Health Alerts

2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

(Updated February 7, 2020)

CUNY continues to track guidelines to proactively manage the risk associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus. Updates and guidance (including academic considerations) from CUNY Central Office are available on CUNY's News page.

A respiratory illness (a sickness affecting breathing) caused by a new virus—the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)—was first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. The virus belongs to a family of viruses called “coronaviruses,” which can result in illnesses ranging from a mild cold to pneumonia. There is no vaccine available for any coronaviruses.

Symptoms are flu-like and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently reports that, for the general American public, which is unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from coronavirus is low. As such, health officials suggest that New Yorkers take the same precautions they would during cold and flu season.

Simple preventive actions for any kind of flu or virus, including this coronavirus, are:
  • Wash your hands often. Washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is ideal.
  • Make use of hand sanitizer in dispensers across campus near elevators, restroom entrances, and hallways.
  • Keep your hands away from your face and avoid touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues or with the inside of your elbow.

If you recently traveled to China and have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath within 14 days of your return, or have had close contact with someone who has recently traveled to this area and are experiencing symptoms, you should immediately contact your health care provider. Your health care provider will work with the U.S. Department of Health and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested for coronavirus.

The risk of contracting coronavirus for those who have not recently returned from travel is low. However, if you do display symptoms of a respiratory infection, it is recommended that you contact your health care provider as you would normally do.


More information on the virus can also be obtained from the links below:

New York State Department of Health
CUNY’s Health and Wellness Services
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization

Contact the following staff if you have additional questions or concerns:

Fabián Wander,
Director, Health and Wellness Center
Room: D-101D
Phone: (718) 518-6567

Diahann McFarlane
Director, Environmental Health & Safety
Room: G-103
Phone: (718) 518-4349