Fordham Assures No Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus on Campus

“We will take whatever measures necessary to limit exposure to the virus,” McShane said after two professors chose to self-isolate

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ANDREW BEECHER

Sanitizer Sells Out: Shelves in stores around the city are devoid of hand sanitizer and other antibacterial cleaning products as fears about coronavirus continue to rise.

By OWEN ROCHE, Editor-in-Chief

Gov. Cuomo has declared the coronavirus outbreak a state of emergency in the state of New York, reporting 76 confirmed cases at a briefing on March 7. Alongside many other universities and institutions, Fordham has communicated its plans to take an abundance of caution as they respond to the rapidly evolving situation.   

Public Safety expressed that there are no confirmed cases of the virus at the Fordham campus in an email at 8 p.m. on March 6. 

On March 5 at 1:33 p.m., the Office of the President of Fordham University emailed the Fordham community informing them of a professor in voluntary isolation and the resources on the university, city and state levels at work to control the outbreak of the virus.

University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., indicated that a faculty member whose spouse may have been exposed to the coronavirus is currently self-isolating and continuing their classes online. 

The Observer has learned that this faculty member’s spouse was in contact with a patient with the virus on March 2. The first reported case of coronavirus in New York state was confirmed only a day earlier

Another Fordham faculty member has also communicated their intent to self-isolate to their students, The Observer has learned. According to email correspondence with students, the faculty member’s spouse had alleged contact with the virus, prompting the faculty member’s family to self-isolate. 

McShane detailed the special measures the university has taken, including the suspension of all university-sponsored international student travel, accelerated deep-cleaning schedules, constant contact with city, state and national health departments, and regular meetings of Fordham’s Emergency Management Team. He reaffirmed that the university will continue to provide updates as the epidemic unfolds.

McShane further urged the community to be wary of disinformation and emphasized reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York City Department of Health and individual healthcare providers. He also directed those concerned about the university’s preparedness and current preventative actions to visit the Coronavirus Updates page of the university website, which includes frequently asked questions.  

“Please be assured by the fact that we are, and will continue to be, in continuous discussion and planning regarding the outbreak and its impact on the Fordham community,” McShane wrote. “Your safety and wellbeing is our primary concern—as a Jesuit University, it could not be otherwise.”