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Fall 2021 Covid Updates

During these unprecedented times, our prime concern is the safety and health of our community. This page provides helpful updates and resources on our institution's response to COVID-19.

Undergrad Academics

The Withdrawal date was moved up as part of a previously planned change to the 2020-21 academic calendar but was delayed to the 2021-22 academic calendar due to COVID. Our withdrawal deadlines are now in line and consistent with our peer institutions’ academic calendars.

We are introducing study days instead of reading week this year in preparation for finals. These days are completely non-instructional and allow students to prepare for their upcoming finals. This change allows our calendar to meet the required number of instructional hours as well as maximizing the full content of courses without impacting scheduled breaks in the semester.

YU offers a plethora of individualized supports for students to ensure maximum success. These include academic support and academic advising, support for students with disabilities, the counseling center, the writing center, peer tutoring and access to the Shevet Glaubach Center for Career Strategy and Professional Development.

COVID-19 Protocols

What does a student do if they test positive?

  • For a student who tests positive as a result of YU testing, the COVID team will automatically be alerted and direct the student to isolate.  The COVID team will begin appropriate contact tracing. 
  •  A student who tests positive as a result of non-YU testing should  immediately isolate and send their test results to covidstudentline@yu.edu. The COVID team will begin appropriate contact tracing after receipt of this email.  It is not sufficient for the student who tests positive off-campus to only alert their professor or advisor.  If a faculty member or advisor is told by a student about a positive off-campus test, they should instruct the student to send their test results to covidstudentline@yu.edu.
  •  A positive student in University housing may be relocated. 
  •  The student may return to school after a minimum of 10 days either from when their symptoms began, or, if unsure, from when their test was performed.  Isolation will not be shortened with a negative test – once someone receives a positive test they may not return to school for a minimum of 10 days.  In addition, in order to return to school: (a) Their symptoms must have improved by the 10th day, (b) They are without fever for 24 hours on the 10th day, and (c) They did not require any fever-reducing medications on the 10th day. 

What does an employee do if they test positive?

  • For an employee who tests positive as a result of YU testing, the COVID team will automatically be alerted and direct the employee to immediately leave campus and isolate as required.  The COVID team will begin appropriate contact tracing. 
  •  An employee who tests positive as a result of non-YU testing should  immediately leave campus and isolate, and send their test results to COVID_HR@yu.edu.  The COVID team will begin appropriate contact tracing after receipt of this email.  It is not sufficient for the employee who tests positive off-campus to only alert their supervisor.  If a supervisor is told by their employee about a positive off-campus test, they should instruct the employee to send their test results to COVID_HR@yu.edu.
  •  The employee may return to work after a minimum of 10 days either from when their symptoms began, or, if unsure, from when their test was performed.  Isolation will not be shortened with a negative test – once someone receives a positive test they may not return to work for a minimum of 10 days.  In addition, in order to return to work: (a) Their symptoms must have improved by the 10th day, (b) They are without fever for 24 hours on the 10th day, and (c) They did not require any fever-reducing medications on the 10th day. 

How should faculty treat students who have – or may have – COVID:

Faculty should:

  •  Encourage students who have symptoms to not come to class. 
  •  Provide appropriate academic support to students who temporarily cannot participate in in-person classes due to symptoms or isolation/quarantine, bearing in mind that the absence may be more extended than is usually the case when a student is ill.
  • Reassure students that absences due to symptoms or isolation/quarantine will not have a negative academic impact.

Faculty should not:

  • Cancel class or transition a class to remote instruction without the prior approval of their Dean.
  • Email a class or make announcements about a case or make health recommendations related to testing, quarantine, isolation, or cleaning.

  • When informed of a positive case, the COVID team will ask the individual who tested positive about their interactions with the campus community – both on and off campus - during the time they may have been infectious (generally the time period beginning 48 hours before the individual tested positive or began having symptoms). The COVID team would then notify members of the campus community who are deemed to be “close contacts” (generally been within 6 feet of the positive individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period while the positive individual was infectious).
  • Close contacts who are fully-vaccinated do not need to quarantine if they don’t have any symptoms, and are permitted to continue to come to campus.  They should get tested 3-5 days after the exposure – even if they don’t have symptoms – and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure (or until their test is negative).  Fully-vaccinated individuals who develop symptoms after exposure should immediately isolate and get tested.
  • Close contacts who had COVID within the prior 90 days (and recovered) do not need to quarantine if they don’t have any symptoms, and are permitted to continue to come to campus.  They should wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days after exposure and self-monitor for symptoms.  If they develop new symptoms, they should consult their healthcare provider for testing recommendations, and they should not come to campus until cleared by their healthcare provider.   
  • Close contacts who are not fully-vaccinated must quarantine for at least 10-14 days and are not permitted to come to school/work.  They should get tested immediately.  If the test is negative, they should get tested again 5-7 days after the exposure, and test again if they develop symptoms.  Quarantine will not be shortened with a negative test – an unvaccinated close contact must quarantine for a minimum of 10-14 days.
  • A student in University housing who must quarantine may be relocated.
  • Please bear in mind that, given our high vaccination rates and other safety measures, most people who receive a notification of a classroom case are not close contacts nor at increased risk for COVID-19 infection and, therefore, do not need to follow additional safety protocols. This is true even if these individuals in the same class have been in the same space as a COVID-positive student or faculty/staff member during the period when they were infectious. For example, being in a class with a COVID-positive person does not automatically make everyone else in the class a close contact and does not require that the class in turn move to remote instruction, nor does it mean that students in the classroom can decide that they want to refrain from attending in-person instruction. We endeavor to share classroom notifications in an effort to provide transparency, but these are NOT notifications of being a close contact.

Employee Policies

The University expects all employees who are working on campus to be fully vaccinated.  Limited exemptions may be accommodated.  Requests will be reviewed by the Covid Team. 

We expect to continue random mandatory testing of our employees. 

Please check every day for the following symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Do not come to campus if you have any of these symptoms.  Contact your medical provider immediately for further instructions.

We have recently updated the University Temporary Travel Policy and expect to consider additional changes consistent with applicable health and medical guidance. The policy is available here: Temporary Travel Restriction Policy (00057113).PDF (yu.edu) 

We will expect student-facing offices to have an in-person presence during normal business hours. Other departments will also have an in-person presence and may allow partial remote work arrangements if it is productive for the department’s needs. Employees should consult with their department heads or supervisors to determine the fall work schedule.

Everyone will be required to wear masks on campus (except when they are alone in their private offices).  We understand that mask wearing can be challenging, but we are putting this in place at the beginning of the fall semester to ensure that we have a healthy and successful year and as required by applicable guidance.  We will continue to monitor the infection rates on campus as well as in NYC and will adjust our protocols as appropriate and in accordance with NY State and NY City requirements.

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