Covid-19 Update: 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