Skip navigation

IONA College Logo | Go to Home Page

Communications

Communication with the Iona Community

Since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in New Rochelle, the College has made all decisions with a focus on the health and safety of our community and has been committed to notifying the community of facts and decisions as swiftly as possible. Moving forward, we will continue to prioritize frequent, effective communications using the following channels:

  • A section of Iona’s website dedicated to health updates, our Return to Campus plan and answers to frequently asked questions: www.iona.edu/healthupdates.
  • Regular emails from the College to students, faculty, staff and parents. 
  • Text alerts via Omnialert, Iona’s text messaging system. All students and employees are encouraged to confirm they are signed up to receive Omnialert text messages.
  • Posts on official Iona College social media platforms.

Iona also held a series of five live, online webinars for students and parents to understand the new health and safety policies now in place, as well as address their questions or concerns with a real-time Q&A chat. The archived webinars can be accessed at chat.iona.edu

The College will have training videos on protocols such as the proper wearing of a mask, which entrances and exits to use in buildings, how to use the Gael Care app, and more. We will leverage the website, email and social media to share these protocols. 

Signage will be posted throughout campus reminding the community of expectations, safety protocols and maximum capacity of rooms. Additionally, directional signage will be posted indicating the flow of traffic, entrance and exits, and which stairwells should be used for foot traffic going up and down. 

Q&A Sessions

We recognize that change often generates uncertainty, and uncertainty generates questions. In order to provide as many answers and as much clarity as possible, we hosted a series of live online chats in July. On these chats we reiterated the health and safety policies in place, while also answering questions about the upcoming semester.

See archived Q&A sessions

Past Communications

  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

    The COVID-19 pandemic is not something any of us would have chosen for your college years. Iona College is taking every precaution to ensure the health, safety and continued academic success of our entire community. We know that new facts will continue to surface, and that vigilance is paramount. We are closely monitoring all information and have prepared a comprehensive operational Return to Campus Plan to help guide us through the upcoming academic year.

    Below, you will find answers to Frequently Asked Questions. If you have additional questions that are not answered here or in our Return to Campus Plan, please email us at taskforce@iona.edu.

    RETURN TO CAMPUS

    Will courses be offered on campus, online or both?

    Teaching and learning will occur in a mixed-mode method to allow for both in-person and remote learning. All fall classes will be held in a mixed-mode method with synchronous learning, with the exception of classes already designated as distance learning (DL). Iona's course catalog lists classes and the learning mode on the College's website.

    To help protect our community, Iona will conduct the first week of classes online only starting Monday, August 10 to give every student a chance to submit their negative COVID test results. Online instruction will pertain to all classes. If a student elected to take a class in person, they will begin online and then transition to in-person instruction starting Monday, August 17.

    For more details on courses, please refer to the Mode of Courses section of our Return to Campus Plan.

    When and how will Move-In Occur?

    To promote social distancing and minimize exposure, Residential Life will carefully conduct "move-in" from Tuesday, August 4 – Sunday, August 9. Based on their building, floor, and travel distance, students will be assigned a specific date and 2.5-hour move-in assignment. Move-in times will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 7:30 p.m.

    Those students assigned to August 4, 5, and 6 will be asked to utilize the move-in window to drop off their belongings and set up their rooms, returning on Friday, August 7, after 1 p.m. Those travelling from farther distances will be assigned to August 7, 8 and 9 and be allowed to fully move-in. All new students can return to the residence halls on August 7 after 1 p.m.

    During move-in, residents can be accompanied by two guests. These two guests are not required to have a COVID test, but facial coverings and social distancing must be practiced at all times. Failure to comply with these protocols will result in removal from the campus.

    For more details on move-in, please refer to Residence Halls section of our Return to Campus Plan.

    Will students, faculty and staff need COVID-19 tests?

    Before coming to campus, every member of the Iona community must take the COVID-19 PCR test. All employees must be tested within 14 days before returning to campus. All students must be tested within 14 days before returning to campus for classes or moving onto campus.

    We have established a partnership with Montefiore Hospital in New Rochelle that provides any member of the Iona community testing at no cost.

    Montefiore New Rochelle, in conjunction with the City of New Rochelle, and the NYS Department of Health opened a walk through COVID-19 testing facility located on Lockwood Avenue and Glover Johnson Place. The test results are normally emailed within 3 – 5 days of the test. Walk-ins are the preferred option. The walk-through testing facility is outside of the hospital; please do not contact Montefiore to schedule an appointment.

    Students and employees may also get tested at their own health care provider. Employee test results should be sent to Human Resources. Students must submit all documentation to Iona College, Health Services Office.

    For more details on testing, please refer to the Initial & Ongoing Testing section in our Return to Campus Plan.

    Will Iona release my information if I report my positive test result or exposure?

    No. Iona will not release the name or personal information of a COVID-19 positive case or close contact except as required by the Department of Health for contact tracing purposes.

    How will we monitor the health of the community?

    In addition to getting tested prior to starting classes, we will work with all members of the Iona community to monitor symptoms related to COVID-19. On a daily basis, all members of the Iona community will be expected to complete a COVID-19 symptom check via the Gael Care app.

    For details on monitoring the health of the community, please refer to Monitoring of Health Conditions section in our Return to Campus Plan.

    How will we prevent the spread of coronavirus?

    Preventative plans are in place to contain potential transmission, including social distancing, wearing masks, reduced capacity and occupancy, sanitizing and disinfecting, and more.

    For details on preventing the spread of coronavirus, please refer to Containing Potential Transmission section in our Return to Campus Plan.

    Will masks and social distancing be required?

    Everyone at Iona will be required to wear a face covering at all times when on campus. Campus has been restructured to promote physical distancing.

    For details on masks and social distancing, please refer to Physical Distancing and Personal Protective Equipment sections in our Return to Campus Plan.

    What changes will be made in residence halls?

    Residence halls have been set up to reduce density so that there are no more than two people per room. Housing assignments were sent via Iona email on July 10. Multiple residential spaces have been reserved for students who need to quarantine or isolate.

    For details on changes to residence halls, please refer to Residence Halls section in our Return to Campus Plan.

    Who is allowed on campus?

    In order to limit the risk of possible exposure, Iona College facilities and residence halls will be limited to the Iona community. With the exception of the below, the Iona campus and its grounds are otherwise closed to outside guests at this time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Visitors to campus will be limited to essential invited guests and must be pre-registered following guest procedures through the Invited Guest Registration Form.

    Iona College students have the ability to request a visitor pass to meet with a family member or guardian on campus. It is recommended that these meetings occur in outdoor campus gathering spaces. Please note no guests are permitted inside the campus residential facilities.

    Residence halls are limited to resident students and no overnight guests are allowed. Resident students may visit each other in different residence halls. No guest pass is required. Resident students will have to sign in and leave an ID at the front desk. All guests are in consultation with roommates.

    Iona community members who are hosting visitors will be required to make guests aware of guidelines and expectations for maintaining community safety while on Iona’s campus. Guests will be required to display temporary ID passes at all times on campus.

    All visitors will be required to wear face coverings in accordance with campus policy. Guest hosts are responsible for ensuring their guests follow the safety protocols expected of Gaels on Iona’s campus.

    Visitors to campus must enter via Iona’s main entrance on North Avenue. All visitors must check in with Campus Safety and must be COVID-symptom free to enter campus.

    The library will be restricted to members of the Iona community, plus guests of Admissions who are participating in campus tours.

    During move-in, resident students can be accompanied by two guests. These two guests are not required to have a COVID-19 test, but facial coverings and social distancing must be practiced at all times. Failure to comply with these protocols will result in removal from the campus.

    Iona College students accept responsibility for their guest's compliance to all College policies and procedures. A violation of such may be considered a Violation of the Iona College Student Code of Conduct.

    • Hosts will be responsible for picking up Visitor/Invited Guest credentials
    • Visitor/Invited Guests will be responsible for wearing their badges at all times

    How will this affect athletics and athletics facilities?

    Iona will be following New York State guidelines, NCAA regulations, and working with leaders from the MAAC conference to refine details for fall athletics events. At this time, as a member of the MAAC conference, Iona fall sport competition will be allowed to begin on September 19, 2020.

    Iona is working on a plan to open its workout facilities while adhering to the NYS regulations. The goal is to keep our campus a safe, healthy, vibrant place, and we plan to space equipment and sanitize regularly so that students can enjoy the facilities.

    For details on athletics and athletics facilities, please refer to Athletics section in our Return to Campus Plan.

    Will the library and computer labs be open?

    Libraries will be open and reserved for Iona students and guests on Admissions tours. However, public computers in the libraries and other spaces on campus will not be available at this point in time. Students should bring their own laptops to classes every day to assure that they are not sharing computers with others.

    For details on libraries and computer labs, please refer to Computer Labs section in our Return to Campus Plan.

    How will dining be impacted?

    Dining facilities will open with plans to minimize risk and prevent exposure. Students, faculty and staff will be able to enjoy Iona's dining facilities, which have been spaced out to allow for social distancing. Chartwells, Iona's food service provider, has a plan to ensure safety, minimize risk and prevent exposure.

    For details on dining, please refer to Dining Facilities section in our Return to Campus Plan.

    Will students be allowed to go home on weekends?

    Yes, resident students will be allowed to leave during the semester. However, Iona canceled fall break and will end the semester before Thanksgiving in part so that the College could limit the volume of students traveling back and forth to different parts of the country. We know limiting exposure helps to prevent potential spread. We are asking everyone to practice good hygiene and take steps to limit the risks for their own health as well as that of their fellow members of the Iona community. If a student travels to a state considered a "hot spot," the student will be responsible for procuring space off campus to quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.

    For details on leaving campus, please refer to Operational Activity section in our Return to Campus Plan.

    ACADEMICS

    Is there space on campus where students can take an online class?

    Yes, students who are on campus and have an online class may use any of the following spaces: Ryan Library, Arrigoni Library, LaPenta Business School atrium and study rooms, Spellman Hall, outside in the quad in front of Cornelia Hall, under a tent in LaPenta Student Union lot, or on Mazzella Field.
     
    All students need are earphones or airpods connected to their computer to not disturb others.

    Do you have any tips on how to approach and manage taking classes online?

    Yes! Please see our Strategies for Online Learning page for helpful advice and resources on how you can create a plan for online study.

    I have never taken an online course before. Who will help me transition?

    Libraries and Information Technology staff will remain available via phone, email, Zoom or other on-line support. For technical assistance please contact the Help Desk. Tickets placed in the online help desk system will continue to be processed. Help Desk staff will continue to remotely answer (914) 633-2635 during posted hours. On-line resources are available on the IT Resource page. Zoom and teleconferencing information is available here. The librarians are available virtually to assist with your research questions, to help find online resources and all online databases are available. Visit the Library webpage for more information.

    I have accommodations to support my learning and now that we are moving to online classes, I need help. Where should I go?

    Anyone needing accommodations can find assistance by emailing the Office of Student Accessibility at access@iona.edu. Please provide a phone number for the best number to reach you.

    If I don't have a computer to do online learning, what are my options?

    If online learning presents a hardship for anyone because they do not have access to a computer, they may email Joanne Steele at jsteele@iona.edu.

    FINANCIAL SERVICES

    Who should I contact if I have a financial problem?

    Student Financial Services is here to answer your questions. The team is working remotely and is available from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The best way to contact us is via email at sfs@iona.edu or you may contact our call center at (914) 633-2497.

    Will I be able to continue my student employment?

    Some student employment may continue if the job can be performed remotely. Students should contact their supervisors for more details and receive confirmation in writing approving working remotely. Hours will still be required to be entered into the NextGen system.

    Will I get a refund for Spring 2020 Tuition and Fees?

    The College continues to provide instructional and administrative services and is committed to delivering a high quality education to our students. Tuition and fees will not be refunded.

    Will I get a refund for unspent meal plan dollars?

    All unspent meal plan points will be rolled over to the fall 2020 semester as Flex points and can be used both on or off campus. For students who are graduating, unspent meal plan points will be credited automatically to their student accounts and refunded. Since the meal plan is still active, the meal plan credits will be processed at the end of the term.

    Will I get a refund for housing for the time Iona’s residence halls were closed during the spring 2020 semester?

    The College thanks you for your continued patience as we process a prorated credit for housing charges for students no longer residing on campus this spring semester due to CV-19. The calculated housing credit amount will be offset by any outstanding student account balances that are owed.

    The prorated credit will be applied automatically to your account and will be viewable on your Peoplesoft Student Account. You will receive an email when the credit is on your account. The prorated credit will be carried forward to the upcoming summer sessions and/or academic year and used for any future term charges. For students who are graduating or do not enroll in subsequent semesters, funds will be refunded automatically.

    How will I receive my credit?

    The credit will automatically be applied to your account toward any future billed charges. You do not need to submit a request for the housing credit.

    How will my credit adjustment be calculated?

    The credit adjustments will be prorated. The full housing semester is 17 weeks in length. Each adjustment will be prorated based on the remaining 8 weeks of the semester after students were required to leave campus. Each student will receive an adjustment of 47% of the original room charges. This adjustment may be offset by scholarship and other awards as noted below.

    What will happen if I have an outstanding balance on my account? Will I still receive a credit?

    If a student has outstanding charges, the credit adjustment will be offset by the outstanding charges and the credit adjustment will be applied to your account for the remaining difference.

    What will happen to my credit if I am receiving financial aid grants for room and board?

    Financial aid specifically awarded for room and/or board expenses, such as resident assistant, housing awards or athletic room grants, will be adjusted and could reduce or eliminate any remaining credit balance.

    How will I be able to use my credit?

    Your credit will automatically be applied toward any future billed charges for the 2020-21 academic year such as tuition, fees, room and board for enrolled students.

    When will I receive my credit?

    The College appreciates your understanding and patience as we calculate the adjustments. We expect to have the credits applied to your account during the month of May.

    Since I am graduating, when and how will I receive my credit as a refund?

    Students who appear to be on schedule to graduate this May will automatically receive a refund if they have a credit balance. For students who have elected direct deposit, the funds will be transmitted into your bank account. All others will receive a paper check.

    I plan on transferring from Iona College, what will happen to my credit balance?

    Students who are planning to transfer out can request a refund if they have a credit balance by submitting a written request to Student Financial Services at sfs@iona.edu or completing the online Refund Request form in your PeopleSoft Student Account at Self Service > Electronic Forms > Student Refund Request Form after the credit has been applied to your account.

    DISTRIBUTION OF CARES ACT HIGHER EDUCATION EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND (HEERF) GRANTS

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes a Higher Education Relief Fund (HEERF). Iona College has been allocated funding to be used for emergency grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the coronavirus. These emergency grants are non-renewable and must be cash awards given directly to students for expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child care.

    Minimum Student Eligibility Criteria

    • Filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2019-2020 Academic Year
    • Be a US Citizen or permanent resident
    • Completed verification of the FAFSA data (if required) and received an award letter
    • Maintained Satisfactory Academic Progress
    • Enrolled at the College as of March 13, 2020 for the 2019-2020 year
    • Not enrolled exclusively in online courses before March 13, 2020

    Phase I Grants

    Initial HEERF grants will be awarded in amounts between $328 and $1,750 to eligible students who received Federal Pell Grant awards in Spring 2020. Federal Pell Grant recipients do not have to apply but do have to attest that they have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Phase I eligible students have all been provided instructions via Iona-provided email and are not required to complete the application in Phase II. We do encourage students to update mailing addresses on PeopleSoft Self Service. The estimated amount of awards in Phase I is approximately 90% of the available funding.

    Phase II Grants

    Iona College will reserve approximately 10% of funds ($159,000) to provide assistance to Title IV eligible students who were not eligible to receive grant funding or did not receive at least $1,000 in HEERF funds in Phase I. These impacted students may request assistance from the reserved pool and can receive up to a maximum of $1,000 including the amount provided in Phase I. Funds will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis until the funds are fully expended. Eligible students may request assistance on a case-by-case basis by submitting an application certifying to the fact that they have been financially impacted by COVID-19 disruption. The HEERF Application for students can be found here and is available beginning June 16, 2020. Students who received a Federal Pell Grant in the amount of $1,000 or greater for Spring 2020 should not complete the Phase II application but should follow the instructions in the email notification in Phase I above.

    Disbursement Timeframe and Receipt of Funds

    We expect the Phase I grants to be distributed beginning by early June on a rolling basis. Eligible students will receive a paper check via United States Postal Service mail. The College cannot apply these funds directly to charges on your student account as they must be issued as grants directly to students.

    All students who apply must meet the minimum eligibility criteria. Notification to ineligible applicants will be made within 7-10 business days after the application has been received and reviewed.

    We will endeavor to distribute checks as quickly as possible, however, due to the high volume, we ask for your patience. Please anticipate a two to four-week processing time.

    Please note that HEERF checks that are lost or not cashed within ninety (90) days of issuance will be voided and funds will be returned to the HEERF account unless notified by the recipient within 90 days. Funds in this status will be considered forfeited and made available to other students.

    CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds Disclosures

    August 6, 2020:

    1. Iona College acknowledges that it signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) the Certification and Agreement. Iona College intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. In accordance with federal requirements, Iona College is reporting the following information about the distribution of the Higher Education Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
    2. Iona College has been allocated $1,535,457 from the Department pursuant to the Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
    3. Grant Amounts by Student: A total of $913,757.44 was disbursed to date (8/6/20).
    4. The estimated total number of students at Iona College who were eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 is 2,835. Only Title IV eligible students are eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
    5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of August 6, 2020 is six hundred eighteen (618).
    6. The method(s) used by Iona College to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is as follows:
      • In following the spirit of the CARES ACT, Iona College will utilize approximately 90% ($1.375 million) of the funds received by distributing Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grants to those demonstrating the greatest financial need as determined by the FAFSA. HEERF grants will be capped at the $1,750 or students’ spring Federal Pell Grant, whichever is less.
      • Iona College will reserve approximately 10% of funds to provide assistance to Title IV eligible students who were not eligible to receive grant funding or did not receive at least $1,000 in HEERF funds in Phase I. These impacted students may request assistance from the reserved pool and can receive up to a maximum of $1,000 including the amount provided in Phase I. Funds will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis until the funds are fully expended. Eligible students may request assistance on a case-by-case basis by submitting an application certifying to the fact that they have been financially impacted by COVID-19 disruption. The HEERF Application for students became available on June 16, 2020.
    7. The instructions, directions, and guidance provided by Iona College to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants is as follows:
      • In order to receive grant funding, students who meet the criteria under Phase I, an email will be sent on a rolling basis. The student will be required to certify he, she, or they were impacted due to the COVID-19 related disruption such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses. Through this Iona-provided notification, all steps are outlined with the required next steps.
      • In order to receive grant funding, students who meet the criteria under Phase II may apply beginning June 16, 2020. The student will be required to describe how they were financially impacted and certify he, she, or they were impacted due to the COVID-19 related disruption such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care expenses. Through this Iona-provided application, all steps are outlined with the required next steps.

    DIPLOMAS FOR JANUARY CONFERRALS

    I graduated in December 2019 and expected to pick up my diploma in person. How will I receive it now?

    As a result of the current pandemic, we will be mailing all diplomas for January conferrals. Please ensure that we have your correct mailing address. You can request transcripts here.

     

  • 7/2: Live Q&A on Iona’s Return to Campus

    Dear Students and Families:
     
    On behalf of everyone at Iona College, I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well. We are excited to welcome you back to campus to kick off a successful fall semester. The semester will start earlier than usual this year. Classes are scheduled to begin on Monday, August 10, and the semester will conclude on Monday, November 23.
     
    In addition to a different start date, you will notice other changes when you arrive. While campus will look a bit different, the changes have been implemented in order to keep our students, faculty and staff as healthy and safe as possible. Now more than ever, we are reminded that Gaels take care of Gaels at Iona, and as such, we ask that you please review and follow the health and safety guidelines for returning to campus. We look forward to seeing our campus back in action, brimming with renewed energy.
     
    We also know that change often generates uncertainty, and uncertainty generates questions. We want to provide you with as many answers and as much clarity as possible. To this end, we will host a series of live online chats during which we will reiterate the health and safety policies now in place, while also answering any questions you may have about the upcoming semester.
     
    Please mark your calendars and join us for a Live Chat and Q&A. We will email a link prior to each session. There is no need to RSVP.
     
    • New Undergraduate Students and Families: Wednesday, 7/8 or Thursday, 7/9 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
    • Returning Undergraduate Students and Families: Tuesday, 7/14 or Wednesday, 7/15 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
    • Graduate Students and Families: Monday, 7/13 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
     
    There is no need to attend more than one session. Each webinar will have representatives from across the College and will cover similar material including academics, student and resident life, athletics, facilities, campus safety, and more.
     

    As a reminder, highlights of returning to campus for all students, faculty and staff include:

    • All courses will be offered in a mixed-mode format so that students can take any course, or portions thereof, online or in person, with the exception of courses that are designated as distance learning (DL). DL courses are entirely online. In the mixed-mode format, some students will be learning in person for a portion or all of their courses and some will be learning online for a portion or all of their courses. Students with underlying health conditions or personal concerns should consider using the online option.
    • Iona will be sending students an online survey asking about their learning plans and learning environment for the fall semester. The survey will ask students to indicate, per class, whether they plan to learn in person or remotely. Documentation and/or explanations will not be required to take classes online. It will also ask about a student’s computer availability, Wi-Fi access, any accommodations needed, and much more to help support student success.
    • Prior to returning to campus, students, faculty and staff will be required to have a test for the COVID-19 virus within 14 days of coming to campus. We are proud to partner with our neighbors at Montefiore Hospital in New Rochelle to administer tests for members of the Iona community. We will work with Montefiore throughout the academic year to provide health care related to the COVID-19 virus for our students, faculty and staff. We will follow up with additional information and options regarding testing and the process of reporting results to Iona.
    • We will work with all members of the Iona community to monitor symptoms related to COVID-19, including self-health checks before coming to classes or the workplace. Iona will make sure students, faculty and staff have the tools required to track symptoms daily in a mobile app. Students and employees will be called upon to self-isolate and get tested upon manifesting symptoms. CDC guidelines will be followed for addressing symptoms and positive test cases. Faculty and staff have been instructed to stay home if sick.
    • Masks will be required in all classes at all times. They will also be required wherever adequate social distancing is not possible. This would include hallways, common areas, elevators, restrooms, lobbies and stairwells. Each student will be provided with a starter kit that includes two reusable masks. Students will be required to bring their own masks. Additional masks will be available in the bookstore and vending machine in Ryan Library for purchase.
    • Spacing in all classrooms and dining halls will be increased to promote distancing. Elevators and stairways in buildings on campus will also be organized to maximize spacing and minimize face-to-face exposure.
    • We will reduce occupancy in residence halls to a maximum of two students per room and require social distancing in common spaces. Community bathrooms will be sanitized regularly, and social distancing will be required.
    • Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting protocols will be in place for all buildings, College facilities and campus vehicles. Restrooms, lobbies, lounges, lunchrooms, stairways and common areas will be sanitized regularly throughout the day. Event spaces will be sanitized before each use. Classrooms, common spaces and elevators will be sanitized each night. Sanitizers will be available and accessible across campus.
    • Campus events will be limited to 50 attendees. Adjustments will be made to event set-up to ensure appropriate physical distancing, and food will be pre-packaged rather than self-service.
    • The MAAC Conference has announced that fall sports may begin on September 11. We are working with conference leadership on agreements for athletics events, and we will follow all New York State guidelines and NCAA regulations for athletics. Details specific to athletics will follow.
     
    Please also make special note that New York State has announced a joint COVID-19 Travel Advisory with Connecticut and New Jersey, requiring people arriving from states with high COVID-19 rates to quarantine for 14 days. The travel advisory currently applies to anyone coming from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, Texas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee. We are finalizing plans to support students from these states to ensure compliance with the New York State guidelines. The details of these plans will be communicated as soon as they are finalized. Iona employees traveling to one of these states will be precluded from returning to campus for 14 days following their return. Employees should contact Human Resources before traveling to states on the New York State list of COVID-19 “hot spots.”
     
    Iona College is focused on guaranteeing meaningful learning experiences for all students whatever the mode of delivery, while taking every precaution to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our campus community. We look forward to sharing additional details about our comprehensive reopening plans during the webinar. We hope you can join us. In the meantime, please submit any questions in advance by emailing TaskForce@iona.edu. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions directly during the webinar. We look forward to seeing you soon. Be safe.
     
    Sincerely,
    Mary Clare Reilley
    Vice President of College Marketing & Communications
  • 5/28: Return to Campus Update from President Carey

    To the Iona College Community:

    With the Memorial Day weekend behind us and better news about the trajectory of COVID-19 in our region, we can turn our attention to the summer and fall. In addition to managing the work required to complete the spring semester, our task force has been building plans for how we might return to campus for the upcoming academic year. All of our plans have been developed with the health and safety of our community as the highest priority. We have consulted with public health experts and colleague institutions while attending to CDC and New York State guidelines every step along the way. The plans outlined below are contingent upon New York State approval of in-person classes for the fall semester.

    Returning to campus will require significant changes in how we operate, but I am confident the qualities that make Iona a special learning community will be magnified under our new circumstances. We are not simply reacting to the crisis; we are envisioning a new future. Our plans not only incorporate best practices for health and safety, they accelerate our initiatives for innovative pedagogy, student support and community engagement, each of which deepens the Iona mission. We are not merely replacing one mode of course delivery with another; we are integrating the best of both to create dynamic courses to address the issues of our time. We are not just countering each emerging fact with a new policy; we are integrating our response into the curriculum and student learning. We are not simply shoring up institutional operations; we are engaging with the community to provide support to businesses, school children, health care workers and families.

    While we are managing expenses carefully to find savings, we are not retrenching. We recently launched a new nursing program and new degrees in entrepreneurship. We formed a campus-wide strategic innovation committee to tap into the creativity residing across campus. Students, faculty and staff are at the forefront of strategic thinking and tactical planning as we reimagine our future.

    We know that new facts about the pandemic will continue to surface. We are closely monitoring all information as we work toward a comprehensive operational plan to guide us through the upcoming academic year. As we continue to finalize our course of action, there are time-sensitive highlights we want to share with you now so that you can plan appropriately for the fall semester. Further information to flesh out these highlights will be shared in the coming weeks, and we appreciate your patience as we define specific details.

    For scheduling purposes, it is important to note that Iona College will begin its fall semester on August 10, 2020, and end the semester on November 23. Students will not return to campus after the Thanksgiving break. This schedule advances the semester by three weeks to minimize student travel and exposure during the fall semester. If in-person classes are delayed or cancelled by New York State, we will re-evaluate the start date of the academic calendar.

    With the exception of courses that are designated as distance learning (DL), all courses will be offered in a hybrid format so that students can take any course, or portions thereof, online or in person. Students or faculty with underlying health conditions should consider using the online option. By preparing courses to be both online and in person, we can accommodate students and faculty who might need to be away from campus during the semester. Moreover, such flexibility will make us ready to transition to full online delivery if circumstances require.

    Prior to starting classes, students, faculty and staff will be required to have a test for the COVID-19 virus. We are proud to partner with our neighbors at Montefiore Hospital in New Rochelle to administer tests for members of the Iona community. Antibody tests will also be available for those who want one. We will work with Montefiore throughout the academic year to provide health care related to the COVID-19 virus for our students, faculty and staff. We will follow up shortly with additional information and options regarding testing.

    In addition to getting tested prior to starting classes, we will work with all members of the Iona community to monitor symptoms related to COVID-19. Daily temperature checks will be available before entering classes or the workplace. Iona will work with students, faculty and staff to make sure you have the tools required to track symptoms. Students and employees will be called upon to self-isolate and get tested upon manifesting symptoms. CDC guidelines will be followed for addressing symptoms and positive test cases.

    Masks will be required in all classes and wherever adequate social distancing is not possible. We will increase spacing in all classrooms and dining halls by 50 percent. Sanitizer will be available and accessible across campus and rooms will be sanitized regularly throughout the day. Entry, egress and stairways in buildings on campus will be organized to maximize spacing and minimize face-to-face exposure. Elevators will be sanitized regularly, and social distancing will be required.

    We will reduce occupancy in residence halls to a maximum of two students per room and require social distancing in common spaces. Community bathrooms will be sanitized regularly, and social distancing will be required.

    Remote work will continue for staff who can perform their roles from home to increase social distancing in offices.

    Once again, we are sharing these highlights so that you can plan accordingly. Many further details for each of these initiatives will be shared in due course. These details will describe protocols for responding to positive COVID-19 cases on campus, procedures for food preparation and distribution, event sizes, campus visitors, athletic competitions and spectators, contact tracing, human resource policies and more. All of these details will be included in the forthcoming comprehensive plan. We appreciate your patience as we collect the data we need to provide the most informative and actionable plan possible.

    Let me conclude by sharing an observation of what has transpired over the past two months. The commitment and resilience of the Iona community is akin to what I would describe as a Gael Force. There is a strength building from within as we work our way through this crisis and this strength is the reason we will emerge a better institution. From faculty innovation to administrators working seven days a week, from students thriving in transition to staff who have intensified their focus on the work that needs to be done, a renewed sense of purpose is growing at Iona.

    We know that the coming year will test us. There are challenges ahead we can see and others we cannot. As educators, our responsibility is to work for a better future. If we continue to be our best; if we work with each other and for our students; if we are guided by the ideals that infuse our endeavors and lives with meaning – the ideals of seeking truth, working for justice, caring with compassion – the challenges we face will only make us better.

    Thank you for your support and dedication.

    Sincerely,
    Seamus Carey, Ph.D.
    President, Iona College

  • 5/11: An Update from President Carey

    Dear Iona Students and Families,

    As we near the end of our virtual semester at Iona College, I am proud of all our community has been able to accomplish. I would now like to provide several important updates as we plan our way through the other end of this pandemic.

    First, finals begin today and I want to wish all of our students the best of luck. This week is also Senior Week. The Office of Student Development has prepared some new and exciting ways for our seniors to connect online, and we look forward to sharing in the spirit of celebration that our seniors deserve.

    Student Supports
    While campus is closed, student support services remain available, and we are encouraged to see so many students taking advantage of them in the virtual format.

    • The Counseling Center continues to provide counseling services and offers virtual walk-in hours for students seeking help or support.
    • Health Services remains available for virtual consultation.
    • The Rudin Center remains available for virtual tutoring.
    • Mission and Ministry remains available for pastoral care, spiritual support, virtual hospitality suppers, and even remote service opportunities.
    • The Gerri Ripp Center for Career Development offers a number of online tools and resources as well as virtual services to help students define and implement their career plans, including new resources for students searching in this challenging job market. Look for messages from careerdevelopment@iona.edu.
    • Students who have not registered for Fall 2020 can contact advising@iona.edu to schedule an appointment or ask any questions. Please register as soon as possible to ensure course availability.
    • Off-Campus and Commuter Services remains available for phone or Zoom meetings if you have any questions or concerns. Email mlsampson@iona.edu to schedule a meeting.
    • Residential Life is accepting housing applications for anyone who is considering moving back to campus next year. Email residentiallife@iona.edu.

    Commencement Update

    My heart is with our seniors and their families right now. You have worked hard to get to this important milestone in your life, persevering through unprecedented times with characteristic Iona determination. I know this isn’t how you envisioned your time at Iona coming to a close, but you should be incredibly proud.

    A virtual Commencement ceremony and conferral of degrees will be held as originally scheduled on May 16 at 11 a.m. for undergraduate and graduate students. You will receive an invitation with the link for viewing this week. This event marks degree conferral as you list degrees on resumes, search for jobs, apply for graduate school or licensing, and much more. We are working hard to put together a high-end video production to honor you. In addition to reading names and conferring degrees, the ceremony will include traditional elements translated to the virtual setting, including performances by student singers and our pipe band, remarks from students, and a keynote address by Maria Bartiromo, FOX anchor and global markets editor. Photo slideshows, the senior video and other highlights of your time at Iona are also in production. Students have all been asked to submit photos and quotes to be included in the Commencement ceremony. Caps and gowns are on their way to you, if you haven’t received them already, and some students may also be receiving honorary cords or stoles. We hope graduates will don them for the virtual Commencement ceremony and tag the College in their social media posts. Anyone with questions or issues with caps and gowns can contact the bookstore at bksiona@bncollege.com.

    We are eager to honor your accomplishments in person, too. We will continue to follow CDC and local officials’ guidance regarding in-person gatherings that may affect any plans we put in place. We have a tentative date set for Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, to honor our 2020 graduates with a ceremony on Iona’s campus. Reunion and Homecoming are also that weekend, so our 2020 graduates will be welcomed with full hearts and lots of energy by the alumni they are joining. To be clear, this event is not going to be a congratulations BBQ or simply a toast to the graduates. It will be something distinctive and distinguished, as our graduates deserve. We continue to seek your input on what that special event should look like and include. Students can submit their ideas via our Commencement Portal. Parents and family members can email us at Commencement2020@iona.edu.

    Returning to Campus
    Beyond the celebrations and events, we are focused wholeheartedly on resuming our in-person teaching and learning. The plan is to open campus and welcome students, faculty and staff back at the start of the fall semester by September 1. This plan will be executed by adhering to protocols and procedures informed by public health experts to ensure the safety of the entire Iona community. We are in close contact with local, state and national public health officials to stay on top of the most up-to-date information. If the virus lingers longer than we anticipate, we are prepared to delay the start of in-person classes for our Fall 2020 semester until October 1. This start date would enable us to offer a full array of courses for the semester by deploying an alternative class schedule and using hybrid courses that blend in-person and online delivery.

    As we eye the future, Iona is collaborating with our colleague institutions throughout the region to work toward solutions. I am fortunate to serve on the board of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU). The CICU has formed a task force to develop a Restart Plan for Higher Ed., which will delineate guidelines and best practices for re-opening campuses across New York State in the fall. We will have immediate access to their final recommendations, many of which we are already pursuing.

    In any scenario, there are several initiatives underway to ensure the safety of our community. These include:

    • working with Montefiore Hospital to provide priority health care for our students, faculty and staff, including the procurement of testing to control the virus should it emerge;
    • providing personal protective equipment for use during gatherings on campus, including classes, assemblies, and gatherings of multiple people;
    • sanitizing all rooms on a regular basis;
    • installing additional sanitizers throughout campus for easy access and frequent use;
    • rearranging spacing in our classrooms, dining halls, and residence halls to provide the space for safe distancing;
    • updating pedagogical methods to take advantage of hybrid courses that integrate online components into in-person courses;
    • developing alternative course scheduling to increase spacing on campus;
    • providing personal counseling and advising to navigate campus life and to address any needs that arise including anxiety, stress, curricular issues, and spiritual development;
    • updating workout facilities for students to maintain optimum physical health; and
    • careful enforcement of all safety protocols across campus.

    I want to thank you for your continued commitment to each other and to our Iona community. I cannot wait to be back together on campus as soon as it is safe and permissible. May God continue to bless you and your loved ones as we pray for the sick and suffering around the world.

    Sincerely,
    Seamus Carey, Ph.D.
    President, Iona College

  • 4/7: Virtual Commencement on May 16, In-Person Celebration at Later Date

    It is one month since we went on an early spring break to protect our campus community from the coronavirus that was beginning to take hold in New Rochelle. Since then, guidelines from public health experts have intensified in an effort to keep us at safe distances from each other to slow down the spread of the virus. This has brought much of our country, our state, our city and our campus to a standstill.

    As we adjust to the new reality of being at home and working online, we are faced with an uncertain future in which there are far more questions than there are answers. We are suddenly forced to pay attention to things we often take for granted and recognize just how important those things are. Among the things we rely on, but often overlook, are our health, the support of family and friends, the joy of companionship and, at Iona, the strength of community profoundly demonstrated in the dedication of faculty and staff to students.

    The rituals and the traditions of the academy are intended, in part, to avoid the mistake of taking for granted your hard work, dedication and development. These ceremonies culminate in the spring semester of your graduating year as we honor your accomplishments. During a typical spring semester, faculty and staff bask in who you have become and celebrate the future you will pursue.

    The health crisis we are living through prevents us from holding this year’s ceremonies in person. We recognize, however, the importance of honoring you, your achievements and those who have supported you along the way. Therefore, we will hold a virtual graduation ceremony on the same day commencement was originally scheduled, May 16. In order to make sure this ceremony fulfills its purpose, we will form a committee made up of students, faculty, staff and administrators to design and host the online commencement ceremony.

    In addition, as soon as we have a better sense of when we will be able to hold in-person events, we will announce and begin preparing for an in-person celebration to honor our class of 2020 graduates. We do not know when that will be, but we recognize people need time to plan and prepare so we will provide ample notice.

    Note, this does not impact the timing of degree completion for May graduates or their diplomas. Please consult the graduation requirements webpage; degree candidates should be sure to fill out a degree candidate form.

    As we work through our plans for a virtual graduation ceremony, we will also be making decisions on how to recognize our honors students, student-athletes, student leaders, and others who have made notable contributions during their time at Iona. Information about these virtual events will be forthcoming. We invite the entire community to provide input, ideas and suggestions about the virtual ceremony, in-person celebration and ways to honor student accomplishments.

    We recognize that these adjustments will prompt many questions. We will be available to answer your questions as our plans progress. We understand that moving our ceremonies online is disappointing for you. It is for us as well. We are living at a time in which many of our priorities are being realigned and that process is never easy. I trust that your Iona education has given you resources to help process and think through these unprecedented circumstances with insight, care and understanding.

    We will all be altered by this pandemic. Businesses, communities, and schools, including Iona, will be forever changed. But Iona is resilient. That resilience is embodied in each one of you and in the relationships you have forged. St. Columba and Blessed Edmund Rice, centuries apart, transformed the world by tackling the problems that were right in front of them. Their humility and determination overcame challenges that seemed insurmountable. You are prepared to do the same and the world needs you to.

  • 3/22/20: Spring Semester Offers P/F Option

    Dear Iona College Community,

    It is just two weeks ago since we decided to advance spring break to keep our community safe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, we hoped we would be able to return to campus after Easter. Since then our world has changed in ways we could not foresee and have yet to fully comprehend. On Friday, Governor Cuomo issued a 100% shut down of all non-essential businesses starting tonight, Sunday, March 22. As a result, the only staff on campus will be those who are required to perform essential functions such as security, facilities, and IT support. We are working with the state to gain further clarification about other functions that may be deemed essential, and we continue to work closely with public health authorities to protect the members of the Iona community.

    These changes have forced us to re-evaluate our plans for the semester. We are about to embark into uncharted territory as we move all of our course offerings to online/virtual platforms for the remaining weeks of the semester. There will be bumps along the way, but we are prepared to provide support and to answer your questions as they arise. We recognize how difficult some of these changes are, and I couldn’t be more proud or grateful for the way the students, faculty and staff of Iona have adjusted to this fluid environment. Your support and concern for each other is inspiring, and the efforts that have been made in order to sustain the academic progress of our students is extraordinary.

    In moving classes to online delivery, we are asking faculty and students to stretch beyond the ordinary learning dynamic they are used to. For some, this adjustment will be challenging. It will likely increase anxiety making it difficult to focus on the content of our courses. In order to counter some of the challenges that will arise as a result of this change, students will be able to elect out of the regular grading system and convert to a course pass/fail grading option. Faculty will grade student work as they have always done. Students will have until one week after final grades have been determined at the end of the semester to decide if they want a letter grade or a pass/fail grade recorded on their transcript for each class. In addition to helping students focus on the content of their courses, this approach ensures that student GPAs can improve, but cannot fall as a result of the alternative delivery system we are using to complete the semester. Further details will be provided in the coming weeks.

    I want to reiterate to our seniors that we understand how difficult it is for you to miss events that mark your time and accomplishments at Iona. We miss them, too. The activities and events that honor your achievements are among our most rewarding moments as educators. We will do all that we can to provide the appropriate ways to honor you as we move forward. We will be looking to you for the best ideas about how to do so. As we work on these issues, I ask that you remain fully informed about what is transpiring in the world around us so that we are working with a common understanding and realistic expectations about what is possible and prudent.

    Iona is a resilient community grounded in the enduring virtues of compassion, understanding, and hope. As the Irish poet Seamus Heaney wrote, “Hope is not optimism, which expects things to turn out well, but something rooted in the conviction that there is good worth working for.” While so much of what we are living through is beyond our control, we can work on what is in our control and know that the outcome of our efforts will be worthwhile. Please follow all protocols to stay healthy. Focus on the work at hand. And, as Brother Cussen reminded me yesterday morning, have faith in providence.

  • 3/17/20: Classes Moving Online for Spring Semester (To Students)

    Dear Iona Community,
     
    As we have witnessed together, the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications are far-reaching, fluid and evolving – day to day, even hour to hour. At Iona College, our Task Force Response Team has been vigilant in monitoring facts and guidance from health officials and doing everything possible to stay a step ahead in both preventative measures to keep our campus safe, and in our communications to you.
     
    Today I am writing to share some important updates regarding how Iona is responding to the most recent developments.
     
    All undergraduate and graduate classes will move online for the rest of the semester. Students will not return to campus after the extended spring break. All employees who can work from home are encouraged to do so.
     
    College-managed housing will be closed for the remainder of the spring semester. Like most everyone else, we are eager to look ahead towards a return to normalcy, and to the regular rhythms of teaching and learning on Iona’s campus. However, we have made this decision based on guidance from health officials, and driven by our commitment to the health and safety of our Iona community and the greater community.
     
    Certainly, there are more details to work through, and we are committed to providing additional guidance as soon as we are able. Please continue to check the frequently asked questions on our webpage dedicated to Coronavirus updates. In the meantime, here is some additional information on what this decision will mean for our Iona community:
     
    All classes will be delivered online through the end of the spring semester.
    • All undergraduate classes and Arts & Science graduate classes will begin online on Monday, March 23, and will continue online through the scheduled last day of classes on May 8, 2020.
    • Interim Dean Richard Highfield will contact LaPenta School of Business graduate students and faculty regarding classes continuing online.
    • Faculty will reach out to students in their class via Blackboard and email to provide information on how class content will be delivered, how assignments will be handled, office hours, and general expectations for the class.
    • Students should be in contact with their department chair and/or clinical/internship coordinator to review and plan for completion of required placement hours. The dean’s office will continue to evaluate this on a daily basis. In the event that students are not able to continue with clinical practical experiences, their program leaders will work with them to personalize a plan and to ensure that students’ clinical experiences meet requisite criteria.
    Administrative offices and support services will be available in alternative formats.
    Iona College remains committed to student success. While all Iona employees will be working from home or in staggered shifts, as a reminder the following offices are available to continue to support students:
    Libraries and Information Technology staff will remain available via phone, email, zoom or other on-line support. For technical assistance please contact the Help Desk. Tickets placed in the online help desk system will continue to be processed. Help Desk staff will continue to remotely answer (914) 633-2635 during posted hours. On-line resources are available on the IT Resource page. Zoom and teleconferencing information is available here. The librarians are available virtually to assist with your research questions, to help find online resources and all online databases are available. Visit the Library webpage for more information.  
     
    All college-sponsored housing is closed.
    • College housing is closed as of noon on Friday, March 20. Residential Life will contact resident students with additional information about move out procedures.  
    • All college housing will remain locked to safeguard students’ belongings.
    • All facilities on campus, including the LaPenta Student Union, Libraries, Fitness Center and Gym are closed immediately.
    Iona will offer credits/refunds for room and board.
    • Since the school will not reopen, the college will issue credits or refunds for housing. The net amount will depend on each student’s individual situation based on many factors including class level (Senior, Junior, etc.) outstanding balances, financial aid awards, residential housing award, loans and payment plan balance. 
    • For any unspent meal plan points/dollars, the College will roll over meal plan points for current students to the fall semester.  For graduating students, the College will issue credits or refunds. The net amount will depend on each student’s individual situation based on many factors including class level (Senior, Junior, etc.) outstanding balances, financial aid awards, residential housing awards, loans and payment plan balances. 
    • The College is developing a plan and will provide more information on how this will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
    Events on campus have been canceled or postponed.
    • All events including admissions tours, information sessions and Accepted Students Days have been canceled or postponed.
    • We recognize the significance of end of the year events such as GAEL Awards, Honors Convocation, Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement. It is too early to decide whether to cancel or postpone these events. We will continue to monitor the facts and will provide updates as soon as decisions are made.
    Student Workers
    Some student employment, including work study and graduate assistantships, may continue if the job can be performed remotely. Students should contact their supervisors for more details and receive confirmation in writing approving working remotely.  Hours will still be required to be entered into the NextGen system and approved by supervisors. 
     
    International Students
    International students will be contacted by the office of Student Financial Services and/or the office of International Student Services to confirm their arrangements. International students residing in College housing will also be contacted by the Office of Residence Life.
     
    Information and resources
    This is a rapidly changing situation that we will continue to monitor closely. For additional information, please visit our website at www.iona.edu/healthupdates and refer to the following reliable resources:

    Westchester COVID-19 Testing Hotline: (914) 681-2900
    CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    World Health Organization Coronavirus COVID-19

    Now as always, the health, safety and well-being of the Iona community remains our top priority. Thank you for your continued prayers, compassion and vigilance.
  • 3/17/20: Classes Moving Online for Spring Semester

    Dear Faculty, Staff and Administrators,
     
    As we have witnessed together, the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications are far-reaching, fluid and evolving – day to day, even hour to hour. At Iona College, our Task Force Response Team has been vigilant in monitoring facts and guidance from health officials and doing everything possible to stay a step ahead in both preventative measures to keep our campus safe, and in our communications to you.
     
    Today, I am writing to share some important updates regarding how Iona is responding to the most recent developments.
     
    All undergraduate and graduate classes will move online for the rest of the spring semester. Students will not return to campus after the extended spring break. All employees who can work from home are encouraged to do so until further notice.
     
    Like most everyone else, we are eager to look ahead toward a return to normalcy, and to the regular rhythms of teaching and learning on Iona’s campus. However, we have made this decision based on guidance from health officials, driven by our commitment to the health and safety of our Iona community and the broader community. We will be communicating this to students this afternoon.
     
    We recognize that many of us will find ourselves in unexpected territory; some employees are in roles that don’t translate easily to remote working. Other employees may be working from home while also caring for children or elderly relatives. As we navigate these unchartered territories together, we encourage all employees to be in touch with their supervisor to discuss details and confirm expectations. The Provost’s office will be communicating with faculty to determine what adjustments must be made in delivering content online for the rest of the semester.
     
    As we all transition to a new mode of working, please know these resources are available to you:
    • Libraries and Information Technology staff will remain available via phone, email, Zoom or other online support. For technical assistance or to have an employee’s desk phone forwarded to their cell phone please contact the Help Desk. Tickets placed in the online help desk system will continue to be processed. Help Desk staff will continue to remotely answer (914) 633-2635 during posted hours. Online resources are available on the IT Resource page. Zoom and teleconferencing information is available here. The librarians are available virtually to assist with your research questions, to help find online resources and all online databases are available. Visit the Library webpage for more information.
    • Employees who absolutely must retrieve belongings from the campus may do so on Wednesday, March 18. Please work with your supervisor to make arrangements.
    • In follow-up communications, we will be providing guidance and best practices related to working from home.
    • As a reminder, please continue to take preventative measures to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, including washing hands and avoiding unnecessary close contact with individuals and groups.
    • If you are in Westchester and concerned you may have COVID-19 (coronavirus), there is a Westchester COVID-19 hotline for testing: (914) 681-2900. They will ask for your symptoms to determine if you fit any criteria. If you do they will refer you to the Westchester County Department of Health with a special phone number, where they then will take your information and text you with a date, time and address where you can get tested in a drive-through-like experience.
     
    We ask that employees contact their supervisor to confirm their work-at-home status, and that they have the necessary technology to work remotely. All employees working from home are expected to continue fulfilling normal job duties and hours, and to make arrangements at home that support regular work performance and hours. Our goal is to have as many employees as possible working remotely. Some employees may need to continue coming to campus based on their job responsibilities, and in those instances we are developing a schedule to minimize the density at any given time. If you are needed to be on campus you are expected to practice responsible social-distancing measures. Under no circumstance should you leave the house if you are feeling unwell. 
     
    Now as always, the health, safety and well-being of the Iona community remains our top priority. Thank you for your continued prayers, compassion and vigilance.
  • 3/16/20: Update on Upcoming Alumni Events

    After careful consideration, due to the developing concerns around the Coronavirus pandemic, we have made the difficult, but important decision to postpone the following upcoming events:
     

    2020 Trustee Gala (scheduled for April 3): POSTPONED

    The gala has been rescheduled for Friday, September 18, 2020. We look forward to celebrating our wonderful slate of honorees in September.

    For more information on the gala, please visit www.ionaconnection.com/ScholarshipGala.
     

    2020 Reunion Weekend (scheduled for May 1 -2): POSTPONED

    All Reunion Weekend activities scheduled for May 1-2 have been changed and plans are currently being made to reschedule events as part of the 2020 Homecoming Weekend festivities, which will take place October 16-18, 2020.

    Special events for the Class of 1970, in honor of their 50th anniversary, will take place on Friday, October 16 and special activities for classes ending in ’0 and ’5, young alumni and our celebration of sororities will be incorporated into the weekend.
    Our 2020 Reunion alumni award recipients will be honored as part of the Reunion Gala & Awards Ceremony at the VIP Club in May 2021.

    We will follow up in greater detail on these plans in the coming months. Please check in at www.ionaconnection.com/ReunionCentral.

    Inauguration of President Carey (scheduled for April 24): POSTPONED

    The inauguration of Iona’s ninth president, Seamus Carey, Ph.D., has been postponed to the fall.  Stay tuned for more information.
     

    2020 Giving Gaels Day (scheduled for April 2-3): POSTPONED

    Although spring is traditionally a busy season for us to reach out to our generous alumni for support, we are postponing our Giving Gaels Day outreach through April 3.

    The Iona College Advancement team remains available to anyone who has questions or needs assistance regarding annual giving and we look forward to your continued support of this annual initiative.

    Please feel free to contact David Berkner, senior director for Annual Giving & Advancement Services, at dberkner@iona.edu or (914) 633-2004.
     
    We appreciate your flexibility and understanding, and look forward to your participation in these terrific events. It’s a challenging time, but as Gaels we have been taught to “fight the good fight,” and we look forward to your continued support in all we do at Iona.

    Should you have any questions or concerns please contact the office of Alumni Engagement at alumni@iona.edu or (914)633-2390.

    For more campus updates on the coronavirus visit  www.iona.edu/healthupdates.
  • 3/12/20: Classes Moving Online Until April 14 (To Students)

    Dear Students,

    This COVID-19 pandemic is not something any of us would have chosen to interrupt your college years. This situation is a challenge to all of us as it is to millions of fellow citizens around the world. What will be most distinctive about this experience is how we respond. Your response, thus far, has once again demonstrated why Iona is such a remarkable and strong community. You live by the values of compassion, care, understanding, patience, and resilience. And we are all better off because you do.

    There are more challenges in front of us. We will meet these challenges together. We will learn together. We will explore together. We will pray together. And when we return to campus to be together, we will be wiser, stronger, and closer than ever.

    With that in mind, I am writing to share some important announcements about how Iona will proceed in the coming days and weeks while taking every precaution to ensure your health, safety and continued academic success.

    Online Instruction

    • All Iona College classes will move online beginning Monday, March 23 through April 10. We will continue to monitor the situation, make decisions in the best interest of our community and provide regular updates. At this time, in-person classes are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, April 14. (Iona College is closed for the Easter holiday on Monday, April 13.)
    • During this time, professors will continue to track attendance and be available to you during regular office hours online or via the phone.
    • Please reach out directly to your faculty if you are having any difficulty with the instruction and need extra assistance.
    • If you need additional technical assistance, Libraries and Information Technology staff are available to answer your questions and support you. If you need assistance please contact the Help Desk. Online resources are available on the IT Resource page. Zoom and teleconferencing information is available here.
    • If you have questions or concerns about Coronavirus and the College’s overall response and plans, please contact taskforce@iona.edu and we will be sure to respond promptly.

    Health, Safety & Well-Being

    There remain no known or suspected cases of Coronavirus at Iona College at this time. These actions continue to be taken out of an abundance of caution. That said, we understand and appreciate that the situation can be unsettling, and keeping your academic trajectory on track is of paramount importance. Do not hesitate to contact Student Life at (914) 633-2360 if you need assistance. Please also know that the following student support services remain available to you:

    Student Life & Athletics

    Separately today, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference announced that it had regrettably canceled all spring sports competitions, practices and other athletic-related activities for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester, commencing March 16. And, as many of you know, other cancelations have already occurred, such as service trips and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Given the nature of this pandemic, we expect there will be additional cancelations of events on campus in the coming weeks and months. Knowing how important these events are to your college experience, these cancelations are not made without careful deliberation. While we recognize that these cancelations are disappointing, we remain committed to making decisions in the best interest of our Iona community, and the broader community’s overall health and safety.

    Resident Students

    The residence halls will be remain closed until Monday, April 13 at noon. Students previously approved for an extension to remain over Spring Break will need to make alternative arrangements. Students with specific needs or concerns about having to return to collect any belongings should contact residentiallife@iona.edu. Please check your email for additional details from Residential Life.

    Stay Connected

    We realize that there will be additional questions. Colleges across the country are all grappling with the same challenges, and we are working hard to provide answers as quickly and clearly as possible. As we continue to closely monitor this rapidly evolving and fluid situation, we ask that you stay connected to your email for updates. Information will also continue to be posted on our website at www.iona.edu/healthupdates.

    Thank you once again for your resilience, patience and understanding

  • 3/12/20: Classes Moving Online Until April 14

    Like most of you, I continue to closely track news and official guidance on the Coronavirus both close to home and around the world. And, like most of you, I am wondering how this pandemic will affect my life and the ones I care about, including all of us here in the Iona College community. The situation has presented challenges and unknowns for us all. But it is important during times like these to remember that we here at Iona College are a community of caring, compassionate and intelligent individuals who remain committed to serving our students while looking out for one another. It is in this spirit that today I write with some important updates:

    Online Instruction

    • All Iona College classes will move online beginning Monday, March 23 through April 10. We will continue to monitor the situation, make decisions in the best interest of our community and provide regular updates. At this time, in-person classes are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, April 14. (Iona College is closed for the Easter holiday on Monday, April 13.)
    • During this time, it is important that professors continue to track attendance and keep regular office hours, making yourselves available online or via phone.
    • This is a transition for students, as well. Please reach out directly to students at least once a week simply to support them and make sure they are staying on track. If you are concerned about any students’ ability to participate in online learning, please contact the Student Success Working group by sending an email to our online tracker system. This system can be accessed through the Iona Single Sign On. Once logged in, scroll to Student Success Tracking and enter a ticket.
    • If you have questions from students and/or parents about classes and other items related to your course assignments, please continue to answer them as you normally would.
    • If you are fielding questions about Coronavirus and the College’s overall response to the situation, please forward their questions or concerns to taskforce@iona.edu and we will be sure they get a prompt response.

    Training and Tech Support

    We recognize and appreciate that our dedicated faculty, staff and administrators are taking this situation seriously, and undertaking the preparation required to ensure a successful spring semester. Thank you to all who have already done training to prepare for the transition to online instruction. All department chairs will be trained this week, and faculty training will be ongoing to make sure everyone feels prepared and supported as we take this journey together. Libraries and Information Technology are available to answer your questions and support you. If you need assistance, please contact the Help Desk. Online resources are available on the IT Resource page. Zoom and teleconferencing information is available here.

    Health and Safety

    There remain no known or suspected cases of Coronavirus at Iona College at this time. These actions continue to be taken out of an abundance of caution. That said, we would also like to remind anyone who believes that reporting to work puts his or her health in jeopardy, or if someone you live with is in a high-risk category, to please speak to your supervisor to discuss your circumstances. Your supervisor, in collaboration with the appropriate member of the President’s Cabinet, will assist you in making alternative arrangements. Supervisors and employees should be clear about expectations and responsibilities and be sure that everyone has all the necessary technology and resources to carry on their duties. Also, if any faculty or staff have children whose child care and/or schools have been closed, please work with your supervisor to discuss alternative accommodations, which may include working remotely, flexible hours or leave.

    Stay Connected

    We will be sending a separate message to students to inform them of the move to online classes with instructions shortly. We realize there will be additional questions, and we are working to continuously provide answers as quickly and clearly as possible. As we continue to closely monitor this rapidly evolving and fluid situation, we ask that everyone continue to check their email for updates. Information will also continue to be posted on our website at www.iona.edu/healthupdates.

    Monday and Tuesday Holidays

    As a reminder, President Carey has announced that in addition to Tuesday’s scheduled annual holiday, Monday, March 16 will also be a day off for all employees. We appreciate all that our tremendous team here at Iona College has been doing during this challenging time, and we hope you are able to enjoy some much-deserved rest and relaxation.

  • 3/11/20: A Message from President Carey to Faculty, Staff and Administrators

    Dear Faculty, Staff and Administrators,

    I understand that the governor’s announcement today may have heightened anxiety in a what was an already stressful situation. While the circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus are fluid, it is important that we remain grounded in the facts as we know them. This will help all of us to do everything possible to support the health and safety of our community while maintaining clarity about expectations in the Iona workplace.

    Today, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that a 1-mile radius "containment area" around Young Israel of New Rochelle has been enacted, and that the National Guard has been deployed. The National Guard will assist with the important role of delivering food to New Rochelle students who would face food insecurity while their schools are closed, as well as in cleaning efforts and other logistics associated with local prevention efforts, according to city officials.

    At this time, please be aware that:

    • Within the containment area, people are NOT contained, just facilities. Traffic can flow, streets are NOT closed, businesses are open.
    • The National Guard has been sent to help distribute food and also to help clean facilities. They are NOT there to stop people from traveling in and out of the area.
    • A satellite testing facility is being set up to increase the availability of testing in New Rochelle.
    • Several schools and houses of worship in the containment area will be closed for two weeks.
    • While Iona College borders the containment area, we were not identified as a campus recommended to close.

    As you know, on Monday we advanced the start of spring break by cancelling classes this week. Thankfully, there are still no known or suspected cases of Coronavirus at Iona College at this time. Classes are not scheduled to be back in session until Monday, March 23, with the only exception being graduate business classes which are continuing online uninterrupted.

    Over the next two weeks, we are preparing for the start of classes following spring break. These preparations include the possibility of moving classes online if the developments surrounding the Coronavirus prevent students from returning to campus to commence classes. We will do everything possible to ensure a successful spring semester for our students.

    While we work to keep everyone safe and prepare for the possibility of delivering courses online, Iona’s administrative operations will remain open. However, if you believe that reporting to work puts your health in jeopardy, or that of someone you live with who is in a high-risk category, please speak to your supervisor to discuss your circumstances. We will work with anyone whose health and well-being is threatened by being at work while the virus is active in the surrounding community. Your supervisor, in collaboration the appropriate member of the president’s cabinet, will assist you in making alternative arrangements. In developing alternative arrangements, supervisors and employees should be clear about expectations and responsibilities, and be sure that everyone has all the necessary technology and resources to carry on their duties from home.

    Our Task Force Response Team is continuing to assess the facts and is communicating with city and state officials as this rapidly evolving situation unfolds. We remain committed to following every reasonable protocol and taking all appropriate measures to keep our entire college community safe and healthy. As more information becomes available, we will continue to post updates to our website at www.iona.edu/healthupdates.

  • 3/10/20: Iona College Monitoring State’s Containment Area in New Rochelle

    New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced that a 1-mile radius "containment area" around Young Israel of New Rochelle has been enacted, and that the National Guard has been deployed to assist with food delivery and cleaning efforts associated with local Coronavirus prevention efforts.

    Iona College’s Task Force Response Team is meeting to assess the implications and is communicating with city and state officials to learn more details of the situation. We are committed to keeping the community informed. We will have more information to share soon and will continue to post it to our website at www.iona.edu/healthupdates.

    At this time, please be aware that:

    • Within the containment area, people are NOT contained, just facilities. Traffic can flow, streets are NOT closed, businesses are open.
    • The National Guard has been sent to help distribute food and also to help clean facilities. They are NOT there to stop people from traveling in and out of the area.
    • A satellite testing facility is being set up to increase testing in New Rochelle.
    • Several schools and houses of worship in the containment area will be closed for two weeks.
    • Iona College still has NO known or suspected cases of Coronavirus at this time.
    • Iona College proactively canceled classes as of Monday night, March 9, and started spring break four days early out of an abundance of caution. Classes are not scheduled to be back in session until Monday, March 23. The only exception is Graduate business classes – those are continuing online uninterrupted.
    • Iona College is using the extra time to help prepare for when students return after spring break, ensuring our students have a successful spring semester, even if moving classes online becomes necessary.
  • 3/10/20: Update on Spring Break Hours

    Out of an abundance of caution, Iona College has begun Spring Break early, canceling classes from Tuesday, March 10 – Friday, March 13. Please note that this entails changes to class schedules as well as operating hours for dining halls, shuttle service, the library and bookstore. A full breakdown of these changes is listed below.

    For additional details and updates on Iona’s response to Coronavirus please visit www.iona.edu/healthupdates.

    Undergraduate and Graduate Arts & Science Classes Canceled

    Effective 10 p.m. on Monday, March 9, all in-person and online undergraduate classes and graduate Arts & Science classes have been canceled.

    Graduate Business Classes to Continue Online

    All graduate business classes will continue during the period March 10–22 on an online format. In-person classes will not be held during this time. Courses that would normally meet face-to-face during this period will, instead, continue using online resources. Instructors will contact students with details for their courses. Fully online graduate business courses will continue with no changes.

    Dining Hours

    • Vitanza Commons: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Starbucks:  8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • LaPenta Marketplace: Closed

    Gael Express Shuttle

    The Gael Shuttles will be running on normal schedules on Tuesday, March 10. On Wednesday, March 11 – Friday, March 13, we will continue to run one shuttle on the Maroon shuttle schedule, concluding at 7 p.m. on March 13 for Spring Break.

    Library Hours and Research Support

    Bookstore Hours

    • Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Friday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • Friday, March 20 – Closed for inventory.

    All administrative offices, including support services, are operating on normal business hours.

  • 3/9/20: Graduate Business Classes to Continue Online

    Dear LaPenta School Graduate Student,
     
    As you probably know, no undergraduate business or Arts & Science courses on the semester calendar will meet during the period March 10 – March 22, 2020. Those classes are cancelled and work will be made up beginning March 23. Most of this period is ‘Spring Break’ for students on the semester calendar.
     
    Since we do not have a ‘Spring Break’ in the Spring Trimester calendar for LaPenta graduate programs, we have decided the following:
    • All graduate business classes will continue during the period March 10-22 on an online format. In-person classes will not be held during this time. Courses that would normally meet face-to-face during this period will, instead, continue using online resources. Your instructors will contact with you with details for your courses. Please look for the information.
    • Fully online graduate business courses will continue with no changes.

     
    Regards,
    Richard A. Highfield, Ph.D.
    Interim Dean

  • 3/9/20: Iona College Announces Classes Canceled

    Out of an abundance of caution, Iona College will start Spring Break four days early, canceling all in-person and online undergraduate and graduate Arts & Science classes effective 10 p.m. on Monday, March 9. Staff and administrative offices will remain open.

    There remain no known or suspected cases of Coronavirus at Iona College at this time. This action is a precaution. Students should work with their faculty regarding class content, midterms and internships. Interim Dean Richard Highfield will be reaching out to faculty and students in graduate courses in the LaPenta School of Business regarding arrangements for classes scheduled between Tuesday, March 10 and Monday, March 23.

    The Residence Halls will close early for Spring Break at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10. Students who are unable to leave at this time should contact Residential Life at residentiallife@iona.edu to work out alternative arrangements. As a usual part of Residential Life’s break-closing protocol, Residential Life staff will be conducting health and safety inspections over Spring Break. Those who have already received permission to remain in College housing over Spring Break will still be approved, with that approval starting immediately. Those participating in official College-sponsored programs should complete the Spring Break approval request located in the StarRez Housing Portal.

    All internal activities and events planned to be held on Iona’s campus between Tuesday, March 10 and Monday, March 23 will also be canceled.

    Additional details and updates will be communicated and posted to www.iona.edu/healthupdates.

  • 3/8/20: New York State’s Response to Coronavirus

    On Saturday, March 7, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared a state of emergency to help the state move quickly and effectively in its response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). The declaration allows the state to speed up the purchasing of supplies and the hiring of workers to assist local health departments that have been handling the monitoring of self-quarantined patients, Cuomo said. Among other things, the state of emergency allows:

    • Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources
    • Qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing
    • Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment
    • Expedited personnel onboarding
    • Expedited leasing of lab space
    • EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals
    • Providing a clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation

    “Worse than the virus right now is the fear pandemic - and getting these additional facilities online will ensure we have more facts that will help keep people calm,” Cuomo said, noting that most patients would suffer mild or no symptoms.

    Iona College welcomes the declaration and echoes the governor’s calls to remain calm. Please keep in mind that according to the CDC, the Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that appears not to be contagious by simply passing someone in the hallway. And, it is unlikely that an individual can catch it just by touching surfaces such as tabletops and furniture. The virus mainly goes between people when an infected person coughs or sneezes droplets onto an uninfected person in close proximity, and the uninfected person gets the droplets into their body such as through the mouth or eye. That’s why preventative measures of avoiding touching one’s face, and regularly washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds are recommended.

    The College is continuing to take action – such as the extra precautionary step of increased deep-cleaning and disinfecting of campus – and will continue to follow guidance from health officials and work with state and local leaders to share information. As of now, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus at Iona College. All offices will remain open, and all classes and campus activities will proceed as planned at this time. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will be monitoring all developments to keep the campus community healthy, safe and informed.

    Please continue to adhere to all preventative practices, including frequent hand washing, keeping hands away from your face, limiting close contact, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or elbow and staying home if you are sick.

    For more information and ongoing updates, please visit our website at www.iona.edu/healthupdates.

  • 3/8/20: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

    • Is Iona College closing school because of Coronavirus?
      • Iona College classes, campus activities, and offices remain open and operating as usual as of Friday, March 6. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation, especially within the local area, communicating with city and county leadership and diligently following CDC guidelines and instructions.
      • Per the health officials, the risk assessment at this point does not warrant interrupting teaching and learning.
      • Iona has assembled a Task Force Response Team, which is meeting multiple times per day to evaluate the emerging facts and circumstances. We are committed to both keeping our students’ and employees’ health and safety as our top priority, and keeping our community informed.
      • Updates from campus, resources and all of our communications regarding Coronavirus can be found on www.iona.edu/healthupdates.
    • As an employee/student, was I exposed to people on campus who self-quarantined?
      • We have no reason to believe anyone at the College has been infected at this point. The two employees who have self-quarantined did so out of an extreme abundance of caution.
      • These employees are NOT experiencing Coronavirus symptoms.
      • Because of health privacy regulations, we cannot release any information about the individuals or their positions. However, we have thoroughly assessed the situation, any risks it would present, and we have taken all reasonable and necessary precautions to keep our campus healthy.
    • I’m an employee and I’m concerned about coming to work because of Coronavirus concerns. What should I do?
      • We understand that there may be employees who are at a greater risk of infection because of a compromised immune system or underlying medical conditions. They may contact Human Resources at (914) 633-2067.
      • Human Resources will discuss the possibility of specific accommodations on a case-by-case basis, based on medical documentation and an evaluation of the employee’s role to determine the possibility of temporarily working from home or alternative options.
    • Are the people who are quarantined sick? Will they be tested?
      • There are no confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus within the Iona College community at this time. Two employees have self-quarantined. There is no reason to be alarmed. These preventative steps were taken out of an abundance of caution to protect the Iona community. Neither employee is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms and therefore neither qualifies for Coronavirus testing at this time as per federal and state guidelines. Both will be self-quarantined for the full 14-day incubation period.
    • Can students take classes from home?
      • We have been developing plans for online learning should the facts and circumstances change, and in the event that health officials advise us to close campus. We have asked every academic department to plan to be prepared to deliver content remotely so student learning is not interrupted in case we need to move to a virtual learning environment.
    • Can students be excused from classes if they have a compromised immune system?
      • We understand that some students may have underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable if they were exposed to illnesses like flu or Coronavirus.
      • For students reporting any condition that would make them more vulnerable, our Accessibility Office is available to support them. Students may send an email to access@iona.edu and include a phone number where they can be reached. Our accessibility staff will help them review medical documentation, establish any necessary accommodations and ensure they can get their assignments if they are not able to attend class.
    • Can I/my student come in and get tested for Coronavirus? Where/how?
      • Students who are experiencing symptoms should call the Iona College Health Services office at (914) 633-2548 to speak with a health care provider before seeking treatment in person, per guidance from the state Department of Health.
      • Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms should contact their primary care physician or an urgent care center.
      • Any employees who are experiencing symptoms, please return home, notify your manager, and inform the Iona College Human Resources department at (914) 633-2067.
      • Iona College is not offering tests on campus for Coronavirus.
    • What has the College done to keep students and employees safe?
      • Working with city, county and state officials to ensure that we are operating with the most up-to-date information
      • Reminded everyone of preventative practices
      • Increased cleaning and disinfecting on campus
      • Removed self-service stations from dining halls
      • Added more hand sanitizer stations and distributed hand sanitizer to students
      • Asked faculty to adjust practices to limit unnecessary contact with and among students
      • Asked faculty to prepare to be able to deliver courses virtually in the event that becomes necessary
      • Canceled spring break service trips
      • Canceled international study abroad with partner institutions
      • Established a Task Force Response Team to continually assess the situation, share information, make informed decisions, and communicate all updates swiftly to the Iona community
  • 3/6/20: A Message from the Provost

    Dear Faculty, Staff and Administrators,

    I am writing to provide updates to my March 3, 2020 COVID-19 email and other College communications that have been shared throughout the week. I also refer you to President Carey’s message disseminated earlier today that reaffirms Iona’s commitment to prevention and, if warranted, intervention efforts.

    Please read this message in its entirety for an update and resources that you can use to stay informed in this situation.

    Current Status:
    To date we have no reported or suspected cases of Coronavirus on campus or in the Iona College community. Our Facilities staff are providing increased cleaning and disinfecting across the campus, and we are taking appropriate preventative measures across campus. We are continuing to track national and local health department updates to ensure our prevention and planning are consistent with current COVID-19 data and guidelines.

    While there are no suspected or confirmed cases of Coronavirus within the Iona community, understandably, there has been a great deal of talk about it. Many of you may have been fielding calls from concerned students and parents. You are often the first line of communication to parents and students and we want to support you to respond appropriately.

    Here’s what we ask you to do:

    1. First, please stay informed.
      • Check the webpage we have created to provide updates – www.iona.edu/healthupdates – and familiarize yourself with the facts. All of our communications related to Coronavirus are on that page and we are updating it regularly.
      • At the bottom of this email is a set of frequently asked questions and answers that can help you to be informed.
    2. If you get a call from a concerned student or parent:
      • Please listen to them.
      • Let them know that our updates about the situation and information about Coronavirus are up on our website – www.iona.edu/healthupdates.
      • Take a message. Collect their name, phone number and email, their connection to Iona and their primary concern. Let them know that you are passing their information on to the Task Force Response Team and they can expect a call back.
      • Email the information to Mary Clare Reilley (mreilley@iona.edu), our vice president of College Marketing & Communications and she will ensure they get a call back from the appropriate person on campus. She is working with the Task Force Response Team ensuring that information is shared and communicated quickly and appropriately.
    3. If you get an email from a concerned student or parent, please forward it to Mary Clare Reilley (mreilley@iona.edu) and she will ensure it is addressed appropriately.
    4. If the media contacts you, please refer them to Diana Costello, our director of Communications, at (914) 629-8379 and/or forward their email to dcostello@iona.edu.
    5. If you, yourself, are concerned, please contact Denise Smith, director of Human Resources at (914) 633-2067.

    Faculty and staff should familiarize themselves with the guidance from NYSED for Colleges and Universities to address the needs of students impacted by Coronavirus. As a campus community, we will want to be aware of possible changes in our routine practices that may include flexibility regarding course delivery, exceptions to published policies, and granting course extensions. It may also involve working with the Office of Accessibility to ensure that students with accommodations are able to participate fully. Please consult with Ms. Daneshea Palmer, director of Student Access for assistance (dpalmer@iona.edu).

    Planning for campus disruption:
    It is crucial that we are prepared in the event of major campus or community disruptions such as major transportation closures, health department mandates, etc. Previously I asked all faculty to begin preparing and updating their ability to move course content to virtual platforms. Today I asked all chairs, directors and coordinators to provide this office with an update on plans to deliver content remotely. Realizing that some of our teaching faculty may need or benefit from technical assistance, we have scheduled the following BlackBoard workshops with Mr. Anthony (Tony) Iodice next week to cover Blackboard essentials. In addition to the scheduled workshops, Tony will be available for individual consultations. Please try to attend one of the workshops and/or reach out to Tony if you require assistance (aiodice@iona.edu).

    Blackboard Essentials workshops:

    • Monday, March 9: 2-3 p.m.
    • Thursday, March 12: noon-1 p.m.

    Both sessions will be in Ryan Library, Room 202.

    Finally, here are a few resources to assist when you have inquiries related to status of the Coronavirus in our Iona community.

    Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

    • Is Iona College closing school because of Coronavirus?
      • Iona College classes, campus activities, and offices remain open and operating as usual as of Friday, March 6. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation, especially within the local area, communicating with city and county leadership and diligently following CDC guidelines and instructions.
      • Per the health officials, the risk assessment at this point does not warrant interrupting teaching and learning.
      • Iona has assembled a Task Force Response Team, which is meeting multiple times per day to evaluate the emerging facts and circumstances. We are committed to both keeping our students’ and employees’ health and safety as our top priority, and keeping our community informed.
      • Updates from campus, resources and all of our communications regarding Coronavirus can be found on www.iona.edu/healthupdates.
    • As an employee/student, was I exposed to people on campus who self-quarantined?
      • We have no reason to believe anyone at the College has been infected at this point. The two employees who have self-quarantined did so out of an extreme abundance of caution.
      • These employees are NOT experiencing Coronavirus symptoms.
      • Because of health privacy regulations, we cannot release any information about the individuals or their positions. However, we have thoroughly assessed the situation, any risks it would present, and we have taken all reasonable and necessary precautions to keep our campus healthy.
    • I’m an employee and I’m concerned about coming to work because of Coronavirus concerns. What should I do?
      • We understand that there may be employees who are at a greater risk of infection because of a compromised immune system or underlying medical conditions. They may contact Human Resources at (914) 633-2067.
      • Human Resources will discuss the possibility of specific accommodations on a case-by-case basis, based on medical documentation and an evaluation of the employee’s role to determine the possibility of temporarily working from home or alternative options.
    • Are the people who are quarantined sick? Will they be tested?
      • There are no confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus within the Iona College community at this time. Two employees have self-quarantined. There is no reason to be alarmed. These preventative steps were taken out of an abundance of caution to protect the Iona community. Neither employee is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms and therefore neither qualifies for Coronavirus testing at this time as per federal and state guidelines. Both will be self-quarantined for the full 14-day incubation period.
    • Can students take classes from home?
      • We have been developing plans for online learning should the facts and circumstances change, and in the event that health officials advise us to close campus. We have asked every academic department to plan to be prepared to deliver content remotely so student learning is not interrupted in case we need to move to a virtual learning environment.
    • Can students be excused from classes if they have a compromised immune system?
      • We understand that some students may have underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable if they were exposed to illnesses like flu or Coronavirus.
      • For students reporting any condition that would make them more vulnerable, our Accessibility Office is available to support them. Students may send an email to access@iona.edu and include a phone number where they can be reached. Our accessibility staff will help them review medical documentation, establish any necessary accommodations and ensure they can get their assignments if they are not able to attend class.
    • Can I/my student come in and get tested for Coronavirus? Where/how?
      • Students who are experiencing symptoms should call the Iona College Health Services office at (914) 633-2548 to speak with a health care provider before seeking treatment in person, per guidance from the state Department of Health.
      • Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms should contact their primary care physician or an urgent care center.
      • Any employees who are experiencing symptoms, please return home, notify your manager, and inform the Iona College Human Resources department at (914) 633-2067.
      • Iona College is not offering tests on campus for Coronavirus.
    • What has the College done to keep students and employees safe?
      • Working with city, county and state officials to ensure that we are operating with the most up-to-date information
      • Reminded everyone of preventative practices
      • Increased cleaning and disinfecting on campus
      • Removed self-service stations from dining halls
      • Added more hand sanitizer stations and distributed hand sanitizer to students
      • Asked faculty to adjust practices to limit unnecessary contact with and among students
      • Asked faculty to prepare to be able to deliver courses virtually in the event that becomes necessary
      • Canceled spring break service trips
      • Canceled international study abroad with partner institutions
      • Established a Task Force Response Team to continually assess the situation, share information, make informed decisions, and communicate all updates swiftly to the Iona community

    Sincerely,
    Darrell P. Wheeler
    Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

  • 3/6/20: Additional Coronavirus Outreach from the Vice President of Student Life

    Dear students,

    You’ve been receiving multiple updates from the College on our planning and response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. At this time, I wanted to personally take this opportunity to reach out to you, our students. My team and I have spoken with students and parents over the last several days; I know some of you are anxious and worried about the Coronavirus and its presence in New Rochelle and are relying on Iona to take decisive action in response. I want to assure you that the College will continue to assess the situation in real-time and will make the best decisions we can based on the facts available to us in order to honor our commitment to your well-being first, second, your continued academic progress, and third, your access to the natural rhythm of college life. Our recommendations and approaches will be consistent with the best medical practice and directives from health authorities as we continue to prepare for a range of scenarios and remain vigilant and realistic about any course the outbreak may take. As you know the College has increased the disinfecting and sanitization practices as part of our proactive prevention plans. As part of that plan, this evening the LaPenta Student Union building, normally open 24 hrs. per day, will close after 11 p.m. for fog sanitizing.

    There are three key messages I’d like to share with you.

    First, don’t underestimate the importance of self-care. Please be sure to take time to do the things you enjoy most and to rest. If you feel unsettled, stressed, or preoccupied, the Iona Counseling Center is available to provide free and confidential counseling services. You can utilize Counseling Center walk-in hours between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to speak to a counselor. If your schedule does not allow you to come in during walk-in hours, please call the Counseling Center at (914) 633-2038 to make an appointment at a convenient time. In addition to the Counseling Center, please know that you are welcome to speak with any of our division of student life offices and personnel, such as Residence Life, Off Campus and Commuter Services, Mission and Ministry or the Office of Student Development at any time. We want to hear your concerns and questions to provide support and answers.

    Second, as you receive further information on the steps and precautions the College is taking, please know that YOU play an important role in protecting the campus community through good hygiene practices that help prevent the spread of all illnesses and supporting your peers. In this spirit please take seriously the guidance on spring break and other travel plans on our website.

    Third, avoid making assumptions about individuals who you believe may or may not have come into contact with someone who is carrying the virus. In some cases, public reactions to the virus have been sensationalized, and there have been individuals at other institutions of higher education who reported encountering discrimination and harassment due to biased assumptions and overreactions. We treasure all our campus community members, our neighbors in New Rochelle and everyone who may be affected by this situation.

    As we continue to monitor the current situation, we ask that you stay informed and communicate any questions or needs. Contact Student Life at (914) 633-2360 if we can be of assistance.

    These circumstances remind us that as a place of higher learning we endeavor to respond to facts, not fear, and that at Iona, “Gaels Take Care of Gaels.” It’s part of what makes our campus so special. As a community we will do our collective best to act responsibly and support one another as we navigate wisely through this challenging terrain together.

    Yours truly,
    Denise Hopkins
    Vice President for Student Life

  • 3/6/20: A Message from President Carey

    Dear Iona College Community,

    I understand and appreciate that there is a growing sense of anxiety surrounding the Coronavirus. This anxiety is being fueled by information being spread on newscasts and social media. I ask you to step back from the deluge of information for a moment to think through the facts with me and the protocols that are in place to address our circumstances.

    First of all, I want to reassure everyone that there are no confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus within the Iona College community at this time. Two employees have self-quarantined. There is no reason to be alarmed. These preventative steps were taken out of an abundance of precaution to protect the Iona community. Neither employee is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms and therefore neither qualifies for Coronavirus testing at this time as per federal and state guidelines. Both will be self-quarantined for the full 14-day incubation period.

    I also fully understand that the word ‘quarantine’ sounds frightening. But I want to once again emphasize that everyone here at Iona College is operating out of an abundance of precaution, in keeping with all health official guidance. Given the presence of the virus in another section of New Rochelle, we are on high alert and have been working with city, county and state officials to ensure that we are operating with the most up-to-date information. Fortunately, we have established protocols in place to act quickly, and we have taken all reasonable preventative measures to protect our campus community. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We are taking this situation very seriously.

    For now, all classes, events and activities on campus will continue as usual. As we proceed, we will continue to monitor any and all developments very closely, following all guidelines to coordinate on prevention and, should they become necessary, intervention efforts. We have assembled a Task Force Response Team made up of the provost; chief financial officer; vice president of Student Life; vice president for College Marketing & Communications; the president’s chief of staff, vice president, and Board secretary; director of Human Resources; and general counsel that meets multiple times a day to share information, make informed decisions, and communicate all updates swiftly to the Iona community.

    To reiterate from previous communications, these are some of the various actions we have taken:

    • Reminded everyone of preventative practices
    • Increased cleaning and disinfecting on campus
    • Removed self-service stations from dining halls
    • Added more hand sanitizer stations and distributed hand sanitizer to students
    • Asked faculty to adjust practices to limit unnecessary contact with and among students
    • Asked faculty to prepare to be able to deliver courses virtually in the event that becomes necessary
    • Canceled spring break service trips
    • Canceled international study abroad with partner institutions

    We will continue to post the latest updates to our Information on Coronavirus webpage. I join in prayer for the individuals and families who are suffering, and I thank you for your continued vigilance in keeping our campus community healthy and safe.

    Sincerely,
    Seamus Carey

  • 3/5/20: Updates to COVID-19 Response from Iona College

    It is with deep concern and sympathy that the Iona College community prays for the New Rochelle man, his family, their neighbor and all those affected by Coronavirus around the world. The fact that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit so close to campus continues to keep us on high alert as we take every reasonable precaution to prevent the risk of exposure.

    While there remain no diagnosed or suspected cases of Coronavirus at Iona College at this time, we continue to work closely with local, state and federal officials to monitor the situation and follow any guidelines or requirements.

    New Rochelle/Westchester County/New York

    Yesterday we learned from New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo that several hundred Westchester residents will be advised or mandated to quarantine due to potential exposure to the virus. According to health officials, affected people could include:

    • Congregants and attendees at recent events at Young Israel of New Rochelle temple;
    • Several staffers at NewYork Presbyterian-Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville;
    • Students and staff at the SAR Academy in Riverdale;
    • Several people at Yeshiva University in Manhattan; and
    • Members of the hospitalized man’s Midtown Manhattan law firm.

    There are two types of quarantine, Cuomo said: mandatory isolation for those who have tested positive and self-quarantine for those who are at risk because of potential contact with contagious people. Anyone who has tested positive must isolate themselves from others even in their home. Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.

    • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
    • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

    If anyone in the Iona College community is contacted by state or county health officials with quarantine instructions, we request that you not only follow the guidance, but also alert Denise Smith, Iona College director of Human Resources, at dsmith@iona.edu. Two Iona employees are self-quarantined in their homes as of Thursday, March 5.

    Spring Break and Campus Events

    Iona College has canceled spring break service trips in New Orleans, West Virginia, Chicago and Puerto Rico. This is in addition to canceling all Spring outbound international programs. Summer and Fall cancelations are still under consideration.

    At this time, all other upcoming events on Iona’s campus will continue as planned. Any changes to Iona events or events hosted on Iona’s campus will be posted to our Information on Coronavirus webpage and/or communicated via campus distribution channels.

    Campus Updates

    Out of an abundance of caution, the following steps are being taken:

    • Dining Halls: Effective Thursday, March 5, Iona College has suspended self-service dining options and staff will now be serving instead. Additional dispensing hand sanitizing stations have also been added to all dining halls. Contingency plans are in place should prepared meals and/or other packaged supplies be needed.
    • Classrooms: We are taking calculated steps in our classroom procedures to minimize the risk of exposure. This includes reducing face-to-face group work or role play that requires close contact; reducing hand shaking; and requesting that papers or other assignments be turned in electronically. We also are developing contingency plans in case any classes or programs need to transition onto virtual platforms.
    • All Campus: Our custodial staff continues to work around the clock as it deep cleans and sanitizes campus facilities. Fog sanitizing, which is the process of “fogging” sanitizer to disinfect large areas such as classrooms, hallways, lounges and meetings rooms, is occurring throughout the evening and early morning hours, when spaces are empty. This preventative measure is in addition to the ongoing wiping and disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces and areas such as doors, handrails, desks and chairs, counter tops, furniture, bathrooms, residence halls, etc. We also are adding more hand sanitizer throughout the campus.

    Symptoms

    COVID-19 may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms such as cough, fever or trouble breathing. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

    Please seek prompt medical evaluation if you are exhibiting symptoms. Students should call (914) 633-2548 to speak with a health care provider before seeking treatment in person, as per guidance from the state Department of Health. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician or an Urgent Care Center if they are experiencing symptoms, and please inform your Dean’s Office if you need to cancel classes and/or have other concerns.

    We are grateful for the compassion, vigilance and fortitude of the Iona College community as we work together to keep our campus healthy and safe. Thank you for your continued diligence, and as always, let us pray for those who are struggling both close to home and around the world.

    Please continue to refer to our Information on Coronavirus webpage for the latest updates and preventative measures.

  • 3/3/20: Preventative Actions Continue at Iona College in Response to COVID-19

    While there are no known or suspected cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Iona College at this time, we continue to operate out of an abundance of caution. With confirmed cases now in New York, including a New Rochelle man who works in Manhattan, we will continue to implement and expand preventative actions to protect our students, faculty and staff both on campus and abroad.

    On Campus
    The custodial staff has been working day and night as it carries out established protocols for cleaning and sanitizing all commonly touched areas across campus. First initiated in January, the policy includes targeting items such doorknobs, door panels, door push bars, door frames, handrails, elevator call buttons, water fountains, counter tops and lounge furniture. The team is also targeting surfaces such as classroom chairs and desks, dining room tables and chairs, and all other heavily used community areas. These actions are being carried out every day. The hallways and bathrooms of residence halls are also being sanitized daily. In addition, the College has specific equipment in stock that would allow the custodial staff to “fog” sanitizer into large areas such as classrooms, hallways, lounges and meeting rooms if needed. The goal of having these protocols in place is to eliminate the exposure of pathogens that pose a risk to our community members, and we will continue to take swift and ongoing action.

    In the classroom, we have asked that professors make adjustments to minimize the risk of exposure. These actions include reducing face-to-face group work or role play that requires close contact; reducing hand shaking; and requesting that papers or other assignments be turned in electronically as opposed to printed out and handed in. We are also developing and testing plans to ensure the continuity of learning via online, distance learning platforms in case additional precautions need to be put in place.

    Abroad
    In keeping with the recommendation of the New York State Department of Health, Iona has suspended international study and travel for the Spring semester. We regret to disrupt the educational and cultural experience of our five students studying in Italy, along with one in France, however we are prepared to offer alternative learning platforms to make sure their learning trajectory as well as their health and safety are being considered. We will continue to monitor the situation to consider Summer suspensions.

    According to the state Department of Health, all students and faculty returning from currently impacted countries or regions of impacted countries will be required to be quarantined for 14 days upon return. Quarantine should be at home, if that is an option for the student. Alternatively, there are plans in place for resident students to be safely quarantined on campus, with private spaces and other needs such as food, water and everyday comforts to be available.  

    Preventative Practices and Strategies
    At Iona, we remain flexible and compassionate as we closely monitor and quickly respond to this rapidly developing situation. We ask that the campus community continue to be diligent in helping to maintain a healthy and safe environment. To reduce your risk of infection:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If no soap and water is available, then please use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Students may pick up complementary travel size hand sanitizer from any of the below offices beginning Thursday, March 5:
      • Office of Student Development
      • Residence Halls
      • Health Services Office
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Minimize contact with others in classrooms, public settings and cafeterias.
    • Make sure that your influenza vaccinations are current, as co-infection is considered likely to cause more severe disease than COVID-19 or flu alone.
    • Those who work in healthcare settings or with animals should be extra cautious and self-aware of any developing systems, such as fever, coughing, sneezing and body aches.
    • Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to stay connected with the Iona College Campus Text Notification System. The Campus Notification System will alert you to any critical issues impacting the Iona community.

    Act Appropriately
    Seek prompt medical evaluation if you have fever, cough or shortness of breath. Students should call (914) 633-2548 to speak with a health care provider before seeking treatment in person, as per guidance from the state Department of Health. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician or an Urgent Care Center if they are experiencing symptoms, and please inform your Dean’s Office if you need to cancel classes and/or have other concerns.

    Iona Counseling Center
    When thinking about news related to the Coronavirus, you may notice yourself feeling unsettled, anxious or preoccupied. It is important to engage in your regular routine, to take time to do the things you enjoy most and to rest. It is also important to seek support from within your network of friends and loved ones. We would like to remind students that the Iona Counseling Center is available to provide free, confidential, professional counseling services. Appointments are not necessary – just drop in during walk-in hours between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to speak to a counselor. If your schedule does not allow you to come in during walk-in hours, please call the Counseling Center at (914) 633-2038 to make an appointment at a convenient time. The Counseling Center is located on the second floor of Spellman Hall and is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

    Travel Advisories
    As spring break nears, we realize that students and other campus community members may have travel plans. The state Department of Health recommends that students or others with compromised immune systems should not travel internationally, or to currently affected regions. For the latest information, we urge you to monitor the CDC’s Travel Health Notices and the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories.

    Risk Assessment
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that more cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the coming days, including in the United States, and that widespread transmission would translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time. That means places such as schools, childcare centers, workplaces and other places for mass gatherings may experience more absenteeism, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and even deaths. Although people in communities with ongoing community spread of the virus are at elevated risk for COVID-19, the CDC states there is still a relatively low risk of exposure. Individuals over 60, and individuals with a history of respiratory illness, are considered to be part of a vulnerable population at greatest risk.

    Additional Resources
    We will continue to keep the Iona College community updated, and would also like to share the following resources for your reference:

    Novel Coronavirus Hotline: 1(888) 364-3065
    CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    World Health Organization Coronavirus COVID-19
    European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
    CDC Coronavirus Travel Information
    U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories

  • 2/28/20: An Update to the Iona College Community on Coronavirus Precautions

    While there are no known cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on campus or in New York State at this time, the continued health and well-being of the Iona College community remains our top priority. To that end, we would like to update a message originally sent to students on January 28, providing the latest and most relevant information as we continue to closely monitor this dynamic situation.

    Background

    A new coronavirus – 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – was first detected in Wuhan, China, infecting thousands. Additional cases have since been identified internationally, most notably in Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea. Person-to-person transmission was recently identified in the United States, but it is not considered to be widespread. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and in the U.S., but that individual risk is dependent on exposure. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. Elderly individuals, and individuals with a history of respiratory illness, are considered to be part of a vulnerable population at greatest risk. Again, no one has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in New York State at this time.

    Steps We Are Taking

    While there are no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 among the Iona community at this time, and the immediate risk remains low, we nevertheless are working closely with U.S. Health and Human Services and the New York State Department of Health to monitor the situation and prepare for the possibility of a response should one be needed. We are also closely following guidance from the CDC, the New York State Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).

    At this time, the most important step that we can take as a campus community is to remain diligently focused on prevention.

    Preventative Practices and Strategies

    At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. To reduce your risk of infection:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If no soap and water is available, then please use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Students may pick up complementary travel size hand sanitizer from any of the below offices beginning Thursday, March 5:
      • Office of Student Development
      • Residence Halls
      • Health Services Office
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Minimize contact with others in classrooms, public settings and cafeterias.
    • Make sure that your influenza vaccinations are current, as co-infection is considered likely to cause more severe disease than COVID-19 or flu alone.
    • Those who work in healthcare settings or with animals should be extra cautious and self-aware of any developing systems, such as fever, coughing, sneezing and body aches.
    • Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to stay connected with the Iona College Campus Text Notification System. The Campus Notification System will alert you to any critical issues impacting the Iona community.

    How It Spreads

    COVID-19 can be spread via respiratory droplets from person to person in close contact. Transmission can include inhaling droplets expelled by an infected individual while coughing or sneezing, or by contact with droplets. (For example, if a person coughs into his/her hand, and then shakes hands with another person who then touches his/her face.) Close contact is considered to be within 6 feet.

    Because it is cold and flu season, and this virus has similar symptoms, it is important not to make any assumptions and to have any respiratory symptoms evaluated by a healthcare provider. This is a new disease in humans, and our current knowledge is limited. However, we have examples of other newly emerging diseases (including other coronaviruses like SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV), and we are learning new information quickly.

    Symptoms

    COVID-19 may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms such as:

    • cough
    • fever
    • trouble breathing and
    • pneumonia.

    The CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

    Act Appropriately

    Seek prompt medical evaluation if you have fever, cough or shortness of breath. Students should call (914) 633-2548 to speak with a health care provider before seeking treatment in person, as per guidance from the New York State Department of Health. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician or an Urgent Care Center if they are experiencing symptoms, and please inform your Dean’s Office if you need to cancel classes and/or have other concerns.

    Travel Advisories

    The CDC has issued travel advisories of the highest Warning Level 3 for China and South Korea, recommending that people avoid all nonessential travel. In addition, an Alert Level 2 has been issued for travel to Iran, Italy and Japan, advising travelers to practice enhanced precautions, especially older adults and those with chronic medical conditions. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State has advised people not to travel to China and to reconsider travel to South Korea, while exercising increased caution for travel to Italy and Japan. Iran remains at a Level 4 due to COVID-19 and other international risks.

    Additional Resources

    This is a rapidly changing situation that we will continue to monitor closely. For additional information, please refer to the following reliable resources:

    Novel Coronavirus Hotline: 1 (888) 364-3065
    CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    World Health Organization Coronavirus COVID-19
    European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
    CDC Coronavirus Travel Information
    U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories

  • 1/28/20: Health Services Department Bulletin-2019 Novel Coronavirus

    Dear Student,

    Recently, a new respiratory illness – the 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) - first detected in Wuhan, China -has spread to humans. While there have been no cases of 2019-nCoV among the Iona community to date, your well-being is the top priority for the Health Center at Iona College.  To that end you are receiving this update for your information. 

    Background
    The 2019-nCoV is a coronavirus strain that has not previously been found in humans. There are hundreds of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside of Wuhan and additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States. Most of those infected have reported exposure to a large seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, but there has also been recent human-to-human contact now reported. It’s not clear yet how easily Novel (New) Coronavirus spreads from person-to-person.

    Steps We Are Taking
    Respiratory illnesses are common at this time of year, including the yearly influenza which exhibits similar signs and symptoms as this new virus.  So far there have been no cases of 2019-nCoV among the Iona community.  We have been and continue to be in touch with health authorities, paying particular attention to any guidance related to college communities.  

    Symptoms
    Human coronaviruses commonly cause mild-to-moderate illness in people. Symptoms can include:

    • Runny nose
    • Headache
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Fever

    This new coronavirus is similar and can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath.

    Important Health Information For Those Who Have Recently Traveled to China:
    If you recently traveled to China and feel sick with fever, cough or trouble breathing, or you develop symptoms, you should call the Health Services Department right away for further instructions at (914) 633-2548.  As with this virus and any other illness hand washing is paramount. 

    Prevention
    There are currently no vaccines available to protect against human coronavirus infection. To reduce your risk of infection:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    Treatment
    There is no specific treatment currently available for any coronavirus. People infected with coronavirus should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. 

    Additional Resources

    If you have additional questions, please contact the Iona College Health Services Office at (914) 633-2548.