Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of February 6, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV) has now caused 28,344 confirmed infections worldwide and 565 confirmed deaths (case fatality rate of 2%). Twelve of these cases have been found in patients in the U.S. and five in Canada. There are still no documented cases in New York City or New York State, but the results are still pending for five 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).

The U.S. policy still remains the same:
  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. for 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 that still concludes, "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 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.!
In addition to your local resources, the physicians and staff at the Academic Health Centers are available to answer questions and assist those who are not feeling well. We can be reached at 516.686.1300.

It is also understandable that members of our New York Tech community may have concerns about a new and unfamiliar illness. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy, please reach out to Counseling and Wellness Services at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683/7703/1300) or New York City (212.261.1773/1755) to talk or make an appointment, or stop by during the drop-in hours indicated on the Counseling and Wellness Services web page.


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