Safety and Health
In academic year 2020-2021, NYU's decision-making will be guided, first and foremost, by the health and safety of the NYU community. Since spring, the University has been developing an evidence-informed, multilayered public health strategy to reduce the risks to our community posed by COVID-19.
No single intervention will prevent the spread of COVID-19. But a strategy to implement "layers of safety" can decrease the risk.
Our health strategy also emphasizes the importance of individual and collective responsibility. We must recognize that in addition to steps the University takes – testing, the required daily symptom check, contract tracing, restrictions on travel, enhanced cleaning, etc. – each student, faculty member, staff member, and administrator makes a significant impact on the well-being of the entire NYU community by wearing a mask, by complying with physical distancing, and by practicing good hand hygiene.
We are in this together, and together we must keep each other safe.
Academic Year 2020-2021’s Health Protocols: Everyday Basics
We all do our part, every day, to keep each other safe.
With care and with a multilayered set of health and safety standards and requirements, the risks of COVID-19 can be reduced, even if they cannot be eliminated. But the developments of late June and early July—when a number of states had to backtrack on easing restrictions—should be a lesson to us.
The success of NYU's efforts to reconvene will depend on all of us embracing a sense of mutual responsibility: that it is not simply a matter of each of us being responsible for oneself, or the University being responsible, but that we each have a responsibility to one another. When you wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, practice hand hygiene, stay home when feeling sick, it is not just for your sake, but for the well-being of your friends, your classmates, your teachers, your students, and your colleagues.
Conscientious adherence to the rules is vital. We are a large community, and no small number of our members fall in categories that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19's worst impacts. Even if it means a bit more personal inconvenience, or it costs a bit more time, even if we think some of the precautions are unnecessary, we all have a personal and collective duty to follow the rules until a vaccine or an effective therapy is in place.
Enhancing our health comes with keeping each other safe.
All the members of our NYU community are required to wear face coverings that cover your nose and mouth when on NYU property or in NYU facilities, and you are strongly encouraged to wear them at all times when outside of your home. The University is procuring a substantial supply of masks, but encourages all students, faculty, researchers, and employees to have and use your own face coverings or masks.
Daily COVID-19 Screener
Members of the NYU community will be required to regularly complete a brief questionnaire, called the Daily COVID-19 Screener for Campus Access, via NYU’s smartphone app or an accessible computer to be authorized to enter NYU facilities.
NYU's testing plan, which is being finalized, will include elements for testing before returning to campus, once on campus, for those exhibiting symptoms or who have been in contact with a confirmed case, and ongoing testing for general coronavirus surveillance purposes.
Washing your hands – or using an appropriate alcohol-based hand sanitizer – is a simple, safe, and effective tool against the spread of the coronavirus. For fall 2020, NYU will be adding hand sanitizing stations around campus.
It is important to maintain a distance of 6 ft (2 m) from others. NYU is reconfiguring classrooms, labs, hallways, and building entrances and exits to help support physical distancing.
Quarantine and Isolation
If you test positive for COVID-19 or if you have been evaluated as being at risk for contracting COVID-19 you will be expected to follow these actions.
Enhanced Building Cleaning
With the return to campus, the University will be implementing enhanced cleaning with special attention to "high touch" surfaces – door hardware, elevator panels, banisters, etc.
Building HVAC Systems
NYU is taking steps to reduce the likelihood of buildings' air handling systems spreading COVID-19 by increasing fresh air flow and reducing recirculated air.
The Student Health Center will continue to provide clinical care for NYU students with symptoms of COVID-19 and provide individual-level clinical advice for students who are concerned about exposure to someone with COVID-19.
Faculty and Staff
While the University’s COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team will issue guidelines affecting faculty and staff and may contact employees as a result of tracing, faculty and staff should consult with their personal medical providers if they become symptomatic or concerned about exposure.
The NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team is a resource for faculty, staff, and students. It is the principal health unit, supporting NYU’s efforts to reduce transmission of COVID-19 infection within the NYU community. Its function is to:
- Educate the NYU community about COVID-19
- Facilitate COVID-19 diagnostic testing and reporting of diagnostic test results
- Lead NYU’s contact tracing initiative which encompasses:
- identification of new cases
- tracing close contacts of individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19
- coordination of support for individuals with COVID-19 or close contacts
initiating quarantine/isolation protocols
- coordination with the New York City and New York State Departments of Health
- Provide public health guidance to inform effective University policies and practices
- Track and communicate campus-level COVID-19 infection trends
Notify the COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team if you:
- Have symptoms of COVID-19
- Were diagnosed with COVID-19
– or –
- Were in close contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19
For questions about symptoms or exposure, students should contact the Student Health Center and employees should contact their medical provider.
We recognize that COVID-19's effects have been disparate, and its impacts on poor communities and communities of color have been especially painful. In our response to the coronavius, NYU is committed to mitigating those impacts as well as ensuring no one in our community is ostracized, bullied, or mistreated due to ignorance around this disease. If any member of our community believes they have experienced harassment or discrimination, we encourage them to report concerns to the Bias Response Line.