Date: November 16, 2020
TO: NYU Parents
FROM: NYU President Andrew Hamilton

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Loved Ones,

I know how important Thanksgiving is for many families. As it has in so many other aspects of our lives, COVID-19 requires us to handle Thanksgiving differently this year.

As Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, the Executive Lead of NYU's COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team, recently wrote to students and employees, we want to make sure that our collective actions do not contribute to the spread of the coronavirus, which — even as NYU's rates remain low and stable — has been spiking in New York and in so many parts of the country. So we are testing everyone on campus this week, and then again when classes resume the week after Thanksgiving.

More importantly — and this is where you come in as parents, guardians, and loved ones — we have strongly recommended to students that they either stay in New York and forego the traditional travel and Thanksgiving at home, or, in the event that they do want to go home, that they stay there until it is time to return for the spring semester in late January. Any member of the NYU community who spends more than 24 hours in any location outside NY and its five contiguous states (CT, MA, NJ, PA, and VT) will be required to undergo quarantine upon return; given the small number of class days following the Thanksgiving holiday — 10 in all — the quarantine mandate should figure into families' decision-making, as should the emerging evidence that even small social gatherings are contributing to the national rise in COVID cases.

And so we face yet another hard choice in a season of challenges. Sometime, I hope in the not too distant future, this will all be behind us. Until then, I know I can rely on you, as we rely on our students, our faculty, and our staff, to join us in making commonsense decisions for the common good, and in taking steps today to keep each other safe in the future. In that vein, I want to share these tips with you regarding Thanksgiving (here and here).

I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, whatever shape it may take for you and your loved ones this year. And remember, even if we are physically apart, we are together.


Andrew Hamilton
New York University