Covid-19 Updates: 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