What You Need to Know
There is widespread community transmission of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) in New York City. Please follow public health precautions, including practicing social distancing and staying home if you are sick. All New Yorkers should monitor their health carefully.
All research and operational activities will be conducted remotely, with the exception of a small number of employees who must be onsite to perform their work. For those who must conduct their work on campus, we are taking every precaution to ensure your safety and we will follow up with you directly with more details.
School buildings will remain open to those whose work requires them to be on-site. Others who need to access the buildings should make arrangements by contacting Brian Byrne, director of operations, at email@example.com.
The University has suspended all Columbia-related travel, both international and domestic, for all affiliates until further notice. Consistent with CDC guidance, Columbia advises all affiliates who have returned from ANY international travel, stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing. Follow the self-isolation guidance found on the Columbia Preparedness COVID-19 FAQs. Additionally, all Columbia affiliates are strongly urged to postpone any non-essential personal travel abroad. Clinical staff should review CUIMC's Coronavirus Information for Providers and Clinical Staff.
As members of the public health community who care deeply about the health of individuals and populations as well as diversity and inclusion, it is imperative that we stay informed and engaged about COVID-19 and, in turn, be a source of accurate information and support for our own networks, professional and personal. Columbia’s Preparedness website is updated regularly with accurate information about the coronavirus outbreak.
During the cold and flu season, it is very important to take precautions to protect your health. Like the flu, symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough or shortness of breath. If you are not feeling well, particularly if you are feeling feverish and have an accompanying cough, congestion, or difficulty breathing, or if you have any questions about whether you should stay home, employees may contact the Employee Assistance Program.
As always, please stay home if you are not feeling well. Protecting the health and well-being of our community is a collective effort. You will not only speed your own recovery, but you will also prevent the possible transmission of any infection among your colleagues, classmates, and community. For employees, if you are ill, please take time off or use telecommuting capabilities; please speak with your supervisor if you have any concerns.
Throughout history, public health emergencies and outbreaks have often led to a parallel spread of stigmatization of affected groups. As coronavirus cases have increased, some in our community have experienced hostility or bias, on or off-campus. It is never acceptable that any member of our community does not feel welcomed or accepted. We must be vigilant of the social implications of this outbreak, including racism and xenophobia, which are also threats to the public’s health. If you have experienced, witnessed, or have questions about bias or instances of discrimination, please reach out to Raygine DiAquoi, assistant dean, Office of Diversity, Culture, and Inclusion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of those in our community may have family or friends affected by this outbreak and we ask that you are mindful of this. If you, or someone you know, need support during this time, please contact Columbia Health’s Counseling and Psychological Services, CUIMC's Mental Health Services, or the Office of the University Chaplain.