Coronavirus (COVID-19) College Updates

college coronavirus image

Crouse Health is among the many healthcare organizations globally that are addressing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first reported from Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019. The spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) beyond mainland China has prompted concern about the risk of transmission in the U.S., which has already begun to occur.

This page will serve as an official point of information for our college community regarding the COVID-19 virus. The information surrounding this outbreak is changing frequently. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will keep our student body apprised of any new developments through this page and their official college email accounts.


March 19, 2020 | 1 p.m.
Pomeroy College of Nursing Update
A Message from Dean Patricia Morgan, MS, RN

We realize that synchronous online learning may present challenges for some students.  This type of learning can be intimidating as your learning skills have likely been developed in traditional classroom settings.  To be successful in this new temporary online environment, you will likely need to adjust your study habits and find ways to adapt to this new learning situation.  Below are some tips that we feel will help in your success.

Take Advantage of Your Resources – Your nursing course faculty are your primary content resources.  Please ask questions as you normally would in-person.  Academic support sessions will continue to be offered in each nursing course via ZOOM.  You may also connect with an academic advisor by emailing  Also remember to review recorded lectures to help solidify content.

Prepare, but Understand That Changes are Likely – Our current situation is definitely fluid.  Factors and consequences of this pandemic change daily.  It’s important to understand that modifications to nursing course calendars will be necessary as response to the virus evolves.  Get in the mindset to expect future changes.

Don’t Underestimate the Time Commitment – Synchronous online learning will be just as rigorous as in-person classroom instruction.  There may be some flexibility while learning online but the time commitment necessary to be successful is no different.  You will need to manage your time well.  Schedule regular study times, read your textbooks, rewrite your class notes and get prepared for your next synchronous online lecture.

Know your Strengths, Limitations and Motivators – If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule early morning study times.  If you’re exhausted in the evening, don’t schedule study time at night.  Some people study best in longer, uninterrupted chunks of time, while others prefer shorter, more frequent study sessions.  Set yourself up for success by making study plans that you will stick to.  Consider what motivates you.  Set yourself a goal and treat yourself when you accomplish it. These treats don’t have to be expensive or overly indulgent. Even allowing yourself to watch your favorite TV show will work if that feels rejuvenating to you.  The key is to know yourself well enough to create a routine that enables you to do your best work — then choose rewards that encourage you to stick with it until it’s done.

Find a Quiet Workspace – Separating nursing coursework from commitments and distractions at home is crucial when learning online. Setting-up a quiet and productive workspace is especially important.  Try finding a quiet room, or section of a room, with minimal distractions. Logging-on for class and studying in the same place at the same general time creates a routine of stability that helps with success.

Schedule Time for Your Relationships – You’ll need both logistical and emotional support throughout this period of synchronous online learning.  Take advantage of your social and personal support networks (while keeping social distancing in mind).  Be sure to communicate with the important people in your life by letting them know what you are doing and what kind of support they can provide if needed.  Strive for school/work/life harmony, not balance. There will be times when you must give your all to your coursework, so make sure to carve-out time during the less intense periods to spend time with your family and friends and nurture those relationships.  Knowing that you’ve made time to spend with the important people in your life can make periods of intensity more bearable for both you and the people you love.

Develop Grit – Having grit can mean different things in varying circumstances, but what it really boils down to in this context is being able to persevere and overcome difficult situations.  Stick with your plan, day in and day out while adjusting to schedule changes as necessary.  Continue to work hard, keeping your goal of becoming a professional nurse a reality.  Grit, both academic and personal, is necessary for ensuring success.

Stay Active and Engaged – Treat your courses as a new and exciting opportunity, rather than an obligation.  Participate in everything you can — connect with faculty, your classmates, and any additional resources you are provided. As with anything else, you will get out of this new synchronous online learning as much as you are willing to put in.

We remain confident that — together — we will all get through these challenging times.

March 17, 2020 | 1 p.m.
Pomeroy College of Nursing Update

A Message from Assistant Dean for Students, Ryan Barker, MS
We realize that the outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for you.  Fear and anxiety about infectious disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and our community stronger.  As we navigate and adjust college operations in response to this pandemic, I want to remind you that the services of Crouse HelpPeople are available to help you adjust.

HelpPeople provides professional counseling assistance and referral services related to stress, coping, and management of personal problems that may affect your everyday life. Interactions with HelpPeople are strictly confidential and available to you 24/7.  You may reach HelpPeople by calling 315-470-7447.  Counseling may be available over the phone or in-person.  Please call before going to a HelpPeople office.

Taking good care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make our community stronger.

Things you can do to support yourself:

  1. Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  2. Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  3. Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities that you enjoy.
  4. Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

The health and safety of all students and members of our college community remains at the forefront of our decision making.  We are confident that we’ll get through this, together.

March 16, 2020 | 8 a.m.
Pomeroy College of Nursing Update
A Message from Dean Patricia Morgan, MS, RN

Today I write with an update related to PCON’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide pandemic.  The health and safety of all members of our community remains at the forefront of our decision making.  We are continuing to actively monitor the situation and are relying on guidance from the WHO, CDC, New York State Health Department, New York State Education Department, Onondaga County Health Department, Crouse Health and our educational partners.

The decision to move all nursing course theory instruction to synchronous online remote learning was not an easy one, nor taken lightly.  We are confident, however, that despite this interruption, your nursing education will remain excellent.  Faculty and staff are working tirelessly to adapt your courses and make other changes to allow you to successfully complete the spring 2020 semester.

Synchronous online learning will take place via ZOOM, which is an online video communication modality.  ZOOM allows for video and audio conferencing, chat and webinars across mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers.  Detailed instructions related to accessing and using ZOOM will be sent to you later today.  Adjustments to nursing course calendars and shifts in nursing course content will also be sent to you today by nursing course faculty.  Please keep in mind that additional adjustments to course calendars will likely be necessary as the situation evolves.

As was previously stated, clinical instruction, nursing course exams and lab practice/skill validations will be suspended for the next two weeks and will be made-up at a later date.  The COVID-19 situation is developing quickly, so please be aware that our policies and plans may continue to evolve in the days and weeks to come.  You will be kept up-to-date on any changes via your “crousecon” email and on this webpage.

Though you will be completing nursing coursework remotely, I encourage you to make your personal health a top priority by following advice for COVID-19 prevention and social distancing.  Rest assured that our commitment to you is to provide a consistently excellent academic experience in the safest environment possible.

Your flexibility, cooperation and commitment to learning is greatly appreciated as we navigate these unusually challenging times together.

March 12, 2020 | 2 p.m.
Pomeroy College of Nursing Update

A Message from Assistant Dean for Students, Ryan Barker, MS

As a follow-up to yesterday’s message from Dean Morgan, I want to provide answers to some of your immediate questions related to nursing coursework, campus housing, college events and student services:

Coursework:  You will receive specific communication early next week from college administration related to how the theory portion of each course will be transitioned to synchronous online learning.  This communication will include any necessary adjustments to course calendars.

Campus Housing: The residence hall will close for the period of March 13 until at least March 29.  Residential students have been notified and arrangements are being made for those students to gather necessary belongings.

College Events:  All on-campus events scheduled through March 29 have been cancelled.  We will update you on future events beyond that point.

Student Services:  All college faculty and staff are reporting to work as normal.  Therefore, the college will remain open for normal business operations until further notice.  You may contact faculty and staff via email or phone whenever necessary.  You are not, however, permitted to be physically on campus.

March 11, 2020 | 5 p.m.
Pomeroy College of Nursing Update
A Message from Dean Patricia Morgan, MS, RN

We hope that this email finds you having a safe, healthy and relaxing spring break.

As the number of New York State Coronavirus cases continues to rise, the safety of the entire PCON community is our primary concern. As such, the leadership of Crouse Health and the college have taken the following proactive steps to protect you and our community:

Beginning Monday, March 16, and through at least Sunday, March 29, the Pomeroy College of Nursing will transition all nursing courses from classroom to synchronous online instruction.   This means you will not report to campus during this timeframe; rather, you will complete coursework remotely via an online modality.

Clinical instruction, exams and lab practice/skill validations will be suspended for the next two weeks and will be made up at a later date.  Current nursing course calendars will continue to be evaluated and revised as the situation unfolds.  You will be notified of all changes as they are made.  These changes will be communicated via your “crousecon” email, so you must monitor your email account daily.

While on-campus instruction will cease for two weeks beginning March 16, the College will otherwise remain open for normal business operations until further notice.  You may contact faculty and staff via email or phone, but you will not be permitted to be on campus.

The plan for the formal resumption of classes will depend on how the Coronavirus situation unfolds.  These decisions rely heavily on the guidance of the CDC, New York State DOH, New York State Education Department, Crouse Health and our educational partners.

Shifting our teaching to synchronous online instruction is intended to protect the health and welfare of all students, faculty, staff and the local community. We recognize the uncertainty this global health issue is creating and are committed to keeping you informed and up-to-date as this situation evolves.

General Information About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The best way to prevent the spread of the virus: frequent hand washing; avoiding people with symptoms of respiratory illness; covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding work or other gatherings if becoming ill are the best methods of prevention. There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vs. Influenza (Flu)
The spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) beyond mainland China has prompted concern about risk of transmission in the U.S. The CDC has warned Americans to prepare for potential community spread of the disease. Awareness and prevention are key to reducing possible exposure.

Coronavirus Overview
Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. The most recent coronavirus, COVID-19, was first identified in Wuhan, China and is associated with mild-to-severe respiratory illness with fever and cough. Most people in the U.S. will have little immediate risk of exposure to COVID-19. However, global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus may cause a pandemic; risk of exposure could change quickly in the United States.

What are Coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are common in both humans and animals that usually cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illnesses. The source of COVID-19 is suspected to be animals in an open air market and is possibly a previously unrecognized bat coronavirus. It appears to cause a more severe illness progressing to pneumonia.

What are the symptoms of this coronavirus infection?
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 have had mild-to-severe respiratory illness. Symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Coronavirus vs. the flu: Which is the greater threat?
COVID-19 and the flu are both contagious viruses that cause respiratory illness. While public health officials are still learning more about symptoms and severity of COVID-19 vs. the flu, the best way to prevent either illness is to take everyday precautions, including frequent hand washing; refraining from touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home if you are sick.