Update: June 24, 2020 10:00am
We are delighted to share that both CT and NJ state officials have provided a path for us to return to in-person instruction for our students to do essential lab classes on campus! As always, the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount to us and we have worked hard to prepare for a safe return. Here’s some of what we’re doing to keep all of us safe:
- Each campus will have a designed ‘COVID-19 Czar’ who will be the administrator of our plan and coordinating with local health and government officials to ensure we are proactively taking all measures necessary to ensure the safety of our AI Family on campus
- All staff, students, and faculty will participate in training on basic prevention measures and proper face mask use to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
- All who come to the campus will be required to complete a daily health check-in, which includes a non-contact temperature screening and symptom check; anyone who displays symptoms common to COVID-19 will not be allowed on campus and referred to CDC guidelines to self-monitor and/or get tested and/or care as appropriate
- All individuals able to comply with the CDC recommendation of wearing a face mask will be required to do so while on campus (exceptions must be approved prior to coming to campus without a mask); visitors who come to campus unprepared with their own cloth face covering will be provided a disposable mask upon check-in to wear throughout their visit
- To reinforce social distancing protocols:
- We will schedule each program cohort for a limited number of people arriving/leaving at the same time of day and on different days of the week, with no more than 10 students per session in any one classroom, with Weds and Sat and Fri evening reserved for make-up hours for March-May modules
- Markers have been placed in hallways and classrooms to give visual cues for people to maintain 6 feet distance on campus in shared areas, and will be made one-way as needed to ensure easy entrance/exit from the building while maintaining 6′ distance
- Stairs are encouraged as primary method of transit with any elevator use limited to 2 people at a time
- Protective measures to prevent disease spread among our community:
- Reminder signs from the CDC have been placed both at entrance areas and around campus to keep best practices top of mind while on campus
- Hand sanitizing stations are installed and clearly labeled throughout campus as a back-up to handwashing protocols
- At the beginning and end of each in-person lab session, students and instructors will sanitize their classroom and surroundings as part of our ongoing infectious disease control training and reinforcement
- Individuals who have a suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 illness will: A)Be excluded from all on-campus activity for at least 14 days and until: 1)At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and, 2)At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and B)Self-monitor for symptoms and seek immediate re-evaluation if symptoms recur or worsen
- In the event of a suspected or confirmed case among our AI Family, we will close off areas visited by the person and ventilate the area for at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting as directed by the CDC’s guidelines before reopening that area of the campus for use
- Facility adjustments:
- Hands-free door openers are installed on all push/pull doors, including the main building entrances and restroom doors to limit the need to touch door handles
- High-touch areas like microwaves, water stations, and vending machines have been temporarily disabled to limit the possibility of disease spread on campus
- Tables and chairs are placed such that they are each positioned at least 6′ from one another in the space provided
- Waiting area seating is limited to 1 person per 6′ area (e.g. reception area)
- Acrylic freestanding desk guards are provided for all campus staff who meet with students in their office for counseling and/or assistance as well as at reception
- Enhanced cleaning schedules will be maintained with a focus on high-touch surfaces such as door handles and phones
- The COVID-19 Czar and/or Deputy will provide entrance/egress support to individuals at peak times to ensure social distancing protocols are followed, especially at the beginning/end of classes
- Additional equipment and supplies will be secured to ensure students and instructors can adequately practice appropriate social distancing within the lab classroom setting
- Any violations observed that put our campus community at risk for disease spread should be reported to our hotline at 877-399-2920 and will be addressed immediately
- …and more! You can view our full re-population of campus plans by location here:
Toms River, NJ
West Hartford, CT
All locations are doing a phased return to campus with limited class sizes and staff on campus, and adjustments will be made as needed as we learn more about this virus and how to stop it from spreading. West Hartford began in-person instruction June 22 and the remaining New Jersey locations will resume July 6. NJ students will be advised of their scheduled date/time for on-campus lab sessions by July 1. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to your instructor or program director and they are eager to help you navigate this change successfully.
We look forward to seeing your faces (well, at least your eyes and your awesome face masks!) and getting together as our #AIFamily on campus once again!
Update: May 19, 2020 2:00pm
American Institute has provided an update regarding the CARES Act funding for students at the link above. Students who were enrolled in classes on March 23, 2020 may be eligible for relief funds and are encouraged and requested to contact their campus’ Student Finance department as soon as possible at the numbers listed below:
- Clifton, NJ: 973-928-7023
- Somerset, NJ: 732-719-2742
- Toms River, NJ: 732-719-2750
- West Hartford, CT: 860-263-0736
Updated March 21, 2020 5:00pm
In accordance with the guidance issued by local health and government officials, American Institute has suspended all in-person training to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as of March 17, 2020. Nearly all on-campus classes were already suspended as of 3/13/20 as previously announced, and American Institute continues to operate proactively in this evolving health crisis as we focus on the best interests of our campus and community.
Further, in support of the ‘stay at home’ orders issued in the tri-state area, American Institute student support services will be offered remotely during our operational hours as noted below while our team works from home, effective end of day March 21, 2020 in NJ and March 23, 2020 in CT. We are confident that our exceptional faculty and staff will be able to continue providing a quality education and outstanding support services remotely for our students throughout this health emergency.
Our hours of remote operation for all locations will be 10am-7pm Monday through Thursday and 10am-4pm Friday and 10am-2pm Saturday.
Classes will continue to be offered online and new students are able to enroll and begin their program of choice via distance education.
If you haven’t already, please contact your instructor and make sure your current phone and email is on file so we can communicate with you remotely as needed to provide future updates.
As providers of healthcare career education, we take this seriously for both our students and community and are committed to helping our #AIFamily navigate this changing landscape by staying informed, aware of one another, and knowing how we can each manage our individual risk factors appropriately.
American Institute is committed to following the guidance as provided by our local health and government officials as this situation evolves, while providing a continuity of quality education to our students in a way that preserves their health and wellness.
We will continue to communicate proactively with our #AIFamily and stakeholders as decisions are made and plans are updated.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) virus, and we are learning more about it every day. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. At this point, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it. Unfortunately, coronavirus may live on certain surfaces at room temperature for several days. Stopping transmission (spread) of the virus through minimizing exposure and everyday hygiene practices is the best way to keep healthy. Click here to learn more about COVID-19.
Currently the COVID-19 outbreak appears to be similar to the flu in its outcomes, with greater risk for those with compromised immunity or pre-existing health conditions. Based on existing cases to date, it’s estimated that approximately 80% of people who are affected experience mild symptoms. The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including illness resulting in death. Learn more about the symptoms associated with COVID-19.
What can we do individually?
As responsible citizens and members of our greater community, we have an obligation to one another to help manage the spread of this disease. There are things that we can all do today to help, including:
- Stay up to date: The CDC and our local government links as included on this page are the best source of information on this issue; please do not share or spread false rumors or misinformation and be sure you are getting your updates directly from the source via their website(s), which are updated frequently.
- Practice good hygiene: As with all respiratory infectious disease, the best plan of prevention is one of basic good hygiene and limiting exposure.
- Washing your hands thoroughly and often will help minimize your risk, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after you blow your nose, sneeze, or cough. To help reinforce that message, we will be placing posters in restrooms to help remind everyone of proper handwashing techniques and have also included a link to the CDC’s video ‘how to’ that illustrates the technique in detail: https://youtu.be/eZw4Ga3jg3E
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then discard the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue available, cough or sneeze into your raised elbow to prevent the spread of germs.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Maintain good self-care: Keeping yourself healthy by doing the things we all know we should do is important to help your immune system stay strong and ready to defend you. Make sure you are getting enough sleep (7-8 hrs per night), eating healthfully, and exercising. Getting outside and taking a walk in the spring sunshine can do wonders to boost your mood and vitamin D, which has been shown to help your immune system stay strong.
- Make a plan for illness:
If you are sick, please do not go out in the community, and take appropriate steps to return to health. If you experience mild symptoms, you can isolate at home to prevent the spread of the disease, just as you would with the flu.
Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and your risk factors, and if you suspect you may be infected take appropriate measures as recommended by the CDC to help prevent spreading the virus. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Perform routine cleaning: In addition to your own personal hygiene, maintaining a clean and sanitary environment will help prevent the spread of germs. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces regularly, more often if someone in the household is currently ill.
It’s important to stay informed and not panic or create extra stress among our community, by managing the information we receive in a balanced and thoughtful way.
Additional links and info
Connecticut specific updates are available at https://www.ct.gov/coronavirus. As the information is evolving quickly, please make sure to check frequently for the most current information and recommendations.
New Jersey information is now found on a new site, located here: https://covid19.nj.gov/. They have also implemented a 24-hr public hotline (1-800-222-1222) and have trained healthcare professionals standing by to answer questions about coronavirus. The call is free.In addition, many questions you may have can be answered by contacting 2-1-1 or texting ‘CTCOVID’ or ‘NJCOVID’ to 898211. You are encouraged to visit the website above before calling the hotline.