Empowering lives for 90 years!

Winter 2021 Semester COVID-19 Updates

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March 18, 2021

Dear Berkeley College Community,

As we recognize the one-year mark of the initial campus closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic this week, we reflect on the past year and your resiliency through an extraordinarily challenging time. Thank you for your continued diligence in following health and safety protocols. Below are several COVID-19 updates since our last communication.

Town Halls
A virtual COVID-19 Town Hall for students will take place on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, between 5:00 – 6:00 pm. Panelists will include several Berkeley representatives, as well as Dr. Susan Donelan, an infectious disease physician with Stony Brook University Hospital. Zoom information will be distributed closer to the date.

If you would like to submit a question about reopening protocols, vaccines, or other pandemic-related topics, please email COVID19@BerkeleyCollege.edu. A recording of the session will be available following the event.

Campus Ventilation
As we learn more about how COVID-19 spreads, Berkeley College is proactively addressing air ventilation and filtration at the campuses.

Berkeley continues to replace air filters in all units every three months. Over the past several weeks, Berkeley has also installed needlepoint bipolar ionization units in the ventilation systems at all New Jersey campuses and the White Plains campus. Installation at the New York City campus will soon follow. This technology clumps together air particles that are then filtered through the HVAC system.

Additionally, Berkeley will be installing HEPA-filter air purifiers in classrooms and throughout the campuses to remove airborne contaminants. These systems are used by health care facilities and school systems across the United States. We are confident that air purifiers, coupled with the ionization units and filter replacements, will provide an added level of safety for students and associates returning to campus.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information
The state of New York has now opened vaccine eligibility to individuals 60 years of age or older.

For a full list of currently eligible groups, please visit the New York or New Jersey vaccine eligibility website. If you are living outside of NY/NJ, please visit this CDC listing of state health departments across the United States.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized for emergency use Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. While the first two COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are each two doses, the J&J vaccine requires only one dose and can be kept at standard refrigeration temperatures, which will increase the number of available COVID-19 doses across the country.

Rather than utilizing messenger RNA (mRNA) technology like the first two vaccines, J&J’s vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, which means it uses a modified version of a different virus to deliver instructions to cells, triggering a response in our immune system that produces antibodies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 or other infections. For more information on viral vaccines, please visit the CDC website.

The CDC has also created a vaccine finder to help you locate available vaccines within a set number of miles of your zip code. You must still meet eligibility requirements in your state and make an appointment to receive a vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are free of charge.

Please continue to visit the Berkeley College COVID-19 webpage for updates. We look forward to seeing you at the town hall event on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

Stay safe.

Sincerely,

COVID-19 Task Force

Empowering lives for 90 years!