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N.Y.U. has a bone to pick with Thanksgiving travelers

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | N.Y.U. is telling its students not to be turkeys and risk spreading COVID-19.

On Nov. 11, Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, the leader of New York University’s COVID-19 Prevention and Response Team, issued a precautionary notice to the school’s community.

With COVID infection rates rising and only 10 class days left between Thanksgiving and the fall semester’s end, Ciotoli said N.Y.U. is recommending two options: either stay here — or go home but don’t come back until next semester.

As the notice put it:

  • Stay where you are and forego traveling for Thanksgiving, celebrating virtually or with the people with whom you are currently living; or
  • If you are a student and do choose to go home, stay there until the start of the spring semester.

N.Y.U. has also been stepping up coronavirus testing before the holiday. Everyone with regular campus access was told they must be tested, regardless of their Thanksgiving plans.

Students had the option of testing in a tent N.Y.U. has set up for the purpose or doing a self-administered saliva test.

“So, next week (Nov. 16 – 20), the week before Thanksgiving, everyone with regular campus access must be tested, regardless of your plans — and even if it is not your usual week to be tested,” the notice said. “Students in residence halls should use the Binx saliva test kits, as they normally would. Other students as well as employees can either pick up and return a saliva kit, or make an appointment to be tested at the tent on Gould Plaza.”

In turn, after Thanksgiving, everyone — students, faculty, staff and administrators — with regular campus access must undergo mandatory testing again during Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 if they intend to be on campus again before winter break.

Anyone returning to campus who spent more than 24 hours in a state noncontiguous to New York will be required to quarantine for 14 days, following New York State guidelines. The exception is if a person receives negative test results both within three days before returning and on the fourth day of quarantining after returning to New York, plus gets cleared in writing by N.Y.U.’s COVID-19 Prevention and Response Team.

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