Date:  August 26, 2020
From:  Katherine Fleming, Provost;
Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President;
Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, Executive Lead, COVID-19 Prevention and Response Team

Community Health


Testing Results

August 1 through August 23rd:

  • 3,020 faculty, researchers, and employees submitted COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test results. All were negative.
  • 7,772 COVID-19 PCR diagnostic tests were performed on students (including those who arrived early for quarantining) at the two NYU testing centers — Gould Plaza and 6 MetroTech — established for testing students. Five tested positive; all are in isolation, are being monitored by the COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team, and will not be permitted to enter NYU facilities until cleared.
  • Five other individuals submitted positive COVID-19 tests. They are in isolation, are being monitored by the COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team, and will not be permitted to enter NYU facilities until cleared.

While these data suggest a low prevalence of COVID-19, newly identified cases among members of the NYU community highlight the importance of NYU’s layered approach to safety and health, which will include robust, mandatory ongoing COVID-19 testing.

Second Tests for Quarantining Students

For Students in Residence Halls

The second COVID-19 tests for students quarantining in residence halls will take place this week; look for emails telling you when to come to be tested. You should go directly from your residence hall to the testing site, and then promptly and directly back to where you are quarantining.

For Students in Off-Campus Housing

If you were tested last week, you must be tested again this week. Make an appointment for testing here, or you may use other testing sites in the tri-state area (see the links just below). When you go to get tested, you should proceed directly from your housing to the testing site, and then promptly and directly back to where you are quarantining.


For students, faculty, researchers, and employees planning to return to campus for the start of the semester, pre-arrival testing will continue through the week of August 31st. Students should make appointments for testing here; employees may make appointments through NYU Langone (you should have received an email from NYU Langone) or submit valid tests conducted elsewhere. Students and employees may also get tested at sites throughout the tri-state area, including sites in NYC, NYS, NJ, and CT. Anyone planning to return later in the semester must get tested within 14 days prior to their first date on-campus.

Access to university buildings will only be granted after all requirements are met, including the submission and validation of a negative COVID-19 test result.

Please allow several days between test result submission and anticipated need to access university buildings (for example, a student who gets tested on September 1 should not expect to be cleared by the first day of classes, September 2). Do not wait until the last minute to make testing appointments or to submit results.

Ongoing Testing

The University will send a communication with more specifics about the on-going testing program, which will begin on September 7, later this week.

Assigned Seating

For fall 2020, we are asking that student seating be assigned and fixed for the semester in all in-person and blended classes (some schools, such as the Law School, have this practice in place already). More information can be found here; information for faculty on using the seat assignment tool is here.

Mandatory Video about Health and Safety Protocols

Reminder: All members of the NYU community are required to watch the video outlining NYU's safety and health rules. Employees should log in here; students should log in here.

It is vital that everyone at NYU abide by the safety and health rules, and the University is committed to strict enforcement of them: mask wearing, physical distancing, avoiding gatherings, etc. As of today, a half-dozen students have already been suspended for failure to comply.

COVID-19-related Communications and Information

Two New Short Form Communications

We have started two new, short-form communications: "NYU Returns: Quick Answer" and "NYU Returns: A Word on..." Each is meant to provide pressing COVID-19-related information on a single topic in a quick, easily understood format.

Dashboard on Testing and Results

We have noted the results from the first round of testing above. The University plans to launch a public “dashboard” on the status page of the NYU Returns website late this week or early next week; it will provide regular updates on our testing efforts and data on COVID-19 cases among members of our NYU community.

Quarantining in Our Residence Halls

Last week, some 2,700 students moved into residence halls to begin a two-week quarantine period, which the University sought to support by opening the residence halls early and delivering meals (both at no cost to students).

The move-in went well; the meal service less so. The food service was an unprecedentedly complex undertaking for the University and its food vendor, Chartwells, involving delivery of three meals per day to the door of each of the 2,700 students' rooms, a substantial percentage of which were individualized, specialized meals. We fell short of the plans we had in place. Chartwells has taken a number of measures to correct the initial missteps — including doubling the food preparation and delivery staff — that have helped, and we are continuing to make efforts to improve meal service for the quarantining students in the residence halls.

Regardless, NYU apologizes to the quarantining students and their families.

Keep each other Safe