President McCurdy Statement to BCCC Community on Coronavirus

March 3, 2020

Dear BCCC Faculty & Staff:

BCCC is continuing to monitor information from city and state health officials and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19). The COVID-19 was first detected in China and as of February 29, 2020, has been detected in 60 locations internationally, including in the United States.

The CDC predicts that the virus will continue to spread. While there have been no confirmed cases in Baltimore City or the State of Maryland and the immediate risk to our campus continues to be low, we are taking proactive measures in order to mitigate this emerging public health threat.

Precautions to take:

It is important to remember flu and respiratory illness season is still underway. It is therefore critical that we all do our part to help prevent the spread of this and other illnesses by practicing the following everyday habits:

  • Get a flu vaccine if you have not already done so.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly (at least 20 seconds) and often with soap and water. Follow the CDC’s hand-washing guidelines.
  • Stay home when you are sick and consider seeing a medical professional.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.

Travel Advisories:

The CDC has also issued travel advisories related to Coronavirus and other disease outbreaks. If you plan to travel and with Spring Break approaching, please visit this CDC site for updates on all travel advisories when considering your plans. If you are sick, do not travel. You could face additional airport screenings and possible quarantine, and you will increase the risk of spreading your illness to others or making yourself more susceptible to additional infections.

Welcoming and Inclusive Community:

More than 80 countries represent our student body at BCCC, and we are deeply committed to providing an environment that is supportive and accepting for all who come here. As the Coronavirus continues to spread so rapidly, it is understandable to experience some level of fear and anxiety. That is why it is even more important to avoid making assumptions or jumping to conclusions based upon an individual’s perceived symptoms or ethnicities.

Stay Informed:

Be sure to visit BCCC’s webpage on the Coronavirus for updates and to learn more about precautions to take, symptoms to watch, and other information. We urge you to take time to review – and to share with your colleagues, students, friends and family members.

As a reminder, BCCC uses Omnilert, a free messaging service that alerts you in real-time when any part of the College is experiencing an emergency or closes for any reason. Click here to sign up for Omnilert updates  if you have not yet done so. Omnilert is your best way to get the latest news and stay safe.

The health and wellness of BCCC students, employees and visitors remains our priority. We will continue to monitor the impact of the virus and remain in regular communication with campus partners to plan and coordinate efforts across the College.  We will also continue to alert you to the recommendations of international, national and local authorities.

Regards,

Debra L. McCurdy, President