Coronavirus Updates

Helpful Links Highlighted

Mental Health Resources

Each school has a page with student mental health resources and a person to contact. Please reach out to them! The Health Advocate Student Assistance Program helpline is available 24/7 at 855-384-1800 and is free to students. The Health Advocate website includes a wealth of informational pages and webinars, including a new webinar on coping with the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: https://members.healthadvocate.com/Account/OrganizationSearch - enter "Touro" in the dialog box, and choose "Touro College - Student Assistance Program" from the drop-down menu.


May 4, 2020 Letter to Touro College New York Students

Dear Touro College New York Students,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones well. I write to provide an update regarding the last weeks of the spring semester, decisions and plans for the upcoming summer semester as well as when you can expect further updates regarding Fall 2020. As always, our plans are adjustable based on the ever-evolving pandemic dynamics.

Congratulations to The Class of 2020

Before we provide updates for our continuing students – on behalf of all of us in Touro let me take this opportunity to wish congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2020. You have all worked so hard to arrive at this milestone in your lives. We wish you every success in your future endeavors, and always know that- you are forever a cherished member of the Touro family.

Spring 2020 Semester – Resilience, Gratitude and Feedback Request

We are so proud and inspired by your collective resilience and determination as we pivoted midsemester from face-to-face instruction to remote delivery of all coursework in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Together, we didn’t skip a beat. Now, as the spring semester draws to a close, we urge you to participate in the online course evaluations. Your responses and input are essential to us as we move forward. Please take a few moments to respond.

Summer 2020 Semester

For all continuing students, registration for Summer 2020 classes has begun with the full complement of courses which will enable you to progress with your academic plan. We can confirm to you that all summer didactic (lecture only) courses in our undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools will proceed and will continue to be delivered remotely through Zoom and distance education. In the hopes that sheltering at home directives will gradually be eased in the next few weeks, we are also examining the possibilities of accommodating on-campus labs.

Please note that the status of professional rotations and clerkships for the summer semester will be communicated directly by each program based on the policies and procedures of specific clinical/clerkship sites.

Fall 2020 Semester

We anticipate that by mid-July we will be able to update you on academic plans for the Fall 2020 semester. Be assured that all schools and programs are planning full course offerings for the Fall. Scheduling and manner of instruction will depend on government and health expert policy and direction.

We hope this information will help you make informed decisions regarding scheduling, registration and housing.

We will continue to update you as more information becomes available. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your Dean or evptouro@touro.edu. Stay well and healthy.

Sincerely yours,

Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka
Executive Vice President


April 7, 2020

Return to Campuses and Offices

Because the Federal and State governments have declared that social distancing must continue until the end of April, we cannot return to campus as planned on April 20. Instead, we will continue our academic programs remotely through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. We are very mindful of in-person labs and experiential requirements that exist in some majors and programs. To the extent that some students, because of accreditation requirements, must have these in-person experiences we will do our best, within government guidelines, to make those opportunities available as quickly as possible. Individual members of the faculty and staff to whom this will apply will hear from your deans directly should this become an option.

It is not likely that administrative staff will return to the office before sometime in May, but if there is a change we will let everyone know. We do not plan to bring staff back until it is safe to do so. Please continue to monitor your Touro email account for ongoing communications and updates.

Commencement

We all understand what commencement means to our students. We deeply value the sacrifices and hard work that they have all put forth along their academic journeys. It is for this reason that we have delayed making a final decision about commencement. However, the health of our students, their family members, and our staff and faculty are of paramount importance and we cannot jeopardize that under any circumstances.

It has now become painfully clear that we cannot plan for in-person graduation ceremonies scheduled for May and June of this year. At this point, the safest and most prudent course of action is to proceed with virtual commencements for all of our schools and programs. This past week we held a meeting of student leaders and senior administration to discuss options for virtual graduation ceremonies. Some very creative and thoughtful ideas were raised that will make these virtual ceremonies more personal and meaningful for the graduates and they will be used as a platform for our planning. We hope that you will be able to participate as well in creating a warm virtual celebration for your students and letting them know that you too wish to celebrate their accomplishments in the best way possible.

Today we informed the students that they will all receive caps and gowns as many have indicated that they want their regalia even if commencement were to be virtual. We are arranging for the vendors to have the students’ academic attire delivered to them directly. Students have been advised to check their emails for ordering instructions.

Each division and school will communicate to its graduates individually with specific details and information regarding their virtual commencement activities. These plans do not preclude having some celebratory in-person gathering in the future when health concerns have been allayed.

Summer and Fall Semesters

We are fully prepared for the summer semester for all programs to be held either in person or online. We are planning for the Fall 2020 semester to be on campus; however, we will certainly confirm all details as time goes on and specifics become available.

Student Housing/Meal Plan

For those undergraduates who have been availing themselves of meal plans or residing in student housing, we will be adjusting the cost of the Spring 2020 semester. Further details will be communicated to the impacted students.

Thank you once again for all your efforts to foster Touro’s academic and business continuity during this global pandemic. We extend our warmest holiday wishes to all those who will be observing these approaching holy days. As always, should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to evptouro@touro.edu.


March 26, 2020

Join the online COVID-19 symposium on Monday March 30. What do we know? What don’t we know? What do we need to know?


March 22, 2020

Dear New York State Touro and New York Medical College (NYMC) Community,

We hope that each of you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during these unprecedented and unsettling times.

As most of you know, this past Friday, March 20, 2020, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered employers to send workers home, effectively shutting down all businesses except for essential services. He instructed New Yorkers to remain indoors in an effort to curtail the coronavirus outbreak. We urge each of you to comply with the Governor’s instructions and do your part to stem the spread of this virus.

As a result of the executive order, except for NYMC, all Touro facilities will be closed. No Touro College students or employees should come to school or come to work onsite unless they have been identified and authorized by the central Touro administration as essential.

At the Valhalla campus of NYMC, the previously issued modified campus operations plan remains in effect. NYMC faculty, staff, and students will follow the specific directives regarding the definition of essential employees and student education which have already been issued in reference to each particular work and educational area in accordance with the modified campus operations plan. Students residing in student housing at NYMC may remain in their apartments, or not, as they wish. Additionally, only emergency cases only will be seen by the dental clinic at the Touro College of Dental Medicine.

At this point, all employees who are working from home should be set up to work remotely. Please contact your supervisors with any questions or specific assignments.

Due to this situation, we encourage all employees who have not yet done so to sign up to be paid via direct deposit. The information is under the Employee tab on the TouroOne portal under the Pay Information header. Once you are logged in to the portal, you can sign up for direct deposit.

For Touro College payroll related questions please contact info.payroll@touro.edu. For Touro College HR-related questions, please email contactHR@touro.edu. NYMC faculty and staff will continue to work with NYMC’s HR and payroll units.

The HR departments of Touro and NYMC are fully functional and ready to serve employees. All phones are being forwarded and you can find names, functions and a full contact list for everyone in the department on the Employee tab on the portal. For a faster response on benefits-specific issues, please email TouroBenefits@4mybenefits.com.

Touro students who are having any difficulty signing in to zoom classes or with technology-related issues should contact the help desk at help.touroone@touro.edu. NYMC students will continue to use their existing academic IT support units.

Anyone with any other questions, concerns or comments should contact evptouro@touro.edu.

Thanks again to everyone for remaining strong, positive and for continuing to achieve under these challenging circumstances.

Sincerely yours,

Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka
Executive Vice President


March 15, 2020, 8:30 pm

Dear Touro College Community,

We thank everyone for your patience and flexibility as we all work to maintain academic and business continuity in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Students, please note that all Touro departments are working to remain fully functional, even while classes are being delivered online and some staff will be working remotely. As mentioned in previous memos, calls are being forwarded, and voice messages and emails will be responded to in a timely manner.

We know that students, staff and faculty all have many questions as this situation changes daily. To help address your concerns, Touro President, Dr. Alan Kadish, will be hosting a town hall meeting tomorrow night at 9 pm, EDT.

Watch recording of Town Hall with Dr. Kadish

We look forward to hearing your questions and comments, so Dr. Kadish can address your questions and concerns at this difficult time. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka
Executive Vice President


March 15, 2020, 6 pm

This message applies to New York State Touro employees and students - this does not apply to NYMC, TUC, TUN and HTC who are receiving their own specific guidance and instructions.

Dear Touro College Community:

The impact of COVID-19 continues to reverberate far and near.  As you know, Touro has converted almost all of its coursework to distance learning over the past week. This achievement and the ongoing support to our students would not have been possible without the hard work and superb talents of our staff and faculty.

We are certainly in unusual times, with conditions related to the Coronavirus changing daily as we try to maintain normal operations while ensuring safety and social distancing measures. At this point, based on input from the CDC as well as state, city, and county health officials, Touro College campuses and administrative departments remain operational and officially “open” during the delivery of our Academic Programs online.

That said, being “open” does not require that every person must report to his or her work location every day, but it does require, that a regular day of work occurs either remotely or in the office. The goal is to achieve business and academic continuity while maintaining social distancing and remote working to the extent possible. Every phone call, email, and student interaction must be handled in a timely and professional manner, regardless of how we may alter our work schedules or locations.

Effective immediately, managers will collaborate with their staff and create specific measures that provide flexibility for individuals and the department. Managers can make use of remote work options, temporary changes to work schedules and rotating schedules for “in office” support where necessary. Please utilize the following guidance:

  • Managers should report to work on Monday March 16th to prepare their departments for working remotely. Employees who have not yet set up remote work capabilities should report in on Monday as well.
  • Managers are directed to transition their employees, except for those with essential administrative responsibilities, to remote working conditions. After Monday, March 16th at 8 PM, Touro facilities will only be open 9 am – 5 pm and only be open to those employees deemed essential by their managers.
  • Employees can learn how to access email and office phone transfer at  https://touro-iits-dept.s3.amazonaws.com/projects/InstructionalContinuity/index.html
  • Monday should be used to organize files, to set up OneDrive to access computer files and transfer office phone line. IT assistance and Helpdesk will be available.
  • All facilities personnel must report daily. Shifts may be altered, so please contact your supervisors.
  • Libraries will be closed. Online library services will be available via the portal. Research and reference assistance will be available via email and phone and more information will be forthcoming. 
  • Faculty and students are strongly discouraged from coming to campus. Faculty IT support, as well as student services support, will be provided remotely.

Our goal is to have all administrative offices open for business and operational, regardless of whether staff is in the office or working remotely. A directory of personnel with contact information can be accessed at www.touro.edu/directory.

These interim work plans must be approved by Deans in conjunction with the Provost, Senior Academic Officers or Senior Administrative Officers, in consultation with Human Resources.  Touro College senior leadership continues to assess the rapidly evolving situation and our plans are updated on a regular basis. It is our goal to be prepared for any contingency. Please note that the policies and procedures outlined in this memo should be followed until you receive further communication from us.

Of primary importance is the need to follow health and safety guidelines. Employees who are sick; show symptoms or test positive for Coronavirus, as well as those who need to care for a sick family member due to circumstances triggered by the Coronavirus, should refrain from coming to work. Those who fall into high-risk groups such as the elderly or those with lung disease should also refrain from working on-site.

They will utilize Flexible Work Arrangements and if this is not possible, sick time, other paid time off options, or as approved by their managers in accordance with the procedures outlined above. Employees who test positive for Coronavirus are requested to inform their managers on a confidential basis, and managers will then inform Human Resources.

We truly understand the many challenges that you face during this extraordinary time. Please be in touch with your manager and provide your thoughts and ideas on how we can collaborate better to meet the needs of our students and our employees. We need your ongoing help and your sustained cooperation to keep our operations functioning, and to provide you with flexible options. If you have any questions, please speak to your Manager, Dean, Provost, Senior Academic or Administrative Officer, or Human Resources.

Thank you so very much for your excellent service and your continued professionalism as we address each and every challenge. We are in this together and we will get through this together. If you have any questions or comments please share them through evptouro@touro.edu

Our very best wishes to you and your families.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka
Executive Vice President


March 12, 2020

Dear Touro students, staff and faculty,

Considering the events of this week, when entire communities have been placed under quarantine and the possibility that a jurisdiction or campus may need to be shut down, we are testing our capabilities to work offsite tomorrow, Friday March 13. All staff and faculty will be working remotely tomorrow.

Students

While our campus-based libraries will be closed, our online library is accessible via the portal. All inquiries to professors, program directors and administrative staff can be made via email or phone. Although staff and faculty will be working remotely, phone messages will be picked up regularly and all calls returned in a timely manner. Please leave and repeat your email address and telephone number when calling our offices.

Faculty

In some limited instances, faculty in-person zoom training sessions will take place. Those who have already arranged for these training sessions know who you are and should be in touch with the IT department to confirm your appointment. Both IT and the Helpdesk will be working remotely and available to address your needs. Otherwise, faculty will not be expected on campus.

Staff

We want to be sure that we can all work remotely from home. We have numerous resources to help administrative staff continue to carry out their regular duties remotely. There are two resources for this information:

  1. The TouroOne portal home page on the portlet labeled "Working and Teaching Remotely". There is a section with information about Zoom, Banner, Email and Phones. Here is the direct link: https://touro.edu/TCNYworkingremotely
  2. The TouroOne help center with access to helpdesk tickets and knowledge articles. Here is the direct link: https://help.touro.edu.

Here are some steps to take to ensure that you are ready to work remotely:

  1. If you are still at work, remember to take home your Touro laptop, mobile phone, and all power supplies and cords.
  2. Be sure that your Touro or home computer has up-to-date virus and malware protection and the latest operating system.
  3. Remember that you can save and retrieve your critical Touro documents in OneDrive or Box.
  4. It is possible to forward your Touro phone to a home phone or mobile phone. Read the directions on how to set up phone forwarding and contact the Helpdesk for support.

Your Dean or Supervisor will contact you to discuss operations, assignments and communication expectations. Please look for an email and/or answer your phone no later than your regularly scheduled start time on Friday.

Note that this is a test for tomorrow only, we expect to be in the office on Monday. We will keep you updated as necessary.

Tomorrow is payday. Those who receive direct deposit will see no change. Those who receive a paper salary check will receive it via US Mail (Consider this a plug for signing up for direct deposit via the portal).

Kindly share any feedback regarding your experiences working at home with ContinuityPlanFeedback@Touro.edu so we may make necessary improvements for the future.

Thank you once again for your ongoing patience and collaboration. Again, we appreciate everyone’s willingness to step up and do what is needed to ensure academic and administrative continuity at Touro.

Dr. Alan Kadish
President, Touro College and University System


March 11, 2020

Dear Touro Community,

I am writing to outline Touro’s updated response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The clinical situation is changing rapidly, and we are trying to act as quickly and responsibly as we can. Governor Cuomo has issued a series of recommendations including moving SUNY and CUNY to distance learning as we have done this week. Many other colleges have done the same.

The policies Touro is adopting are based on ongoing consultation with leaders in public health and higher education. We are trying to address the anxiety the public is feeling and reduce the number of large crowds present on campuses, as per the guidance we have received.

Effective immediately, the following measures will be in place for Touro schools and programs in New York State:

  • Touro will continue with our online delivery of classes and small group sessions until after the Passover holiday—Monday April 20, 2020.
  • School buildings will remain open, libraries are available, and staff will be reporting to work. Labs will be replaced with equivalent, remote experiences, wherever possible. Out of necessity, certain labs will continue to be delivered in person (but may require some schedule modifications to reduce the number of students in each session). Please watch for more detailed email communication from your deans and professors in the coming days regarding lab scheduling.
  • Clinical experiences for medical and health science students, as well as students in graduate programs will continue as long as the clinical/externship/field placement site will accept students.
  • The dental clinic will remain open for now. We are evaluating this on a day to day basis.
  • The Law Center Clinic and the Speech Program Clinic will also remain open.
  • Dormitories will remain open for now. We feel compelled to advise students in dormitory housing that we will not have the capacity to accommodate a quarantine situation in the dormitories. Those from outside the New York area should be guided accordingly.
  • Public events on our campuses are being canceled for now. All public and common areas on our campuses and in our buildings are being cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Touro administration is in constant contact with department of health authorities and their suggestions regarding quarantine and notifications will continue to be followed.

  • Employees, please watch your email for updated Human Resources operational guidelines for the current Novel Coronavirus which will be issued shortly.
  • During this international pandemic that is causing disruption in so many ways, please beware of a considerable increase in viruses, malware and dangerous spam that will appear in your inboxes—email, texts, social media, etc... This can be used to infect and your devices and the others to whom you are connected. EVPTOURO@TOURO.EDU will be the official email address for updates from Touro College during our coronavirus response. Do not click on links or respond to messages unless you are absolutely certain of the sender and his intent. As of yesterday, we are labeling all email that comes from outside the Touro system with the words: “External Email.” Always use your Touro email for interactions with Touro students, faculty and staff.

Over the course of the last week, we at Touro have all seen an enormous amount of collaboration, understanding and esprit de corps. Thank you to each of you for your contribution to making Touro shine brighter during some of these darker moments. These are trying times for us all. By working together and supporting each other, we will effectively navigate the challenges ahead and emerge stronger and more successful. If you have any comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to share them by contacting evptouro@touro.edu.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka
Executive Vice President


March 6, 2020

Below is compiled from Touro communications to the Touro community March 3-5

Your health and well-being are of paramount importance to our College & University System and we continue to actively monitor developments related to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus disease). Touro is aligned with recommendations from the CDC and local health officials in all areas where there are Touro schools and facilities. We are taking advice and heeding guidance from national, state and local health and education authorities.

Business and Academic Continuity

As the situation is ever-changing, we are working diligently to ensure our academic and business continuity plans and to prepare for any changes in circumstances with minimal disruption. We realize that transitioning to an online platform on a system-wide scale has never been attempted Touro. In an effort to be proactive and pressure-test our system so as to be prepared for every eventuality. To that end, Touro College is voluntarily implementing an entirely online course delivery system for our New York-based academic programs, effective this Monday-Thursday March 9-12.  While classroom instruction is being shifted online, all college facilities and offices, as well as residence halls, will remain open as usual; meal plans will continue.

Classroom instruction is being delivered online through Canvas or Zoom and students will be given class-specific details by professors, program chairs and deans via emails and Canvas. It is important that everyone check their official Touro email account regularly.  For questions about online classes the Helpdesk can be contacted by emailing help@touro.edu

All clinical rotation instruction will continue as planned, based on each clinical site’s specifications. Labs will be modified and migrated to online opportunities to the extent possible or made up at a later date. Stay tuned for information and details on specific classes from each lab instructor.

Symptoms and Preventive Measures

Despite the uncertainty regarding how events will unfold, we can all take reassurance from those at the CDC and State and local Boards of Health who have been reiterating that simple, common-sense precautions are our most effective and best line of defense.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. These symptoms may be similar to the flu or the common cold. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia and other complications, especially in infants, older individuals and those with underlying health conditions.

Here are steps we should all take every day to help prevent COVID-19 and any respiratory illness:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, like your cell phone.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick.
  • If you are caring for an ill person, stay home for an estimated incubation period (2 weeks).
  • If you have traveled recently or have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and are experiencing the above symptoms, please seek medical attention right away. (Touro employees should review the updated travel policy)
  • Before you go to the doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and let them know of your recent travel and symptoms.

Since the end of February, Touro facility maintenance teams have increased the frequency with which they sanitize and clean public spaces. They will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Additional Resources

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT:

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email evptouro@touro.edu