Medgar Evers College and The City University of New York are closely monitoring public health concerns related to the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York. At MEC we are committed both to the safety and well-being of our college community and to providing continuity of instructions and services despite any possible interruptions. Please check this page as well as your MEC email daily for updates and further instructions.
To date, the college is taking all possible steps to prevent the spread of illness, including increased cleaning and sanitizing of facilities, restocking and distributing additional hand sanitizers, and posting reminders in all common areas and offices about the importance of proper hygiene.
For the Medgar Evers College Infectious Disease Protocol, click here. In addition, members of the campus community must adhere to the following MEC Infectious Diseases Notification Protocol Flow Chart.
CUNY's latest update regarding the novel coronavirus can be found here. In addition, the entire campus community is strongly encouraged to review guidance from the New York State Department of Health about how to protect yourself from COVID-19. For nyc.gov updates, text COVID to 692692.
What you need to know about COVID-19
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.
- Infections with this new virus have been reported in many countries, including the U.S. Click here for an updated list of all affected areas.
- The virus is spread from person to person.
- Most people with COVID-19 will feel like they have a bad cold or the flu. Some will require hospitalization. People who are most sick with severe illness are the elderly or have other health conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
A: Coronavirus is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. An outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). For a detailed situation summary, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Q: How does COVID-19 spread?
A: The virus that causes COVID-19 emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
On March 11, the COVID-19 outbreak was characterized a pandemic by the World Health organization (WHO). A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people quickly. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide.
Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A: Patients with COVID-19 have mild to severe respiratory illness. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some experience body aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea.
Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at a higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
(CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.)
Q: How can I help protect myself?
A: People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions such as:
- Social Distancing; avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Click here for a video on proper handwashing techniques.
Q: If you are sick, to keep from spreading COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses to others, you should:
A: Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.
• Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care; avoid public areas; avoid public transportation
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, then wash hands immediately for 20 seconds, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
***If you do not have a doctor or need help getting medical care, call 311 for assistance. Remember you can get care in NYC regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. ***
Q: What is the difference between isolation, quarantine, and close contact?
A: Isolation means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent the spread of the communicable disease. Isolation for health purposes may be voluntary or compelled by federal, state, or local public health orders.
Quarantine in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not yet been exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.
Close contact is defined as:
a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case
b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on)
Detailed information from the CDC regarding potential exposure to COVID-19 can be found here.
Q: Should I wear a mask to protect myself?
A: New recommendation for face covering is that everyone should wear something to cover the face; use a scarf, bandana, or piece of clothing. Reserve surgical masks, N95 masks for healthcare workers and first responders. Disposable face masks should only be worn ONCE and dispose of properly.
Vaccines to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are available for emergency use. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Receiving a vaccine is highly encouraged and beneficial to ending the pandemic.
Click each for EUA fact sheets for available vaccines:
For a COVID-19 vaccine location near you, visit or call 1-800-232-0233.
Public health emergencies, such as the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are stressful times for people and communities. If a student feels anxious or is worried about friends and family because of the coronavirus pandemic, CUNY encourages them to contact Counseling and Health Services or campus Student Services. You can also contact NYC Well at 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355) or text “WELL” to 65173. NYC Well is a confidential help line that is staffed 24/7 by trained counselors who can provide brief supportive therapy, crisis counseling, and connections to behavioral health treatment, in more than 200 languages. Visit CDC to learn how to cope in such stressful times.
For further information and the latest updates, click links below:
Novel Coronavirus Hotline
Call 1-888-364-3065 for Information about Coronavirus