Alongside our holiday gatherings and group events this season, virus cases that include COVID-19 variants, the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are resurging in New York City. Our BMCC community is well versed, by now, in the methods of protecting against COVID-19, but I wanted to remind everyone to heed the message sent out by CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez to mask up and take other measures to protect yourself and those around you.
Here are some updates. According to the New York City Department of Health (DOH), the rate of new COVID-19 cases has risen significantly since Thanksgiving and flu and (RSV) cases are increasing as well. In response to these rising numbers, an advisory from the DOH strongly recommends that we wear masks at all times indoors. If you are outdoors in a crowded setting, it is also important to mask up. And please remember, these recommendations pertain to everyone, even those who are fully vaccinated.
Besides wearing a mask, you can arm yourself with information. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides COVID-19 rates by county, letting you know if it is Low, Medium or High. Keep in mind that whatever county you live in, all five boroughs of New York City are experiencing high community transmission levels for COVID-19, and hospitalizations reported by New York State have doubled since September.
Here is more information about COVID-19, on the BMCC website.
The City’s recommendation is just that — a recommendation, not a mandate. But I urge all members of our community to follow the guidelines and mask up as much as possible. It’s also a good idea to stay up to date on your vaccines and boosters, and if you haven’t already gotten your annual flu vaccine, please consider doing so.
This is a busy time of year for our college. Students are focused on final exams and wrapping up their semester projects. Faculty and staff are meeting end-of-year deadlines. The holidays can bring emotional ups and downs, stress and celebration, but I am confident that as we navigate the season, we can manage the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses on our campus.
Thank you for everything you do to keep our community strong.
Anthony E. Munroe
President, Borough of Manhattan Community College