza (flu) vaccinations are current.

Media Experts in the News: