The New York State Positive Case Threshold for Colleges, and Continuing on as We Are for Now
Date: October 6, 2020
To: The NYU Community
From: Katherine Fleming, Provost; Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, MD, Exec. Lead, COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team and Jack Briggs, Vice President, Global Resiliency and Security
Re: The New York State Positive Case Threshold for Colleges, and Continuing on as We Are for Now
In late August, New York State set thresholds for temporary suspension of in-person classes (PDF). For NYU's Washington Square location, that number is 100 within a 14-day period. Even though our case positivity rate remains low — roughly 0.5% — as you can see from our dashboard, we are approaching that number.
Accordingly, we have been in touch with NYS authorities. Based on our overall conditions — primarily our low positivity rate, which is significantly lower than the area surrounding the school, and the robust program of testing — the State has advised that at this point we should continue to carry on as we have been, and do not at this point have to pivot to remote instruction. Schools, units, and individual faculty members should not independently make changes in instruction or other operations.
We will remain closely in touch with the State, and will, of course, follow any guidance and promptly relay directives about any changes from our current course. If there is a change, you will hear from the COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team, the Provost's Office, or your dean's office with specifics about what changes are to be put in place.
If a transition to remote learning becomes necessary at some point, we want it to be smooth and orderly. So, while we continue to move forward as we have been, it is nonetheless prudent for schools and individual faculty to be thinking ahead about how they would respond to a transition to remote instruction.
Thanks. Take care. Be well. We will be in touch again soon.