Personal tools
Log in

Navigation

COVID-19 Communication Archive

This page provides an archive of communications sent out to the RCC Community about COVID-19.


Monday, March 30, 2020 at 10:25 am

Sent to All Faculty and All Staff

Subject: Forging Ahead Together


Faculty and Staff,

We have completed our first virtual work week, and I think we can agree that it has been a learning experience for us all. These unprecedented times have required us to be flexible and accommodating, and I thank you for your leadership and collaboration. Working remotely requires us all to communicate creatively, and I admire the innovative strides we have made to stay focused on student success despite the challenging circumstances.

I urge you all to stay safe and adhere to CDC guidelines to protect yourself and those closest to you. I have been in contact with the individual who was recently reported as the first known case of COVID-19 within our college community, and they are feeling better and expect to recover from this illness.

We must work together in the days ahead by checking in with our students and each other as we resume classes. I have been meeting regularly with my senior leadership team, the Board of Trustees, SUNY leadership, and our partners in government to ensure you have what you need for the foreseeable future as we weather this storm together.  Communication is key, which includes staying informed by checking for updates on the website and doing our best to avoid misinformation. As we move forward, we will continue to work at identifying and addressing issues, and dealing with new challenges as they arise.

Please be smart and be safe. I am so proud of your resolve and ability to surpass obstacles in the pursuit of educating and leading our students to graduation and beyond!

Best regards,
--

Dr. Michael A. Baston
President
Rockland Community College
145 College Road
Suffern, New York 10901
Phone: 845-574-4214
Fax: 845-574-4463
E-mail: mbaston@sunyrockland.edu


Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 8:12 pm

Sent to All Students and All Faculty & Staff

Subject: COVID-19 Update

Dear Rockland Community College,

I received a report from the Rockland County Health Department of a confirmed case of COVID-19 among a member of the RCC community. Our last day of student attendance was March 13, 2020, and the Rockland County Health Department shared that the campus was exposed on March 16, 2020. The exposure took place in one office within one building. There were limited students and personnel on campus on that day.

The Rockland County Health Department is reaching out to anyone who may have come in contact with the individual and may have been exposed. They will be notified directly by the Health Department and given guidance on monitoring for symptoms and testing.

Following the protocols and guidelines of the NYS Health Department, the College has thoroughly disinfected all areas that have been impacted. The Housekeeping team will continue to routinely disinfect all areas throughout the campus.

RCC will provide updated information, support, and resources to protect the well-being of the community during these challenging times. You can find updated information readily available on our COVID-19 website.

The College, along with the Rockland County Health Department, is confident in our team of health and safety professionals who are closely monitoring all aspects of the COVID-19 situation. Thank you for your continued effort to keep our community healthy and safe as this responsibility becomes even more critical.

Sincerely,

William Murphy
Executive Director of Operations & Chief Law Enforcement Officer
SUNY Rockland Community College
845-574-4362


Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 5:11 pm

Sent to All Students

Subject: RCC Student Support Line


Dear RCC Students,

I hope that you are using the extended spring break to focus on your well-being, and that of your loved ones. While no scheduled courses are running during spring break (March 16 - March 29), essential campus facilities will remain open, and we will conduct business virtually through March 31. RCC is committed to continuing access to services you may need as we move to a virtual campus environment.

To help with this effort, the College has set up an 'RCC Student Support Line.’ The RCC Student Support Line is monitored from 8 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. To leave a message, please call 845-574-4224 or admissions@sunyrockland.edu.

Although many staff members will be working remotely, and areas and offices will be physically closed, staff will answer voicemail messages and emails during regular business hours to assist you and to continue operations.

The College has set up an Essential Resources webpage to provide you with important information in a single location. You will be hearing from faculty who will provide more information about your courses and academic resources.

RCC is working diligently to help you continue your academic journey, and provide you with the support you need with as little disruption as possible.

Best regards,

Dr. Helen Castellanos Brewer
Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs
SUNY-Rockland Community College
145 College Road,
Suffern, NY 10901
hbrewer@sunyrockland.edu
(845) 574-4206


Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 10:00 am

Sent to All Faculty, All Staff

Subject: Thank You - RCC President Michael Baston


Dear RCC Faculty and Staff,

Over the past week, our country has been facing one of its great challenges in adapting to the COVID-19 outbreak. I am humbled by the overwhelming support, patience, and fortitude you have shown in the pursuit of continuing the mission of Rockland Community College.

As I walked the halls of the campus yesterday, I saw our faculty and staff in the Ellipse and Nelson Mandela Room deeply focused on learning how to better engage their students using technological tools. I saw our housekeeping staff diligently disinfecting and deep cleaning bathrooms, offices, and common areas. Everyone I have come across has been calm, purposeful, and committed to preparing the College for the next few weeks of uncertainty.

Together – we move boldly into a world of online learning for the health and safety of everyone in our community. We have asked much of each other throughout this process, in the pursuit of changing our academic structure in just a few weeks. You are doing this for one simple reason: to ensure the success of our students on their paths towards graduation. As your president, I could not be more proud of each and every one of you.

Over the past year, our 60th Anniversary, we have been celebrating “A Legacy of Change.” In the midst of this challenge, we are being pushed to embrace change once again. I am confident in our ability to continue to transform this College, driven by our collective commitment to our students.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and one another. I wish you all the very best during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael Baston
President of Rockland Community College

Rockland Community College
145 College Road
Suffern, New York 10901
Phone: 845-574-4214
Fax: 845-574-4463
E-mail: mbaston@sunyrockland.edu


Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 7:45 pm

Sent to All Students

Subject:  A Message from RCC President

Dear Students,

With growing concerns about coronavirus and recent developments in our community, I recognize the challenge that this situation presents for you and your academic work. In lieu of recent events, classes have been canceled to extend spring break from March 16 to March 29.

Your faculty members will be in touch with you about coursework and what happens after spring break. Take these next two weeks to focus on your health and that of the ones closest to you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael Baston
President of Rockland Community College


Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 10:37 am

Message sent to All RCC, All Students

Subject: COVID-19 Message from Chancellor Kristina Johnson

Dear Rockland Community College,

RCC is moving classes online wherever possible. Click here for important information about SUNY's plan to combat the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.

As a community college that is part of the SUNY system, the College is taking directive from SUNY leadership. Attached is a letter from the SUNY Chancellor.

William Murphy
Executive Director of Operations & Chief Law Enforcement Officer
SUNY Rockland Community College


Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 4:39 pm

Message sent to All RCC, All Students

Subject: A Message from Dr. Baston, President Rockland Community College

Read 3/12 update video transcript | Watch 3/12 update on YouTube


Dear Rockland Community College,

Like all of you, I have been monitoring the developing reports of the COVID-19 disease and considering the health risks that it may pose to our health and the health of our loved ones. While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among our students, faculty, or staff on any campus at RCC to date, I am working with our Emergency Planning and Response Team to take every measure possible to reduce density at the College, sanitize the campus, and minimize the possibility of exposure. What has encouraged me most are the e-mails being sent by faculty who are sharing resources with one another on how to engage students during this difficult time and develop alternative modalities that can support student efforts to complete the semester and graduate.

Following Governor Cuomo’s press conference, our campus task force has been working diligently to further develop our Academic Operations Plan to limit exposure to the disease among members of our community. That plan is outlined below. The task force continues to maintain close contact with the Rockland County Department of Health, New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the State University of New York System Administration. Additionally, my executive team has been meeting daily and I have been participating in daily teleconferences with SUNY leadership.

Where Do We Go From Here?

  1. The College plans to remain open and will continue to take action to reduce COVID-19 exposure.
  2. Classes will be canceled on all campuses from March 19 - March 29, extending spring break for students to continue cleaning and prepare alternative learning options for our students.
  3. On March 19 and March 20, although classes are not being held, the College will remain open.  Training and planning sessions will be held for faculty and staff on these dates and further information will be sent out prior to March 19.
  4. By March 27, you will be updated with more information about our Academic Operations Plan and whether we will resume face-to-face instruction after spring break.


You will be receiving more detailed information to your RCC email from senior staff at the College. Fortunately, the College has put together an Emergency Planning and Response Team, headed by William Murphy, Executive Director of Operations; Chief Law Enforcement Officer, which is dedicated to the safety of the college community.

I appreciate all of your patience and support as we move forward collaboratively in this time of great challenge for our College community. In a time of crisis, we must come together with innovative strategies to help our students finish their education and graduate on time.

Current Plans to Reduce Exposure

The plan to reduce COVID-19 exposure includes:

  1. Leveraging our Distance Learning model, RCC plans to move classes online wherever possible and supplement with alternative modes of instructional delivery where most practical (e.g. video teleconferencing, delivery of written materials by mail and email).
  2. RCC is anticipating that students may be on- or off-campus when utilizing distance learning, and hence alternative instructional modes will be designed accordingly. The College is taking into account that some students may have limited, high-speed internet and technological access and RCC will be keeping necessary computer labs open.
  3. RCC is keeping facilities and services open and available to students during and after spring break, unless the Governor directs otherwise. The College is mindful of students who may have no other housing or dining options and will require these resources.
  4. Lessings, the College's food service provider, is taking extra precautions including: increasing the frequency of cleaning and expanding cleaning and janitorial services; changing or eliminating self-service stations; individually wrapping hand fruit and baked goods; and moving to grab and go and prepackaged items among other measures.
  5. The College is taking extra sanitation precautions on campus with our Facilities and Housekeeping crews. The public bus stop by the Cultural Arts Center is being cleaned every hour. The crew is thoroughly cleaning frequently touched surfaces (tables, desks, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, and sinks) with CDC approved COVID-19 disinfectants and cleaning products.


Happening Now

Currently, all Study Abroad programs for Spring 2020, and all student programming involving travel is suspended until further notice. All on-campus events with more than 50 participants have been canceled until April 1, 2020. The College will make decisions on events after April 1, 2020 as the date approaches and communicate them to the community.

The College has made efforts to avoid mass gatherings to maintain social distancing. This requires that we reduce possible campus exposures and as such we have cancelled or postponed events and activities. You can find an updated list of those events on our website at sunyrockland.edu/canceledevents.

Currently, Commencement is scheduled as originally planned. This is subject to change due to the rapidly evolving health concerns surrounding COVID-19. The College sincerely hopes to carryout Commencement as planned, and we will notify the community as quickly as possible should anything change.

What You Can Do

For regular updates and additional information, please visit sunyrockland.edu/coronavirus. William Murphy, Executive Director of Operations and Chief Law Enforcement Officer, will continue to email you with updates to your college email address. It is recommended that you sign up for emergency communications using our SWIFT911 contact system to receive emergency email, text and phone call notifications. Now more than ever, we must all stay informed and knowledgeable about what the College is doing and how you can protect yourself and our community. For information on the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York, please visit the New York State Department of Health website.

Despite our efforts, we are all still faced with uncertainty. I promise you that we are doing our best to protect you and avoid putting you and those closest to you at risk. We rely on you to practice patience, be understanding and use your best judgement.

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael Baston
President of Rockland Community College


Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 4:55 pm

Message sent to All Students

Subject: A Message from Dr. Baston, President Rockland Community College

(Students)

Read 3/11 update video transcript | Watch 3/11 update on YouTube

All updates concerning Coronavirus will be posted on the COVID-19 webpage. Please continue to check this website for important information. Be sure to sign up for emergency communications using our SWIFT911 alert system.

Thank you,

Bill Murphy

--

William Murphy
Executive Director of Operations & Chief Law Enforcement Officer
SUNY Rockland Community College
845-574-4362
Fax 845-574-4432


Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Message sent to All RCC

Subject: A Message from Dr. Baston, President Rockland Community College

(Faculty & Staff)


Click here to view Dr. Baston's Video Message


All updates concerning Coronavirus will be posted on the COVID-19 webpage. Please continue to check this website for important information. Be sure to sign up for emergency communications using our SWIFT911 alert system.

Thank you,

Bill Murphy

--

William Murphy
Executive Director of Operations & Chief Law Enforcement Officer
SUNY Rockland Community College
845-574-4362
Fax 845-574-4432


Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 12:56 pm

Message sent to All RCC and All Students

Subject: COVID-19 Update


Dear College Community,

We have created this coronavirus information webpage to outline RCC's plans, address your concerns and to answer your questions. We strongly encourage you to visit the webpage. Our team will be updating the page often with new developments.

We will continue to communicate with the RCC Community via email and any urgent information will be sent through the SWIFT911 Alert System. You can register for the Alert System online if you are not already signed up.

Bill Murphy

--

William Murphy
Executive Director of Operations & Chief Law Enforcement Officer
SUNY Rockland Community College
845-574-4362
Fax 845-574-4432


Monday, March 9, 2020 at 8:03 am

Message sent to All RCC and All Students

Subject: COVID-19 Update


Dear RCC Community,

At Rockland Community College, your health and safety is our first priority. We want to assure you that we are preparing for coronavirus COVID-19, and we will keep you updated on the important steps we are taking to respond to COVID-19.

Most recently, Rockland County Executive Ed Day reported that two Rockland residents, who were under quarantine, have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. They are currently under isolation at their homes. We will continue to communicate closely with the County and keep you informed as we receive updates.

It is important for you to know that there have been no cases of COVID-19 among our students, faculty, or staff on any campus at RCC.

RCC will continue to monitor the situation closely, and we have created a task force to address various concerns and issues that develop as a result. Our task force is working closely with SUNY, the County and the CDC to ensure your safety and health.


Prevention

The CDC has outlined the following preventative tips to keep yourself, your family and your community safe.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and don’t go to class or work.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay up to date on CDC travel health notices: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices


The College is taking extra sanitation precautions on campus with our Facilities and Housekeeping crew. We are thoroughly cleaning frequently touched surfaces (tables, desks, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with CDC approved COVID-19 disinfectants and cleaning products.

Additional hand sanitizer stations have been added in addition to maintaining the ones previously installed a number of years ago. Our Public Safety Department is prepared and stocked with emergency supplies, surgical masks, Tyvek suits, hand sanitizer, etc. as well.


Travel

We suggest that students, faculty, and staff planning to travel locally or internationally, whether for academics or personal, first monitor official government travel advisories from the CDC travel information webpage and the US State Department travel advisory webpage.

We encourage you to consider the necessity of travel against the potential risk of exposure to the disease, becoming quarantined, or cancellations to arrival and return travel.

If you do plan to travel, please be cautious. Things are changing every day when it comes to this virus, especially in regards to travel restrictions both to enter the US or to enter other countries. Domestic flights are also being cancelled.

If you decide to travel and encounter any restrictions when traveling, you should consider the possibility that you may not be able to come back into the Country or you may be subject to a quarantine.

Please continue to monitor the CDC website for updated related travel advisorieswhen making decisions.


CDC Information About the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

  • In the United States, the CDC is responding to this developing public health issue and is working with the World Health Organization and state and local public health partners to respond to this situation.
  • Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. Seven different coronaviruses, that scientists know of, can infect people and make them sick.
  • Generally human coronaviruses cause mild to moderate illness in people worldwide; however, there are cases that can become more severe.
  • A novel (new) coronavirus is causing the outbreak first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
  • Health authorities have reported that patients have experienced fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia.


See the CDC website for up-to-date news and more information about Covid-19 and related travel advisories.


Communication

The College will be sending out regular updates regarding the virus. You can also access helpful and up to date information on the following sites:


New York State Hotline

1-888-364-3065.

Questions

If you have  concerns or questions about COVID-19, call the New York State Department of Health's Novel Coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to speak with a NYSDOH expert who will answer questions, Monday – Sunday 9:00 am- 6:00 pm. After hours, you may leave a voicemail that will be returned.

We will continue to communicate with the RCC Community as new information becomes available.

Thank you,

William Murphy
Executive Director of Operations & Chief Law Enforcement Officer
SUNY Rockland Community College
845-574-4362
Fax 845-574-4432


Monday, March 2, 2020 at 12:37 pm

Sent to All RCC and All Students

Subject: COVID-19 Update


To the College Community,

This has been a very eventful week with respect to COVID-19. Currently the NYS Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be updating a number of guidance documents and generating new ones over the next few days. Updates from those agencies will be available by clicking on the links below. We also wanted to remind you about prevention efforts provided by the Rockland County Health Department.

Prevention:

  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and contact your health care provider.

CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.


We will update the college community shortly as new updates become available.

Thank you,

Bill

--

William Murphy
Executive Director of Operations &
Chief Law Enforcement Officer
SUNY Rockland Community College
145 College Road
Suffern, New York10901
845-574-4362
Fax 845-574-4432