Message from Brian L. Harper M.D., M.P.H.
Dear New York Tech Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As of February 24, 2021, more than 28 million U.S. COVID-19 cases have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tragically, we have now reached a milestone of more than 500,000 cumulative deaths in the U.S. due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Despite these grim statistics, there is still reason for optimism as the rate of hospitalizations, new cases, and deaths is decreasing. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there has also been a decline in new pediatric cases nationwide for five consecutive weeks, while severe cases of COVID-19 among children remain rare.

Other good news: Despite vaccine distribution slowdowns due to weather conditions, the CDC reports that more than 65 million coronavirus vaccinations have been administered, with approximately 44.5 million people receiving at least one dose and 19.8 million fully inoculated with two doses.

Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has indicated that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine meets requirements for emergency use authorization, and there is a possibility that the single-dose vaccine, which does not need ultra-refrigeration, will receive final approval for distribution as soon as next week. Its efficacy is not as high as the previously approved vaccines, but it still remains effective.

Although those eligible for vaccination are still finding it challenging to get an appointment, the number of sites providing the vaccine continues to grow. Further information about sites in your area can be found online:
  1. New York City
  2. Nassau County
  3. Suffolk County
  4. All New York State areas
Meanwhile, emerging variants remain a concern. In Nassau County, both the U.K. and South African variants have been discovered. Inside Higher Ed reports that the U.K. variant has been found in eight universities nationwide. The CDC continues to track the variants nationwide.

Therefore, at New York Tech, we must remain vigilant and avoid becoming one of these institutions. As more students return to campus next Monday, we all must continue to adhere to community mitigation activities (wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing, washing hands thoroughly and frequently, and remaining at home if ill or symptomatic) to prevent new infections. The CDC has updated its mask-wearing guidelines.

As always, the New York Tech community is welcome to make an appointment for a COVID-19 test at the Academic Health Care Center in Long Island by calling 516.686.1300. Those who may feel anxious or uneasy can reach out to the Office of Counseling and Wellness at our campuses in Long Island (516.686.7683) or New York City (212.261.1773) to talk or make a virtual appointment.


Brian L. Harper, M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Medical Officer, NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
Vice President, Equity and Inclusion

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