Important and Time-Sensitive Information: Required Testing (Employees)
TO: NYU Employees
FROM: Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, Executive Lead, NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team
DATE: September 11, 2020
As I indicated in my September 3rd email, all members of the NYU community wishing to maintain access to NYU buildings must participate in the ongoing COVID-19 testing program.
All NYU employees are required to get tested for COVID-19 every other week (at a minimum) with the first cohort beginning next week. This is true regardless of when you had your last test. Below are details about when and how to get tested.
- NYU is starting its ongoing COVID-19 testing for employees next week. Your participation is required.
- Employees will be tested every other week
- One cohort will be tested one week, the other cohort the next week, and so on. You will be reminded in a separate email as to when your cohort is scheduled to test.
- Tests can be picked up and dropped off at the NYU locations listed below
- Saliva tests can be self-administered; however, it is important you follow the instructions for activating the tests, doing the tests, and returning the tests promptly
Type of COVID-19 Test
Given the scale of this effort, we will be using self-collected saliva samples, a broadly used method for many kinds of infection testing, and approved by the FDA for COVID-19 testing.
Self-collected saliva samples, which are produced by spitting your saliva sample into a test kit, can be done at home.
Your cooperation in the ongoing testing program is imperative and will require that you set aside a short time every two weeks to provide a saliva sample to be tested for the benefit of your own health and that of the broader NYU and NYC community.
Location And Timing For Picking Up And Returning Test Kits
- Employees whose Net ID begins with K- Z should pick up and return your test the week of September 14 - 18, and every other week thereafter.
- Employees whose Net ID begins with A - J should pick up and return your test the week of September 21 - 25, and every other week thereafter.
Starting Monday, September 14, test kits will be available for you to pick up at a number of locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn (see below). When you have activated your kit and collected your sample, you may return the test kit to any pick-up/drop-off location.
The pick-up/drop-off locations will be open Monday - Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Tests should be returned on the same day that you activate your kit and produce your saliva sample.
Employees may use the following pick-up/drop-off locations in Manhattan:
- Skirball Center for the Performing Arts*, 566 LaGuardia Pl., Manhattan
- 2 Washington Square Village* (lobby), Manhattan
- Kimmel Center for University Life, 60 Washington Square South (2nd Floor), Manhattan
- Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, Manhattan
- Bonomi Family Admissions Center, 27 West 4th St., Manhattan
- StudentLink Center, 383 Lafayette St., Manhattan
* Two pick-up and drop-off locations — 2 Washington Square Village and the Skirball Center — have been set aside for exclusive use by NYU employees.
SPS employees may use the following pick-up/drop-off locations open from 10:00 am-6:00 pm:
- 7 East 12th St., Manhattan
- Midtown Center, 11 West 42nd St., Manhattan
- Woolworth Building, 15 Barclay St., Manhattan
College of Dentistry and Meyers College of Nursing employees may use the following pick-up/drop-off location:
- 345 East 24th St., Manhattan
Employees of the Institute of Fine Arts and Institute for the Study of the Ancient World can pick up kits from their respective locations.
Tandon employees may use the following pick-up/drop-off location in Brooklyn:
- 6 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn
These times and locations are subject to change. Please be sure to check here for the most up-to-date pick-up/drop-off locations and times.
Kit Activation And Sample Collection
When you pick up your collection kit you must first activate your test kit and register your account. You can do this from your mobile phone, tablet or desktop.
Please review these helpful instructions for producing your sample. A few key important considerations:
- As spitting could conceivably transmit coronavirus, please produce your saliva sample when you are not in the company of others (i.e., when you are alone in a room at home).
- It is also important that you produce your sample only when you have not had anything to eat or drink in the prior 30 minutes. Do it before having coffee, eating breakfast, or brushing your teeth – or wait until a period of the day when you haven’t consumed anything in the prior 30 minutes.
- You should produce your sample (i.e., spit in the kit) on the same day that you will be dropping the sample off (e.g., in the morning before you come to campus).
Notification of Results
You will have access to your results through the lab’s patient portal, to which you will have established access to activate your test kit. If the results are negative, you can carry on as usual. If you receive a positive test result (meaning your tests indicate that you are infected with COVID-19), you should take the following actions:
- Do not come to work; stay home. Isolate yourself away from others as much as possible. If you share common spaces with other people, wear your face covering and separate yourself as much as possible.
- The NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team will reach out to you to discuss appropriate protocols; you must follow all instructions closely.
Faculty and staff who need medical care should contact their own medical providers.
- Employees should advise their supervisor, manager, department chair, or dean’s office that they are not permitted to report to work onsite until they are cleared by the NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team.
- Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911 immediately to access Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Test results will be automatically transmitted to the NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team. You should not submit these results through the pre-arrival testing portals, as you may have done previously.
Frequency of Testing
You will be expected to test every other week (at a minimum) and will be given a reminder of when you are required to test.
Participation is Mandatory
Participation in the ongoing testing process is mandatory. It is a vital part of the measures we are taking to keep each other safe. Those who do not observe the requirements of the testing programs will have their NYU ID cards deactivated and will not be able to enter NYU buildings.
Aggregated community data on testing and results from the ongoing testing program — along with all other test submissions — will be updated at least weekly on the status page of the NYU Returns web hub.
What if I Don't Plan On Being On Campus Often?
Generally speaking, we would rather test more than less — it helps us monitor the health of the University community. And if you are going to be on campus or regularly interacting in-person with other members of the NYU community, we want you to be tested.
That said, we recognize that many employees may continue to telework during fall 2020, or may be on campus only intermittently, so picking up and dropping off tests may be an issue. Please complete this form if you are not able to get to campus at least every two weeks and therefore are not able to pick up a COVID-19 testing kit on campus, produce a specimen at home (by spitting into the kit), and return your testing kit at a drop off location on-campus.
A Word on the Labeling of Kits
You may notice that the labeling on the kits says “For Research Use Only / Not for use in diagnostic procedures.” The presence of this language on the kits dates back to when the lab applied to FDA for authorization for the test, which it received. Rest assured, the test is valid, reliable, and — most importantly — authorized for diagnostic use.
The lab is working on changing the wording on the packaging for future test kits.
Support and Questions
For questions related to your collection kit contents, setting up your account, activating your kit through the online portal, and using the kits, contact Binx customer support from 6am to 10pm Eastern seven days each week via: chat icon, email at email@example.com, or phone at (844) 692-4691.
For questions about pickup and drop-off procedures, NYU testing policies, ID card activations/deactivations, or anything specific to the university and/or testing policies, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and commitment to your health and safety and to those around you.