To the Manhattan College community,
I write at the end of an eventful week—and on an especially eventful day—to provide a brief update of the College’s continuing response to the challenges of the COVID-19 virus. As always, our students, their families, our faculty and staff, and our alumni and friends are in my prayers as we work, together, to do what is in the best interest of our community and of the wider public.
We have confirmed that a Manhattan College faculty member has received a positive test for COVID-19, or coronavirus. The faculty member was last on campus on Monday, March 9, and received the test on Sunday, March 15. He has not shown any symptoms, and took the test because his spouse, a health care worker, had flu-like symptoms, and subsequently tested positive. We have already notified students in his class about the positive test, and confirmed that the faculty member left campus immediately after teaching his last class. We have also informed the Department of Health.
Since the number of positive COVID-19 cases is increasing quickly as more tests become available, we anticipate more members of our community may receive positive tests. We will continue to alert members of our community who have been in close contact with those individuals.
With the resumption of online classes beginning next week, I’d like to remind students who may have any questions or issues with remote learning to contact our Information Technology Services team at ITS@manhattan.edu.
Many thanks to our staff and administrators who began the transition to telecommuting this week. With Governor Cuomo’s announcement today ordering all nonessential businesses to keep all their workers home, we are planning to further reduce the numbers of our workforce who need to work on campus, limiting that number to those who perform critical functions: e.g., supporting the students who must remain on campus and maintaining our physical plant and infrastructure.
We are depending on the talent, goodwill, creativity, and ingenuity of our community as we work to assure that our core mission—excellence in teaching and learning—will continue through this period of hardship and disruption. I have great confidence that our community is more than up to this challenge and thank everyone who has worked so hard thus far to see us through.
For more information about working remotely, refer to these helpful workplace guidelines.
I wish you all good health and good luck in your studies. Looking forward to speaking with you all again soon.
Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D.