Coronavirus Update -- March 27, 2020
To all members of the Cooper Union Community:
Thankfully, as of now, there is still only one member of the Cooper community (faculty, students, or staff) who is known to have tested positive for COVID-19.
Any new cases that are revealed to us will be reported on our website, and we will notify all individuals who are known to have been in contact with the affected person. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 (even if you were not tested in NYC), particularly if you have been on campus in the past 14 days, we strongly encourage you to notify us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of now, the residence hall remains open for a limited number of students who have made a decision to stay on campus. All students staying in the residence hall are in private bedrooms to maintain appropriate social distancing. The Foundation Building, 41 Cooper Square, and 30 Cooper Square remain closed for anyone other than essential personnel.
We hope that you have all been making good use of this Independent Study Week and preparing for the beginning of online teaching and learning next week.
Below are some COVID-19 related resources and suggestions that you may find useful.
- If you wish to help with volunteer efforts in New York City, please visit HELP NOW NYC.
- To receive regular COVID-19 updates, text "COVID" ("COVIDESP" en español) to 692-692 for information from Notify NYC.
- The New York State Youth Leadership Council has compiled information to help people with Funds, Support, Education, Mental Health, Food, Housing, Bills Assistance, Art and Wellness.
- Gov. Cuomo has created a mental health hotline to assist New Yorkers. For free emotional support, consultation and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314.
- Read an interesting New York Times article on how to deal with isolation
Many phone and internet companies have been rolling out exclusive deals for students in light of the coronavirus public health crisis. You could qualify for free internet access!
- Altice USA is offering Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within their footprint.
- AT&T’s COVID-19 response offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low-income families.
- Charter Communications has a two-month free internet offer.
- Comcast is offering free WiFi for two months to low-income families plus all Xfinity hot spots are free to the public during this time.
- Sprint, following an FCC agreement, is providing unlimited data to existing customers and as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, is allowing all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- T-Mobile, following an FCC agreement, is offering unlimited data to existing customers and will soon allow all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
For international students, it may be useful to review International Student Visa restrictions and NAFSA resources and to consult The Cooper Union International Student COVID-19 FAQ. If you have questions about insurance coverage, Wellfleet has issued information.
Finally, here are some tips from the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) for staying at home and eating properly to stay as healthy as possible during this difficult time:
- Plan a schedule for your meals: Try to stick to an eating schedule which is as close as possible to that of a “normal” day. For example, still maintain breakfast at 9am, lunch at 1pm, and a small snack in between if necessary.
- Buy healthy foods and snacks: While food shopping, it might be tempting to buy a lot of sugary or high-fat snacks and sugary drinks to nibble on at home. While these may be emotionally comforting, they may have a negative effect on your health goals. Making a shopping list can help ensure that you have added healthy food options like fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, beans and nuts, that can be prepared to last through the week. Of course, it’s fine to treat yourself to a favorite snack once in a while.
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: At home, set a reminder to drink water as often as possible. Drinking about 64 ounces (8 glasses) of water a day will keep you hydrated and energized to push through the workday. Try keeping a reusable water bottle around as a reminder.
- Take your breaks: It is important to set time aside to take short 15-minute breaks and a lunch break because it’s easy to get wrapped up in your work and unintentionally miss your meals. Taking breaks will give you time to clear your head, grab a bite, check in with your family and friends, and renew your energy to get through the rest of the workday. Breaks are great for your mental and emotional health!
- Get active: It’s important to maintain an active lifestyle and if you haven't begun an active lifestyle, it's a great time to start. In place of a morning commute, you could take a walk or try out a YouTube workout video with your family or virtually with friends. During your breaks, you can walk around your home, or dance along to your favorite upbeat song.
- Self-Care: Social isolation while at home can be difficult, especially if you live alone. However, social distancing and social isolation do not need to exist together. Although we should be physically apart, we can still connect with each other. Give your friends, family, and neighbors a call, check in on them, catch up on your home-based adventures, discuss your worries, and help to keep each other calm.
Wishing all the best for our community,
Thomas Tresselt, Director of Campus Safety and Security
Ruben Savizky, Ph.D., Campus-Wide Faculty Safety Coordinator