Date:  October 30, 2020
From:  Katherine Fleming, Provost
Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President
Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, Executive Lead, NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team

Dear Faculty, Students, Administrators, and Staff,

We hugely appreciate the great job you have all been doing battling the spread of COVID-19. Several weeks into the semester, NYU’s case positivity rates remain relatively low and stable. Thank you for your conscientiousness and careful adherence to our health and safety rules.


We want to remind the community of some important points relating to the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • If you travel to a hotspot state (a growing list) or internationally, you must quarantine for 14 days upon return. This applies to ALL students, faculty, and staff.
  • For our residential students — we know quarantining would be a hassle with only 10 class days left in the semester after Thanksgiving so, if you are a student living in on-campus housing, we are reaching out to ask you about your Thanksgiving — and beyond — plans, and will be in touch shortly with additional guidance. If you plan to travel to a region that will require you to quarantine upon your return, you should think seriously about remaining at home for the remainder of the semester.


  • NYU Buildings will be closed as is customary during the Thanksgiving break; however, for those who do need access, facilities will be accessible via your NYU ID card (you will still need to complete the daily screener)
  • Select dining facilities will remain open during the Thanksgiving break


Amidst COVID, Halloween is going to have to be different. This year, you are not going to want to stick your hand in a bowl of M&Ms or bob for apples.

Some basic guidance:

  • Stay away from large gatherings or parties.
  • Avoid crowds that limit the ability to maintain physical distance.
  • Even if you’re going as Michael Myers or Jason, you still need to wear a cloth mask that covers your face and nose as well.
  • Our safety and health rules are still in place on Halloween, and will be enforced.

You can find a list of Halloween activities here. For those in on-campus housing, each residence hall will host Halloween activities.

The fight against COVID isn’t over yet, and we need to stick with the habits that have brought us this far. Please use your common sense and continue to take care.

Flu shots

Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to avoid getting the flu and to Keep each other Safe. And it’s especially important to be vaccinated against the flu this year to avoid the need for temporary isolation, additional testing, and to reduce strain on health systems that may see a resurgence of COVID. We strongly encourage you to get a shot promptly.

Flu shots are covered by both employee and student health plans. Students can make an appointment to get a flu shot on-campus here; for students in residence, we will be hosting flu shot clinics in residence during the month of November. Students should also look to pharmacies as a resource for getting flu shots.

Faculty and employees are encouraged to contact their primary care physician or local in-network pharmacy to receive a flu vaccine; individuals covered by an NYU UnitedHealthcare plan can find an in-network pharmacy to receive a flu vaccine at no cost. You can also find locations for flu shots near your zip code at this link.

Additional child-care help for faculty and staff

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed burdens on many working families in our community. In response, we are pleased to announce the COVID-19 Child Care Grant to provide temporary support of up to $1,800 for families at NYU who are full-time faculty and employees facing new or increased costs in child-care expenses due to COVID-19-related child-care/school disruptions or closures. All eligibility criteria, allowable expenses, application link, and more can be found on the Work-Family Child Supports for Faculty and Work-Family Child Supports for Employees pages.

We know it won’t solve every problem, but we hope it will help.

Student life — providing some opportunities for in-person hanging out

Students have been clear — they would like some more opportunities to simply hang out with friends, safely. We have been slowly and carefully reopening lounge space in residence halls. And next week we will be announcing a new program to book empty classrooms and other academic spaces to meet in a physically distanced manner with friends, fellow club members, study groups as well as spiritual life and other small meetings. All of these small group meeting/meet-up spaces will be on a reservation basis, and are subject to supervision to ensure safety rules are being followed; violations will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

Campus life — in corpore sano

Getting Some Exercise

Beginning November 4, we expect to be able to reopen the Palladium Athletic Facility and the Brooklyn Athletic Facility in accordance with NYS and NYC guidance and at greatly reduced levels of occupancy to enable students in NYC to work out on an individualized basis. We will be proceeding with great caution. For more information, please visit this link.

Athletic Competition

Our NCAA athletic conference, the UAA, has decided to cancel athletic competition for winter as well. NYU will follow suit and cancel our winter varsity intercollegiate sports; a decision regarding whether spring varsity sports will move forward will come after the New Year. In addition, we will cancel intramural and club sports for the spring semester.

Commuters from CT, NJ, and PA

In recent weeks, positivity rates for Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have climbed steeply. New York State now advises, to the extent practical, that non-essential travel to or from these states be minimized or eliminated. Accordingly, schools or units with employees traveling to or from these states — other than those teaching in-person courses or fulfilling another essential campus role — should work with those employees to perform their work remotely where possible for the time being.

However, in making these decisions please keep in mind:

  • The need to continue to provide support services to our on-campus community
  • Employees performing services deemed essential, including employees supporting testing kit distribution, should continue to report to campus

Important recent communications

Daylight Savings Time

You get an extra hour of sleep this weekend. Don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night into Sunday.

Keep each other Safe