COVID-19 Case Update; No Risk to College Community (Includes updates on master schedule)

Posted on March 23, 2020
updated on March 24, 2020

NOTE: The following updated information was shared on Tuesday, March 24:

COVID-19 Case Update; No Risk to College Community

We have received additional information regarding the COVID-19 case I reported yesterday. I would like to clarify this situation, as it has caused some undue alarm, and reiterate that no member of the Hudson Valley community is at risk due to this case. The affected individual has not been on campus since more than a week before Spring Break began. Therefore, our county health officials have confirmed that there is zero potential for infection among the college community due to this case.  

Please remember that our local and state health departments are responding to critically urgent matters. There is no need to contact them about this case. If any future case is determined to affect members of our community, those individuals will be contacted directly by the local health department.

Student Help Hotline

As I mentioned in yesterday’s update, college faculty and staff are working very hard this week to prepare for the start of classes next Monday. Today, we can announce additional tools for students looking for more information about the college’s response to COVID-19.

If you would like to speak with a college staff member about a particular concern, you may call (518) 629-7800. This hotline is staffed by members of our college community who can assist you or help you find the information you need. It will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each weekday. In addition, we have set up a new Question Related to COVID-19 Situation web form where you may send questions to us online.

Original Message posted Monday, March 23:

President Ramsammy sent the following email to all students and employees on Monday, March 23. Please take a moment to review the information and resources below.


Dear members of the college community,

As we begin the second week of our break, I’d like to offer this brief update as the college continues to monitor and respond to the situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Positive COVID-19 Case Identified

The college was recently notified that a Hudson Valley student has tested positive for COVID-19. This student is receiving the necessary medical care and self-isolating off campus, and the college is following the instructions of the Rensselaer County Health Department. Please note that because this student has not visited campus recently, the Rensselaer County Health Department does not consider members of the college community to be at risk of infection from this particular case.

Though this news may be alarming to some, please understand that we have been preparing for this scenario. Because the college has already shifted all instruction and staffing to remote, and in-person visits to campus are prohibited, transmission within the college community via campus contact is not considered to be a major concern at this point.

Please be reminded that even during this unprecedented situation, medical confidentiality laws and protections still apply. Therefore, the college cannot and will not publish identifying information related to this student or to any other members of the college community that may test positive for the virus in the future. In general, please note that if you are determined to be at risk of exposure through interaction with a person who is known to be infected, regardless of where that exposure took place, you will receive guidance on what to do next from the county health department involved with the case.

Reminder: Reporting Symptoms and Preventing Spread

As always, if you begin to show symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) or believe you’ve been exposed, please contact your healthcare provider before seeking care in person. Though we are not able to accommodate in-person visits to College Health Services at this time, staff are available at (518) 629-7468 to offer guidance over the phone to members of the college community.

Please note that even though we are now operating at a distance, all members of the college community are still asked to self-report any symptoms or positive test results to the college, regardless of where they seek medical care. This is in part to ensure accurate reporting to SUNY, state and county officials, even though our campus is not currently open to the public. Please use the Report Viral Illness form, available after logging into WIReD, to report symptoms or a positive test result. If you cannot access the form, please call College Health Services at (518) 629-7468 to report.

Rest assured that we will continue to work to provide support to our community during this unprecedented time, despite the distance between us. Any new reports of positive cases will be handled under the guidance of state and county health departments. In the meantime, please continue to take measures to protect yourselves and one another. Keep following health and hygiene measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), like proper hand washing and social distancing. This is a serious situation, and the college community as a whole is expected to follow the policies outlined in Governor Cuomo’s New York on PAUSE Executive Order.

Revised Schedule Available Today

I’m pleased to share that as discussed last week, a revised master schedule outlining changes in class format is now available on the college’s  Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Information webpage and is being emailed to all students and employees. This schedule provides information on changes that have been made to courses as we have shifted to 100% distance and online learning. Please note that Health Science students whose coursework includes a clinical component will receive guidance directly from their department chairs. As planned, classes will resume in their new formats on Monday, March 30.

In addition, all spring Sprint courses have also been transitioned to online or distance learning formats and will begin as scheduled in those formats. Instructors will continue to reach out to students via Hudson Valley email with specific information on their classes.

Training for Remote Instruction

As we continue our instructional schedule for the Spring semester in these new formats next week, please be aware that we are offering many ways to help you transition to the new teaching/learning environment. I encourage students to review the Student Remote Access webpage as early as possible. All students will continue to receive direct communication from their professors to address specific course changes and address questions. Students with specific questions about technology not addressed on these pages can contact the Computer Learning Center at (518) 629-7891 or clchelp@hvcc.edu. Faculty and staff should contact the college’s Information Technology Services department for assistance.

It’s also important to note that many college academic support services, such as the Learning Assistance Center, the Center for Academic Engagement, Center for Access and Assistive Technology and the Marvin Library, are also online and ready to assist students now and throughout the semester.

With the current restricted access to our physical campus, if you need to contact a particular office or department, the best way to do so is via email, through the contacts listed in the college directory.

Final Thoughts

Please know that we are continuing to coordinate with SUNY, state and local authorities to work through this situation and address the many other questions and concerns our community has. As always, thank you for your patience, and please continue to check your Hudson Valley email and the college’s website frequently for updates.

Sincerely,

Roger A. Ramsammy, Ph.D.
President
Hudson Valley Community College