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March 09, 2020

A Message from Lehman College President Daniel Lemons

Be a hero and if you’re not well, stay home.

We have so many dedicated staff and students in the Lehman Campus Community, in addition to many thousands of people on campus in any given week. I know the temptation, even in this environment, is to come to work or school even when you’re not feeling well. But if you are sick, it means that you increase the chances of spreading your illness. It is actually more responsible for you to stay home when you’re not well and we will, of course, do everything we can to accommodate working and studying remotely when necessary.

That said, as we continue to hear moment by moment updates about the coronavirus, and the expected growth in the number of cases in New York State, there is understandable concern about commuting to campus. Certainly, it is important for all of us to travel more consciously in the current environment while also keeping in mind that Lehman College is open until we otherwise notify the campus community. We expect students to show up for classes unless they are ill.

I suggest checking the NYC DOH page for up-to-date information and guidance on additional precautions you should be taking beyond the ones we already know to be effective: effective hand washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands as well as, of course, staying home if unwell or having had direct contact with a person testing positive for COVID-19. Of course, if you are in a high-risk group and your physician is telling you to take other precautions, you should. If that means not coming to class, you should get a note from your physician and be sure to stay in touch with your instructors so you can keep up with your studies.

As of today, the number of confirmed cases in New York City remains low. There is no doubt there will be more in the coming days, but the exact level of risk so far has not been determined. The NYC DOH has not stated that commuting is risky, and has only identified traveling to Level 2 and Level 3 countries and contact with infected persons as risk factors.

That said, I have designated Gladys Maldoon as our Campus Coronavirus Liaison at the direction of CUNY central administration. Gladys’ responsibility in this role will be to collect data about every individual at Lehman College who presents a possible connection to the Coronavirus and share that information with the CUNYwide Coronavirus Task Force and the Office of the President. We want to make sure we are keeping track of all instances of possible contact with the virus. You should contact Gladys directly in instances such as these:

  • if a CUNY Community member comes in contact with someone who they have a good faith basis belief has been exposed to coronavirus or displays symptoms;
  • if a student, staff, or faculty member was in close contact with someone who just tested positive for the virus; or
  • if a student, staff, or faculty member attend a large gathering that results in self-quarantine.

Gladys can be reached at gladys.maldoon@lehman.cuny.edu. In the meantime, please be assured that Lehman and CUNY continue to take the threat of COVID-19 very seriously and we are actively preparing to maintain the safety of students, faculty and staff, along with academic and business continuity across a range of scenarios.


Daniel Lemons

Previous messages from President Lemons can be found here.