Students with COVID-19

Many of you have asked what the​ current process is for reporting students who have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19.

As you may be aware, beginning in early March, the Division of Student Affairs connected with all students reported to us who either had COVID-19 or had symptoms consistent with COVID-19. We contacted each student and helped those who needed it connect to resources such as medical advice, emergency funds, and food. We also assisted students in need of mobile devices so they could continue to engage in distance learning. Most importantly, under the guidance of CUNY and public health officials, we notified those on campus who may have been exposed to these students so they could seek medical advice based on their personal situations. 

Given that in-person classes have not been held since Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2020, and we no longer have reporting requirements for the larger campus community because the majority of students, faculty, and staff are not on campus, we are writing to inform you of what you should do now if a student reports a positive test for COVID-19 or symptoms consistent with COVID-19. 

Based on NYC and NYS public health officials, COVID-19 is widespread among the population. Thus, you should expect that many students might become ill. Just like before the pandemic, your first step should be to treat a sick student as you always have when a student is ill and misses class or assignments. I would encourage you to consider what standard of proof is required (e.g., doctor’s note) since given the significant burden on healthcare providers right now, students might not be able to readily get those documents from primary-care physicians.   

Next, continue to refer students to my office who, as a result of being ill, report having a financial hardship, food insecurity, mental health or other medical issues, and any other concerns that you think should be reported. You may email us at studentaffairs@csi.cuny.edu and we will promptly respond.

COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact upon our entire community. No aspect of our work or professional lives has been untouched. Our students are in the same position with the added burden of some having lost their employment and in some cases their health insurance as well. If you know of a student in need of health insurance, Health and Wellness Services will assist students in contacting our Metro Plus health insurance facilitator. Metro Plus phone consultations are available Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. They have been very helpful in locating free or low-cost insurance for our students. Interested students should contact healthcenter@csi.cuny.edu for more information. 

Also, if you encounter a student or situation that is a cause for concern, such as personal distress, please contact our CARES Team – the Campus Assessment Referral and Evaluation System (CARES) Team. The CARES Team provides a coordinated response to situations where students are experiencing distress or engaging in harmful or disruptive behaviors.  Please report these concerns online.

As always, the Division of Student Affairs will continue to support and engage students as we all adjust to this new normal. Thank you for your support of CSI students and for communicating the Division’s services and resources.

By Jennifer S. Borrero, JD