Message from the President to the Berkeley College Community on Coronavirus COVID-19

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March 5, 2020

Dear Berkeley Community,

Berkeley College administrators are in communication with health officials in New York and New Jersey to obtain the most up-to-date information on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Given the fact that cases of COVID-19, a type of respiratory illness, have been identified in multiple countries, including the United States, we want to make sure our campus community is informed about how to best minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

While the risk of acquiring COVID-19 is considered low in our area at this time, we encourage you to understand the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) that are intended to prevent the spread of this virus. This includes taking care of yourself and following strategies for maintaining a clean environment and adhering to travel guidelines established by the WHO and CDC.

In order to ensure Berkeley’s preparedness, we have assembled a team to monitor daily reports from county, state and federal agencies and to plan accordingly. 

Travel Alert

With spring break approaching the week of April 19th, we advise students, faculty and staff to reconsider any nonessential travel, especially to countries at risk where the coronavirus has spread in the community. As of March 4, 2020, the countries and regions where the CDC does not recommend travel are China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Advice for travelers is available on the CDC website at

Guidelines for Prevention and Care

Early detection and care promote recovery from this virus. If you have reason to suspect you may have been in contact with COVID-19 and are feeling unwell, please seek medical advice right away. We encourage you to follow CDC guidelines for personal hygiene and cleanliness that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.

- Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead. Tell them about any of your recent travel, your symptoms and/or if you suspect you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

- If you are experiencing symptoms, avoid contact with others.

- Do not travel if you are sick.

- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.

- Additional ways you can build good habits for cleanliness is to disinfect commonly touched surfaces, avoid touching your face, practice proper handwashing, and continue to stay home if you are feeling unwell. Please encourage your friends and family to do the same. You can get your flu shot. Eat well and get enough rest. Wellness also includes your mental wellbeing.

You can visit the CDC website for more information at:

If You Have Further Questions

Contact information for state health offices in the states of New York and New Jersey, and for Student Development and Campus Life (SDCL) representatives on your campus is provided below. To read more about the coronavirus, please visit The World Health Organization website:

Michael J, Smith