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Coronavirus Update for Students: March 2

March 2, 2020

SUNY Orange students,

While COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) has been on our collective minds for a number of months, its presence and impact on our Orange County lives was realized this past weekend. With a confirmed case in New York State and with the additional reality of four more U.S. deaths related to the COVID-19 virus announced today, I felt it important to update the College community about our preparedness at SUNY Orange.

The College’s Emergency Management Team is engaged and preparing to react to a situation whose trajectory is unknown and seems to present new stimuli every few hours. We have many resources upon which to draw, including the Centers for Disease Control, New York State and SUNY.

We understand the importance of communication now and as this situation unfolds. You may expect to receive updates via email (for time-sensitive but non-emergency information) and the Student Grapevine (informational updates: for example, how Facilities cleans offices overnight).

Today, the main message from SUNY, New York State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and all other credible sources was to practice preventive measures. As has previously been posted in the Grapevine, I now repeat these important actions to reduce the risk to our SUNY Orange community:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Stay alert to email and the Student Grapevine for the latest on our prevention and response efforts.


Dr. Kristine Young