NEW YORK — NYU on Wednesday “strongly encouraged” faculty members to hold final exams online and canceled nonessential, non-academic gatherings and events amid a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the city.
One hundred and seventy-six people were admitted to New York City hospitals with suspected COVID-19 cases on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his briefing Wednesday morning, the highest figure since the spring and a 72.5% increase since Nov. 30.
What You Need To Know
- NYU on Wednesday “strongly encouraged” faculty members to hold final exams online and canceled nonessential, non-academic gatherings and events amid a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the city
- The school has seen “considerable acceleration in the rate of new cases in [the] community,” officials said
- Mayor Bill de Blasio called the city's most recent seven-day COVID-19 case average a "wakeup call" that necessitated "doubling down on vaccination"
- NYU's announcement came a day after Cornell University announced that it would move its final exams online and cancel in-person events
The five boroughs also reported a seven-day average of 3,103 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, de Blasio said, calling that figure a “wakeup call” that necessitated “doubling down on vaccination.”
Between Dec. 5 and Dec. 11, 13.1% of the new COVID-19 cases reported in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were omicron cases, preliminary Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data that included “Nowcast” estimates showed.
The CDC says its "Nowcast" is "a model that estimates more recent proportions of circulating variants and enables timely public health action."
With NYU’s own infection statistics showing a “considerable acceleration in the rate of new cases in [the] community,” University Provost Katherine Fleming, Executive Vice President Martin Dorph and Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, who leads the school’s COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team, outlined new virus-related guidelines in a letter addressed to students and faculty.
“It’s not a cause for alarm, but it is a cause for concern, caution and appropriate actions,” they wrote. “Our foremost priority is the health and well-being of NYU community members.”
“With that as a foundation and guide, our academic priority is to ensure that the academic progress of our students is maintained, and crucial end of semester assessments (examinations, papers, etc.) can be smoothly and successfully completed,” they added.
In addition to advising faculty members to move final exams and assessments online “no later than” Wednesday evening, the new guidance required “discretionary, non-essential, non-academic gatherings and events” to be canceled “immediately.”
The school also temporarily barred the use of residence hall lounges, common spaces and athletic and recreational facilities and “strongly urged” students to dine outside and sit at least six feet apart while eating.
NYU issued its new guidelines a day after Cornell University announced that it would move its final exams online and cancel in-person events after seeing a “significant number” of cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 on campus.
Fordham University on Tuesday, meanwhile, said that it would require students, faculty and staff members returning for the spring 2022 semester to get COVID-19 booster shots.