Date:  December 1, 2020
From:  Katherine Fleming, Provost
Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President
Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, Executive Lead, NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team

Community Health: A Rise in Positive Cases

NYU has seen a rise in both positive cases and a rise in case positivity. On NYU’s dashboard, you will notice that positive cases exceed 100 cases for the Washington Square campus for the current NYS-designated two-week period. We have also started to see a gradual rise in case positivity rate (from the range of 0.3-to-0.5 percent we had been seeing to 0.7 percent currently).

We believe these increases can principally be imputed to two factors: we increased the number of tests we conducted by more than ⅓ in the week before Thanksgiving (which likely contributed to the higher number of cases), and the spike in ambient case positivity in New York City (which likely also contributed to the increase in the total number of cases as well as to the increase in our case positivity rate). We continue to see a shift with a greater percentage of the positive cases emerging from among non-resident students — not surprising, given developments in the city.

In light of these trends, we are taking a number of steps:

  • We reached out to the State and the City authorities to apprise and consult with them on the developments.
  • For the time being, we are suspending all use of our athletic facilities, which we had recently reopened to students at reduced occupancy for workouts. While we have not seen spread linked to our athletic facilities, we determined it was a prudent step to take.
  • We are suspending the use of classrooms for reduced-occupancy, small-group student meetings.
  • We are, for the time being, closing common areas in residence halls, which we had recently reopened with occupancy restrictions.

As has been the case throughout the semester at NYU — and more broadly, for that matter — there is minimal data to suggest that classes are a source of transmission; accordingly, for the time being, NYU’s in-person and hybrid classes will continue.

Mandatory Post-Thanksgiving Testing


All members of the NYU community who maintain regular access to campus facilities must be tested this week (Nov. 30 - Dec. 4), following the Thanksgiving break.

  • Students in Residence Halls should use the Binx saliva tests, as they normally would.
  • Non-resident Students may either pick up and return a saliva test, or may be tested using a nasal swab (make an appointment here).
  • Employees may either pick up and return a saliva test, or may be tested using a nasal swab (make an appointment here).

The “Test Center in the Tent” Has Moved Indoors Across the Street

Apropos of the foregoing — in deference to the colder weather, nasal swab testing has been moved from the tent on Gould Plaza directly across the street to the Bonomi Family Admissions Center, 27 West 4th Street.

Spring Semester Academic Calendar

At the November meeting, the University Senate approved changes to the academic calendar for spring 2021.

Please note: The schedule of some academic programs, particularly graduate and professional programs, sometimes varies from the main University academic calendar; in those instances, students, faculty, and staff should follow the direction from school deans’ offices.

Keep each other Safe