Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

New York Institute of Technology continues to closely monitor reports on COVID 19 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The safety and well-being of the New York Tech community is our No. 1 priority, and our team of administrators and health professionals are meeting daily to ensure that the university is informed and prepared for any circumstances.

The following is an update on CDC information as well as precautions to take if you are feeling ill or to avoid the spread infection:


As of March 2, 2020, COVID 19 has caused 89,198 confirmed infections worldwide and 3,048 confirmed deaths. This is a case fatality rate of approximately 3.4%, which is subject to change as time progresses.

Of these cases, 89 have been found in patients in the U.S. as a result of the return of citizens who were infected overseas, and 24 cases have been reported in Canada. In the U.S., there have been two deaths in the state of Washington, and there is now one reported case in New York City. This is reportedly an individual who returned from Iran, which is considered a high-risk area. Based on reports worldwide, it appears that the elderly and those with chronic diseases are more likely to become ill from this disease. The CDC’s current risk assessment is as follows:
  • For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
  • People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated though still relatively low risk of exposure.
  • Health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Those in close contact with persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.
If you have been to any high-risk area as determined by the CDC or have been in close contact with someone who has been infected and you have symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, it is recommended that you contact the nearest emergency room and go for an evaluation.


We must all remain vigilant to assure that any possible transmission is limited. Therefore, as the CDC recommends, “Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.” Other symptoms include cough, sneezing, and shortness of breath.

These recommendations apply to all students as well: Students with a fever should notify their instructors via phone, email, or text messages that they are not feeling well and determine how the material missed in a class can be made up or substituted.

Given that it is likely that we will eventually have more transmission within the U.S., we should all develop better personal hygiene habits. Everyone should continue to follow general precautions to avoid becoming infected or spreading the virus include by:
  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.
This video describes good handwashing technique.


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) or New York City (212.261.1773) 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