While there have been no Ebola cases on the New Paltz campus, the College is taking steps to ensure our preparedness, following SUNY system, State Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Currently, the College is reviewing and updating our standard operating procedures for the Health Center and our existing campus-level public health emergency plans. Dr. Jack Ordway, director of student health services, has been designated our campus representative to serve on a SUNY system-wide Ebola working group. Chaired by Dr. John Williams, president of Downstate Medical, who has extensive public health experience, Dr. Ordway will receive information and guidance from this group to share with campus officials. He is also currently working with the College’s Emergency Management Team and Health Center staff to conduct simulated emergency drills and train Health Center staff on how to handle potential Ebola cases, per State Health Department and CDC guidelines.
Based on CDC recommendations, SUNY is continuing to prohibit all forms of travel to countries with CDC Level 3 warnings (currently, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone). The College has a protocol in place to identify potential travelers from affected areas who may be in contact with members of our campus community. At this time, New Paltz does not have any students from or studying abroad in these countries. Nor do we have any faculty or staff members who have traveled to these countries.
It is important for the campus community to be aware of the procedures to follow in the event of infection. Per the CDC, while Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population, those who have a recent (within 21 days) travel history to countries where the outbreak is occurring or have had contact with a person infected with Ebola are advised to be on alert for signs and symptoms of the virus. Students who suspect infection should contact the Student Health Center by calling (845) 257-3400 (the same number can be called after hours and on weekends). Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician.
Please visit the SUNY Health Alert webpage at www.suny.edu/health-alert, where relevant CDC and Health Department guidelines may be found along with further information about the virus.
Get the Facts About Ebola: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/ebola/
What You Need to Know About Ebola: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/
Managing Your Fear About Ebola: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/ebola-fear.aspx