Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of February 3, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV) has caused 17,489 confirmed infections worldwide and 362 confirmed deaths (case fatality rate of 2%). Eleven of these cases have been found in patients in the U.S. and four in Canada. There are still no documented cases in New York State; results are still pending for three patients in New York City who have met the criteria for further testing of this new virus by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There have been significant policy changes in the United States in response to this new virus. Effective Sunday, February 2, 2020, the U.S. government has implemented temporary movement and monitoring restrictions on certain individuals:
  1. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in Hubei Province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they are provided proper medical care and health screening.
  2. Any U.S. citizen returning to the U.S. who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.
  3. Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. at this time.
  4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) are continuing to identify and screen travelers who have recently been in China at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and other airports in the U.S.
There has been no change by the CDC, which still concludes that "for the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV is considered low." However, we must all remain vigilant to assure that any possible transmission is limited. Therefore:
  1. If you have been to Wuhan City, China or have been in close contact with someone who has been infected and you have symptoms such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath, it is recommended that you contact the nearest Emergency Room and go there for an evaluation.
  2. Everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus, including:
    1. Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    2. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    3. Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing
    4. Avoiding travelling and contact with others if you are sick.
  3. These actions will not only help prevent the spread of the 2019-nCoV, but also the spread of the influenza virus, which is still considered to be a greater threat of sickness and death in the U.S.!
The physicians and staff at New York Institute of Technology's Academic Health Centers are available to assist those who are not feeling well. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.


Brian L. Harper M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Medical Officer, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine