TO: NYU STUDENTS

FROM: Marc Wais, Sr. Vice President for Student Affairs
Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, Executive Lead, COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team and Assoc. Vice President for Student Health

Date: July 30, 2020

We hope that you and all the people in your life are safe and healthy and coping well. The well-being of you, our students, is very much on our minds. Maintaining your safety and the health of everyone in the NYU community in the coming academic year is a mutual responsibility; we must all work together to keep each other safe.

We have important information to convey to you about testing and quarantining.

Key Take-Aways

  • All students coming from or having spent time in the 14 days prior to departure in states designated by NY State (in conjunction with NJ and CT) as “restricted” or coming from international points of departure must arrive on August 18-19 and must quarantine in New York for two weeks before entering any NYU academic or administrative buildings.
    • For those in undergraduate housing, we will open the residence halls early (August 18-19) and deliver two meals per day at no additional cost.
  • We strongly recommend that students coming from outside the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) but not from restricted states also arrive on August 18-19 and quarantine for two weeks.
  • We strongly recommend that students coming from outside the tri-state area be tested before beginning their travel to New York.
  • All students arriving early from outside the tri-state area must be tested within 24 hours of arrival, and then will be tested again 7-10 days later.
  • Students from the tri-state area must be tested and submit the results no more than 14 days before they plan to first enter any NYU academic or administrative building.

Introduction

We have finalized our detailed testing procedures for the coming year, and we are writing you with important information about New York State’s mandate for quarantining and guidance for testing. The testing program and procedures below refer to COVID-19 diagnostic PCR tests (tests designed to detect the presence of COVID-19 infection), not antibody tests.

There are significant differences in procedures for those who spend the 14-day period prior to arrival in the tri-state area and those who have spent any part of the 14-day period prior to arrival outside the tri-state area.

All students coming from or who have spent any time within the two weeks prior to arrival to New York in a state designated as restricted by New York State or are coming into the US from abroad must 1) arrive in New York City on August 18-19; 2) be tested within 24 hours after arrival (even if, as recommended, you were tested before starting your journey to NY); 3) quarantine for 14 days after arrival in New York; and 4) be tested again seven to 10 days after your first test when you arrived in NY.

Because the list of restricted states changes regularly, we strongly recommend that all students coming from or having spent time outside the tri-state area follow the same instructions as for those coming from restricted states — that way, you can ensure that you can begin in-person classes on time even if your state is later added to the list of restricted states.

Students who have continuously been in the tri-state area for the 14-day period prior to arrival do not need to quarantine; for those in NYU undergraduate housing, move-in will be August 31– September 1. Even if they have been in the tri-state area, they do need to have been tested and submit their results between August 18th and their arrival.

In addition to the foregoing, to gain entry to NYU academic and administrative buildings, students will need to complete the Daily COVID-19 Screener each day that they plan to enter NYU facilities.

Apart from the previously described testing, testing will also be required when students display symptoms or were close contacts of known positive cases, and as part of an ongoing surveillance program to test for the prevalence of the coronavirus in the community.

Testing is closely associated with quarantining, so we will cover that topic as well immediately below.

Please note: The Law School starts the fall term earlier than other NYU units. The Law School will reach out to its constituents separately to clarify dates that apply to the Law School community.

Quarantining and Early Arrival

The State of New York, in conjunction with New Jersey and Connecticut (the “tri-state area”), has issued a travel advisory designating a certain group of states as restricted. You can find the list here. The CDC has issued similar advisories for international travel.

The result is that all students coming from or having spent time in the 14 days prior to departure for NYU in any state on the restricted list or coming from any international point of departure are required to return to New York by August 18-19 and immediately begin a 14-day quarantine. For these students, the 14-day quarantine must, by law, be completed before students attend any in-person classes or enter NYU academic or administrative facilities; that is why we have set the earlier-than-usual date of August 18-19 for arrival. Moreover, if you want to avail yourself of our on-campus testing for your first post-arrival test, you should arrive by August 18-19.

Because the list of restricted states changes, we strongly recommend that any student who is coming from outside the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) follow the same protocol. That way, if your state is added, you will be able to begin classes on time; otherwise, your required 14-day quarantine may cause you to miss in-person classes.

While a two-week quarantine is required for those living in NYU housing who are coming from restricted states or from abroad, it is not required that they quarantine in an NYU residence hall. For those in NYU housing who choose to quarantine elsewhere in NY, move-in days will be August 31 – September 1, and they will be required to attest to having quarantined. You will receive information on scheduling a move-in time in the next few days.

We will be taking steps, in accord with NY State guidance, to prevent quarantining and non-quarantining students from sharing sleeping quarters in university-provided housing; this may involve temporary rooming assignments. Additional details and instructions will be forthcoming.

NYS Definition of a Quarantine

According to New York State Department of Health (PDF), an individual quarantining “must not be in public or otherwise leave the quarters that they have identified as suitable for their quarantine. This means that during quarantine, students will not be permitted to go to social meet-ups, religious gatherings, parks, restaurants, stores, or classes.

Undergraduate Housing Early Opening for Quarantining

This year, to assist those with assignments in the undergraduate housing system who are required to quarantine or who are following our strong recommendations, NYU will open the residence halls early so that students may quarantine there. The University will provide two delivered meals per day, and will have programming in place for those quarantining. The University will not charge any additional costs for this two week period or the meal service.

Because of the strictness of the New York State quarantine rules (see below) —which prohibit going out to the store, etc. — students should plan ahead in terms of supplies they may need in their room for the two-week quarantine period.

Move-in for those quarantining will be August 18–19; you will receive specific information about scheduling a move-in time in the next few days. Questions can be directed to the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services at housing@nyu.edu.

Quarantining for Students Who Do Not Live in NYU Housing

As was the case with those living in student housing, students living in off-campus housing who have spent time in restricted states or outside the US are also required by law to quarantine for 14 days. We recommend that students arrive by August 18-19 so that they can fully participate in campus activities, including in-person classes, on the first day of the semester. Students will be required to attest that they completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine – as well as submit a negative COVID-19 test — before coming to campus.

Again, we strongly recommend that those coming from or who have spent time in any state outside the tri-state area in the preceding 14 days follow the same protocols as those coming from restricted states or international points of departure. By doing so, they can avail themselves of University on-campus testing to meet required testing; if they come at other times, they may have to arrange for testing on their own.

Students Coming from the Tri-State Area

Students who have been in the tri-state area continuously for the 14-day period prior to their arrival at NYU — meaning no recent trips outside the tri-state areas — do not need to quarantine. Move-in days for this group of students will be August 31– September 1. You will receive specific information about scheduling a move-in time in the next few days.

Testing

We have taken steps to ensure the availability of testing capacity for our community. There will be no cost to NYU community members for participating in the testing program.

All students coming to NYU’s New York campus must be tested and receive a negative result before being allowed in class or in any academic or administrative building.

Students who are taking all classes remotely and are not in NYU housing and will not be coming to campus at all and will not be interacting with members of the NYU community do not need to be tested.

Test results must be submitted regardless of whether they are positive or negative. Those whose tests are positive should not go to classes or other activities, but instead self-isolate. A member of the NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team will review your test results and notify you when you are cleared to enter NYU academic and administrative buildings.

Details about location and scheduling will follow. If you have questions about testing, please contact covid19-testing@nyu.edu.

The How, When, and Where of Testing for Students Coming from Outside the Tri-State Area

When: Students coming from or who have spent time outside the tri-state area within the prior 14 days must be tested within 24 hours of their arrival in New York City, and then again 7 – 10 days later (during their mandatory quarantine period).

How and Where: Specific information on the on-campus location and scheduling of testing will be relayed in forthcoming communications and on the NYU Returns web hub.

Recommended: Pre-Arrival Testing for Students Coming from Outside the Tri-State Area

If you are coming from outside the tri-state area, we strongly recommend that you get tested BEFORE setting out for New York; that’s particularly true if you feel ill. That way, if you receive positive results, you can recover at home and avoid bringing the COVID-19 virus to New York.

Testing before you travel to NY (pre-arrival testing) does not exempt you from the required testing described elsewhere in this communication. Students should submit the bill for the pre-arrival testing to insurance; if students incur costs, the University will reimburse them (details on the reimbursement will be in a forthcoming communication and on the NYU Returns web hub).

Upload your results at nyu.edu/coronavirus/arrival-testing-students.

The How, When, and Where of Testing for Students Coming from the Tri-State Area

When: Students who have been in the tri-state area continuously for the previous 14 days must be tested no more 14 days before they first expect to enter any NYU academic or administrative building and submit their results. Students coming from the tri-state area may move in to the residence halls August 31 – September 1.

How and Where: Specific information on the location and scheduling of testing will be relayed in forthcoming communications and on the NYU Returns web hub.
Results should be submitted regardless of whether they are positive or negative.

A member of the NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team will review your results and notify you when you are cleared to enter NYU academic and administrative buildings. Those whose tests are positive should not go to classes or other activities, but instead self-isolate.

Symptomatic Testing & Contact Tracing

If you display any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell or taste, etc.) or have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must be promptly tested. Notify the COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team via this form, who will facilitate testing for you. If you require medical care (beyond testing), you can make an appointment with a Student Health Center clinician.

In the meantime, self-isolate: stay home, and don’t go to class, activities, or other places where people gather. Those found to have active infections will be contacted with instructions.

Ongoing Testing to Track COVID-19 Presence in the NYU Community

To check for the prevalence of COVID-19 within the NYU community, we will conduct several thousand tests per week throughout fall 2020.

Each week, a randomized sample of students and employees will be tested. Cooperation with this aspect of the testing program is required.

If you are selected to be tested, you will be notified by email with details of when and where you are to go.

Compliance with Safety and Health Rules

The University plans to strictly enforce the new safety and health rules we are putting in place for academic year 2020-2021. A great deal is at stake in your observing the rules conscientiously, including your own health; the health of faculty, other employees, and fellow students; and the progress made in New York to reduce the spread of COVID–19. Students who engage in repeated or egregious behaviors counter to these expectations may face formal disciplinary action through the Office of Student Conduct (or an appropriate University official). The University may utilize interim suspension and expedite the Student Conduct Procedures when addressing behavior that threatens the health and safety of others.

This is a moment of challenge for us all. To have a successful semester, we must all strictly abide by the new COVID-19 health and safety protocols — wearing a mask, keeping social distance, hand-washing, not coming to class if you feel sick, being tested, etc. Together, we help keep each other safe. Safety cannot simply be “imposed;” each of us has a hand in it, and a responsibility to one another now.

And what should you do when you encounter someone in an NYU building without a mask, or who isn’t adhering to physical distancing rules? If someone is not complying with our new safety and health protocols, we encourage you first to gently and peaceably urge them to act properly — donning a mask; maintaining physical distance, etc.

However, if the person persists in not complying or responds confrontationally, you should not pursue the matter face-to-face. Instead:

  • Report fellow student non-compliance by
  • Report non-compliance by faculty to the department chair or dean’s office.
  • Report non-compliance by administrators or staff to the school’s or unit’s HR officer

Conclusion

Thank you for your attention to this admittedly lengthy, but important communication.

In advance of and over the course of fall 2020, everyone will be tested at least once. Many will be tested two or more times. Our goals — to safely reassemble on campus for the fall, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to keep each other safe as we fulfill our academic mission — greatly rely on a strong testing program, such as this. We aim to make it as quick and convenient for you as possible.

To make all this work, your cooperation is greatly needed, and is much appreciated.

We are also sending communications on testing and quarantining to faculty, administrators, and staff. There are many similarities, but some differences; if you wish to read those communications, they will be posted on the NYU Returns web hub, which is regularly updated with important new COVID-19 related information. If you have questions about issues covered in this communication, you can email us.

Thanks. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Stay safe and well. We look forward to seeing many of you for the fall semester.