Coronavirus on campus and around New York


Naomi Bitton


As of Wed., March 11, the University will be suspending in-person class meetings on ALL campuses. Classes will be held online through Blackboard until March 29. Spring break remains the same.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York declared a state of emergency on Sat., March 7 after 89 cases of COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, were confirmed in New York. Cuomo stated that the state of emergency will allow New York’s government to impose policies it normally may not be permitted to do, such as immediately implement plans to protect people and secure aid from federal agencies. As of March 10, there are 108 cases of coronavirus in Westchester County, 36 cases in NYC, 19 cases in Nassau County, six cases in Rockland County, two cases in Saratoga County, one in Suffolk County and one in Ulster county. Cuomo added that New York will be making its own hand sanitizer, NYS Clean, to distribute to state and local governments, schools and prisons free of charge.
14 colleges in New York have canceled in-person classes due to coronavirus concerns. Among the 14 are Yeshiva University, New York University, Columbia University, Barnard College, Fordham University, Parsons School of Design, Juilliard and Hofstra University. Several of these schools have transitioned to hosting all classes online until as late as March 29.
All immediate University-sponsored travel programs to CDC assigned Level 3 areas have been canceled. Additionally, if a student is leaving the tri-state area, they are required to notify the University via a form on According to the University website, the Facilities team has been continuously cleaning and disinfecting “highly trafficked areas and high-touch spots” across all campuses. Any student that is returning to the University from mainland China within the past 14 days will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. The university will provide support for housing, food, and academics for any student that must self-quarantine. The University has advised people to take necessary precautions to avoid catching any illnesses. These include avoiding close contact with people who are sick, avoiding touching your face, staying home when you are sick and disinfecting frequently touched objects such as a mobile device.

When asked about how they feel the University is handling the coronavirus outbreak, students had mixed opinions. Abigail Weisman, a University freshman, stated, “I have very little knowledge as to what Pace is doing to handle the coronavirus. I really have not heard any communication from the school to the students. However, I’d like to hope they are taking precautions to assure the health of both students and faculty. I am more nervous for commuter members of the University, who have to take crowded busses or come from Westchester county to our campus. As a student, I wish we had more updates, reassuring us that the school is working properly to address the situation.”

Another freshman, Alec Mittenthal, also commented on the matter by saying, “I think Pace has been working on handling the situation. I think it’s a bit obnoxious to shut down classes which I hope they don’t end up doing.” (Mittenthal spoke with the Pace Press before the announcement about closing classes went out.) He continued, “I’m a commercial dance major and not having class will not be good for PPA students. It’s good that [Pace] has installed Purell stations throughout campus.”

The New York City Health Care Office is scheduled to close for the day on March 13 due to an administrative conference. NYC’s University Health Care will cover any fees for ill students and can offer health assessments with physical examinations, diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses or infections, first aid for minor injuries, and can help with managing a chronic health problem. The Health Care Office is currently booked at full capacity until Wed., March 11. Due to the high volume of appointments, walk-ins are not advised. Additionally, an employee at the UHC mentioned that the University has been trying to figure out a method to ensure the health of students and faculty, but that the Health Center has been busier than usual lately.

Currently, UHC is closely working with local and state departments of health to test any student who feels they may have been exposed to the coronavirus or has similar symptoms. Any testing for the coronavirus must be done by the NYS Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

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