NYFA COVID-19 Health and Campus Guidelines and Information - Updated: September 13, 2021, 2:00pm Click here for more information

NYFA COVID-19 Health and Campus Guidelines and Information

 
 

NYFA COVID-19 Health and Campus Guidelines and Information - ALL NYFA CAMPUSES

Updated Hub Content for August 18, 2021, 5:30pm
 

Dear NYFA Community,

NYFA strives to support our communities by tracking information on COVID-19 and basing our response plans on emerging scientific discoveries, as well as daily reviews of the health and travel advisories published by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health departments. The health and wellness of our communities are our deepest concern and the safety of NYFA students, faculty and staff is paramount.

The HUB is NYFA’s platform for offering our community best practice guidance. We hope that the information we share helps members of our community monitor their health, access appropriate health care as needed, and motivates all to abide by the public health directives designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our respective communities. We also hope that the information presented below helps our communities engage, persevere, and cope effectively with the many personal challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health guidelines noted below have been revised according to recent advisories published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State and Local Public Health Departments. The information presented on coping with COVID-19 related stress is gleaned from National Association of Mental Health (NAMI), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), American Psychological Association (APA) and American Psychiatric Association (APA) publications.

Please read carefully the  revised guidelines  detailed below, as presented in a Q&A format.

Prevention and Safety

Get vaccinated against COVID-19!  The F.D.A. and W.H.O. approved COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing severe disease and death upon exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. For detailed information on COVID-19 vaccines and what you can do safely once you are fully vaccinated, please see the Getting Vaccinated section below and CDC guidelines
 
If you are not fully vaccinated, it is imperative that you follow the personal hygiene strategies and physical distancing strategies below, recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). For  the fully vaccinated, practicing good personal hygiene, such as frequent hand-washing, is best practice.   However, if you are fully vaccinated, wearing masks or practicing physical distancing when you are in contact with small groups of fully vaccinated individuals, outdoors and indoors, is not needed. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It is especially important to wash hands thoroughly before eating or preparing food, after using the restroom, after leaving a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, after handling your face covering (mask, and after caring for someone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue (or sleeve) and throw the tissue in a lined trashcan.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arms’ lengths) from other people.
  • Wear a 3 layer cloth facial covering (mask) that covers your nose, mouth and chin when around others
  • Monitor your health more closely than usual for cold or flu symptoms.
  • Avoid shaking hands and other close physical greetings with friends and family.
  • Avoid crowds and large gatherings.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19!   For details on how to secure a COVID-19 vaccine, see the Getting Vaccinated section below.
  • If you have family or friends who are older adults (over age 60), have chronic medical conditions (heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, cancer, asthma) or a weakened immune system, do not visit them if you feel sick or If you feel well. Stay home and keep your loved ones safe.
  • If you are an older adult and/or you smoke/vape, have chronic medical conditions (heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, cancer, asthma) or a weakened immune system, or if you share a home with an older adult or a person who has chronic medical condition or weakened immune system, be vigilant in regard to the physical distancing and personal hygiene directives noted above. Stay home, place online orders for food and groceries or enlist the help of friends, neighbors or community organizations assisting those most vulnerable to severe illness.  Please consult the  CDC list of individuals at risk for severe illness for additional information on vulnerable individuals and protecting vulnerable from illness.
  • Avoid public transportation. If travel is essential and you have no other means for travel, do not board crowded trains or buses.
  • Wear a mask or 3 layer cloth facial covering whenever you leave the home.
  • For additional information on how to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19, please review the  CDC Directives for Protecting Yourself From Getting Sick
  • Research, as cited in a recent  CDC Scientific Brief strongly supports community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Wearing multi-layer cloth masks not only block the release of exhaled respiratory droplets (and the virus particles they may contain) into the environment.  Wearing multi-layer mask also reduce the wearers’ exposure to infectious fine droplets. 
  • The CDC and public health departments are advising that 3 layer cloth facial covering be worn whenever  leaving the home for essential travel, and especially when frequenting groceries and pharmacies,  where maintaining a 6 foot distance may not always be possible.  For more detailed instruction please refer to  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html
  • Since approximately 40% of individuals infected with the coronavirus don’t have symptoms and because spread can occur days before symptoms emerge, wearing a mask is considered best practice in preventing transmission.
  • NYFA will be distributing to all students and employees one multilayer reusable cloth mask with a PM 2.5 disposable filter.  Students and employees may also wear alternative  3-layer cloth masks of comparable quality. Though everyone learning and teaching and working on-campus must wear a mask at all times. 

It’s important to be informed of this new illness and seek medical assistance should you observe any of the symptoms noted below.

The illness previously called,  Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome (PIMS), has been renamed by the CDC  https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/HAN00427.asp  It is now called  Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and its symptoms include the following:

  • Persistent fever
  • Irritability or sluggishness
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis (red or pink eye)
  • Enlarged lymph node “gland” o one side of the neck
  • Red cracked lips or red tongue
  • Swollen hands and feet

This condition is defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association as rare and uncommon. However, if an infant, child, or teenager is experiencing a combination of the symptoms noted above, and the infant, child and teenager has likely been exposed to COVID-19, seeking immediate medical assistance is highly recommended.

Please know that infants, children, and teenagers with and without chronic medical conditions are susceptible to this rare but serious illness.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Yes!

State Public Health Departments advise the following:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, it’s important to get tested and isolate until you know your results.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated and If you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, get tested, stay home and away from others for 10 days (self-quarantine), and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. 
  • If you are fully vaccinated and if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, get a RT-PCR test 3-5 days after your last day of exposure to the infected person, restrict social activities for 14 days since last day of exposure, monitor your symptoms for 14 days after your last day of exposure.
  • If you are a health care worker, an essential worker and/or a worker who has in-person contact with people as part of your job you should get tested once per month.

If you go to a test site run by New York, California and Florida States, you will not be charged for your test.

If you go to a test site operated by private companies including pharmacies and medical practices or not-for-profit organizations, check with the testing site and/or your insurer to make sure there isn’t a fee for the test.

If you are uninsured, you are advised to ask the testing site if you will be responsible for any fees associated with your test. Under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPHCEA), and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES), a testing site can receive reimbursement for fees associated with testing uninsured individuals.

CLICK HERE to visit NYFA’s COVID-19 Testing web page on the NYFA website for all information on NYFA’s COVID-19 Testing Protocol and Requirements.

NYFA requires all students and employees to get a RT-PCR diagnostic COVID-19 test within 7 days of attending their first day of in-person class or activity. Students/employees must submit their negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result reports to their COVID-19 Team Administrators before gaining entry to their first in-person class or activity.

Students/employees not present on campus and/or not attending NYFA activities for 4 weeks or longer are required to submit negative RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic test results to their COVID-19 Team Administrators before gaining entry a gain to an in-person class or activity.  In other words, submitting an initial negative RT-COVID-19 diagnostic test result at the beginning of the semester does not validate re-entry to campus and in-person classes or activities if a student/employee has not been present on campus, or participating in NYFA activities, for four weeks or longer.  

Also, each campus has specific requirements for testing prior to production. Students and employees are required to know and follow campus-specific production protocols.

Students and employees experiencing one or more symptoms related to COVID-19, are also required to get a RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic test and submit a negative test result to be allowed to participate in any in-person NYFA class or activity.

Lastly, NYFA requires all unvaccinated NYFA students and employees to participate in weekly on-campus surveillance testing.

Please see below for lists of nearby testing sites:

Los Angeles Campus

Curative COVID-19 Testing Sites

LA County COVID-19 Testing Sites

Same Day Testing **Free with Insurance**

 

New York Campus

NYC Free COVID-19 Testing Sites

NYC COVID-19 Testing Site Locator- Fees may apply for those  who do not have active health insurance coverage (NYFASHIP coverage for new Spring 2021 students begins 1/17/2021) or those who do not have symptoms nor have been exposed to COVID-19. 

 

South Beach Campus

Miami Dade County Free COVID-19 Testing Sites

Closest Free Testing Site Near Campus: Miami Beach Community Health Center, 710 Alton Rd,Miami Beach, FL

(305) 538-8835 (indicate you are calling for the 710 Alton Rd location).  This location is offering free walk-in RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic tests (no appointment necessary). Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-1pm.

For additional testing sites, click here.

Last week, I tested positive during surveillance testing on campus.  I was directed by the COVID-19 Test Administrator to self-isolate for 10 days.   I do not have any symptoms and I have been complying with all health and safety protocols.  Isn’t it possible that my test was a false positive? Can’t I be retested? 

We define a false positive as a test result that incorrectly indicates that a particular condition or attribute is present. By that definition, no, your test was almost certainly not a false positive. The Binx PCR test used by NYFA, is very  unlikely to return a false positive . If the test comes back positive, we can be sure that it has correctly detected genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19.  

The Binx RT-PCR tests detect very small amounts of viral particles contained in the specimens analyzed.   Tests you may receive at other testing sites may have higher thresholds for reporting positive results. So, if you were to seek RT-PCR testing at a local testing site in your campus region, the result reported may be negative --either because you are carrying the same viral load, but the viral load is too small to be detected by the repeat RT-PCR test OR by the time your second test was administered, your viral load decreased and also was not strong enough to trigger a positive test result.  

NYFA does not support retesting after an asymptomatic individual receives a positive RT-PCR COVID-19 test result.   Given the new variants and what we yet know about their transmissibility and potential to cause more severe illness, NYFA would rather err on the side of caution than put our community at risk than override any positive test result reported.

Public health authorities consider a positive RT-PCR test to be a true positive.  A subsequent negative test would not change the requirement for isolation. This is consistent with the CDC’s  current estimate  that 40 percent of infected individuals are asymptomatic but still able to spread the virus. 

The RT-PCR test result obtained from an individual’s sample represents their status from that sample on that day.

  • On subsequent days, individuals who test positive at their first tests can subsequently test negative on subsequent tests, as their infectivity status changes over time.

  • If the viral load is low an individual’s positive status can change from positive to negative over the course of just a few days. 

  • As different RT-PCR tests have different performance characteristics, it is possible for subsequent tests that are less sensitive to register negative results.  Tests that are very sensitive will report positive findings when viral loads are small and potentially not detected by RT-PCR tests that are less sensitive.

Please report your positive test result to your COVID-19 Team Administrator. Your COVID-19 Team Administrator will contact you to provide support and guidance.

 

All COVID-19 Team Administrators are trained to keep your information private and your test results are securely filed in accordance with CDC and OHSA privacy laws.  

 

At least 10 days. 

 

If you are:


Asymptomatic: Isolate for 10 days after the day you were tested and until cleared to participate in in-person classes or activities by your COVID-19 Team Administrator


Symptomatic: Isolate for at least 10 days after symptom onset and until you have been fever free for at least 24 hours and until most of your symptoms are significantly improved and when you have been cleared to participate in in-person classes and activities by your COVID-19 Team Administrator.


Severely ill: Isolate for at least 10 days and up to 20 days after symptom onset and until you are cleared to end isolation by your health care provider and until you are cleared to participate in in-person classes or activities by your COVID-19 Team Administrator

Feeling Sick

STAY HOME and call your health care provider, health care facility, or virtual health resource when you experience any  ONE  of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing/Shortness of Breath
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle of Body Aches
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • New Loss of Taste or Smell
  • Congestion or Runny Nose
  • Diarrhea

Other reported COVID-19 symptoms include: persistent cough with appetite loss/skipped meals, and other gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or vomiting. If you have any combination of these symptoms, or if you have any one of the bulleted symptoms noted above, stay home and seek guidance from a medical professional (see below for information on medical resources available in your area).

Rely on the directives you receive from your healthcare provider. You may be referred for testing. Or you may be directed to stay home and monitor your symptoms.   There is no treatment for mild symptoms of COVID-19.  Your mild symptoms should improve with rest, increased fluid intake, and over-the counter cold and flu medications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is recommended to relieve fever and discomfort.

Keep track of your symptoms.  Record the first day, each succeeding day, and the last day you experience each of your symptoms.  Tracking your symptoms will help you determine when it is safe for you to end self-isolation.

For additional information on COVID 19 symptoms, please consult the  CDC Symptom List.

Call 9.1.1 and disclose your symptoms if you develop any of the following emergency warning signs of COVID-19:

  • Gasping for air or cannot talk without catching breath (extremely difficult breathing)
  • Blue-colored lips or face
  • Severe and constant pain or pressure in chest
  • Severe and constant dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Acting confused (new or worsening)
  • Unconscious or very difficult to wake up
  • Slurred speech (new or worsening)
  • New seizure or seizures that won’t stop

Everyone is at risk for getting COVID-19, the disease by a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Even young people can get seriously ill or die if they contract the virus.

Those people most at risk for severe illness include older adults, individuals with weakened immune systems, and persons with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, lung, heart and kidney disease.

The CDC offers a thorough and detailed  list of those at greatest risk for severe illness.

Getting the Medical Care & Treatment You May Need

Call ahead before visiting a doctor’s office or medical facility.

If you do not have a primary care physician, you may call and seek care at an urgent medical care facility located in close proximity to your home or campus. The urgent care facilities will ask you questions and either direct you to go home, self-isolate and monitor your symptoms, direct you to a testing facility, or test you for the flu or COVID-19 on site. Please closely adhere to all medical directives you receive. If you need help understanding or following medical directives, please contact a NYFA staff person for assistance (see below for NYFA Resources). The Urgent Care Facilities located near each campus are noted below. These facilities all accept NYFASHIP insurance.

New York:
CityMD
138 Fulton Street
New York,  NY 10038
212.271.4896
Monday-Friday: 8am-8pm
Sat-Sun: 9am-5pm

CItyMD: multiple locations throughout NYC

Los Angeles:
Burbank Urgent Care
3413 Pacific Ave. #110
Burbank, CA  91505
818-953-4408

South Beach:
Baptist Health Urgent Care
709 Alton Road
Miami, FL  33139
786-422-0184

Telemedicine is an option for all students, faculty and staff covered through the NYFA Student Health Insurance Plan (NYFASHIP), United Behavioral Health Care, and Kaiser.

Students covered by NYFASHIP:

  • Teladoc.com/Aetna 1-855-Teladoc (835-2362)
  • In network providers delivering synchronous virtual care (live video conferencing)
  • Video visit through the CVS MinuteClinic App.

Faculty/Staff covered by United Behavioral Health Care ($25 copay)

Faculty/Staff covered by Kaiser

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, it is recommended, if your mild symptoms do not improve or if you begin to experience moderate to severe symptoms, that you seek the immediate care of health care professional.

For information on effective treatments for COVID-19, please click  here.

New York:
COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-364-3065) (9am-6pm)
3.1.1. to help find/access medical care
NYC Well-888-692-9355 or text “WELL” to 65173 for supportive therapy

New Jersey:
NJ COVID-19 & Poison Center Public Hotline 24/7
1-800-222-1222 or 1-800-962-1253 (if using out of state phone line)

Los Angeles:
2-1-1  24/7 Hotline for general information and guidance

South Beach:
COVID Call Center: 1-866-779-6121 (8am-midnight)
COVID-19@flhealth.gov

Absolutely!  Students enrolled in NYFASHIP will receive the following:

  • Diagnostic COVID-19 testing fees are covered if referred for testing by a healthcare provider.
  • Telemedicine visits for zero copay for any reason for the coming 90 days
  • Students diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive a free care package of over the counter medications to relieve symptoms
  • For additional information on the services available to students with NYFASHIP coverage, please click on the following link:  https://www.aetna.com/ individuals-families/member- rights-resources/covid19.html  

New York:  

  • Call 3.1.1 for guidance on where to receive the care you need
  • Download the NYP App (New York Presbyterian). Call the hospitals COVID-19 Hotline, 646.697.4000 or select Virtual Urgent Care. Fee of $50 may apply for those not insured.
  • NYC will provide all NYC residents COVID-19 screening and testing, irrespective of immigration status or ability to pay.

Los Angeles:

  • Call 2.1.1. for guidance on where to receive the care you need
  • Call Burbank Urgent Care (818.953.4408) for free screening and information regarding fees, should you need diagnostic testing.

South Beach:

  • Download Care On Demand App. Click on button, “Evaluation of Flu-Like Symptoms. Input code, “Care19” to ensure free diagnostics.

Self-Quarantine and Self-Isolation

NYFA and the NYC Department of Health defines a “close contact” as “someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a cumulative total of 10 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.”  

Although the CDC continues to define a close contact as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, given the emergence and potential spread of new variants in NY, CA, and FL, NYFA is taking an abundance of caution and adhering to the most conservative public health department directive.

 

You will need to self-quarantine for at least 10 days.  Please carefully read the  NYFA Self-Quarantine and Self-Isolation Guidelines  and follow instructions for self-quarantine.

While you are adhering to the 10-day self-quarantine, period, it is important that you actively monitor yourself for symptoms and take your temperature at least once every day. You must continue this self-monitoring for a full 14 days from the date you were exposed to the person who tested positive for COVID-19, even after your 10-day quarantine has ended. If you develop even mild symptoms or a temperature of 100.4F or higher, you must immediately self-isolate and contact your campus COVID-19 Team Administrator.  
 
Students and employees who are fully vaccinated and who have submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination do not have to self-quarantine if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.  However,  students and employees who are fully vaccinated and have been in close contact with person(s) who tested positive for COVID-19 are required to get an RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic test 3-5 days after last day of exposure, wear a mask for 14 days since last day of exposure ( or until you receive a negative test result), refrain from social activities beyond work and school so that you minimize your contact with others for 14 days since your last day of exposure, and  monitor symptoms for 14 days since your last day of exposure.  If you test positive for COVID-19, please self-isolate and report with immediacy your test result to your campus COVID-19 Team Administrator.
 
 

When directed to self-quarantine after you are exposed to an infected person OR after you you return from travel outside your region, please adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Limit Exposure to Others: 

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others until AFTER DAY 10 of the self-quarantine period. Leave the home only for essential outings (grocery stores, pharmacies) and solitary, recreational exercise. 

  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares throughout the self-quarantine period. 

  • Practice physical distancing by keeping 6 feet (2 meters) distance from others at all times and especially for 14 days after exposure or travel.

  • For 14 days after exposure or travel, wear a well-fitted three-layer mask when either inside or outside the home whenever you are in the presence of others or alone but occupying a room shared by others. Advise those in your household to also wear masks when sharing space with you inside your home.

  • For 14 days after exposure or travel, do not visit friends and family members who are at high risk for developing severe illness--older adults, individuals with weakened immune systems and/or chronic illnesses

  • For 14 days after exposure or travel, avoid sharing household items, including drinking cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding. Wash these items thoroughly after using

2. Monitoring Symptoms For 14 Days Post Travel or Exposure: 

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times each day. 

  • Watch for symptoms and keep a daily record of your temperature and the symptoms you experience. 

  • Stay home, except to seek medical care and/or diagnostic testing, if you have a fever of 99.5 or above OR if you have ONE or more the symptoms related to COVID-19.

3. Practicing Effective Hygiene (Always and Especially for 14 Days After Travel or Exposure): 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer. 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

  • Avoid shaking hands and other close physical greetings with others  Vaccine Questions 

Your quarantine will continue for 10 full days. On Day 11, once your COVID-19 Team Administrator has spoken with you to confirm that you have remained asymptomatic throughout your self-quarantine period, you will be cleared for participation in in-person classes and activities.   

Remember that you must continue to monitor yourself for symptoms and take your temperature twice daily for a full 14 days from the date you were exposed to the person infected with the SARS-CoV-2. If you develop symptoms, you must immediately self-isolate and contact your campus COVID-19 Team Administrator.

  • Heed your healthcare providers’ directives.
  • If you are recovered from COVID-19, you may release yourself from self isolation when you meet ALL conditions, recently revised by the  CDC noted below:
    • At least 24 hours has passed since your last fever without the use of fever reducing medications,  AND
    • All of your other symptoms have improved  AND
    • At least ten (10) days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. If you never developed symptoms, then at least ten (10) days have passed since the day you received the RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2RNA, the test approved by the CDC as most sensitive and specific.
    • You have been cleared by your COVID-19 Team Administrator to participate in in-person classes and activities.
  • Given what is presently known regarding spreading the coronavirus and developing immunity to the coronavirus, you are advised to follow these guidelines to ensure your own safety and the safety of others:
    • keep a 6 feet distance between you and another person at all times
    • wear a mask/3 layer cloth facial covering when leaving the home for essential travel
    • frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least  20 seconds
    • avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth) with unwashed hands
    • cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or tissue
    • clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home
NYFA Self-Quarantine and Self-Isolation Guidelines can be accessed on the HUB and is included in the NYFA COVID Safety Plan.  CLICK HERE to view NYFA Self-Quarantine and Self-Isolation Guidelines.

Veterans

To get answers to questions you have about  COVID-19 and how VA is responding, visit the  VA Coronavirus FAQs page or read  VA’s public health response.

If you have  COVID-19 related symptoms, call your  VA medical center before going to a clinic, urgent care center, or emergency room.

Please request support and guidance for accessing the care you need by reaching out to the  NYFA Division of Veterans Services at (818) 333-3560 or veteran@nyfa.edu.

Los Angeles Area VA Medical Center
11301 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90073
Phone: (310) 478-3711

For more information please visit the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System website  here.

New York City  Campus
423 E 23 Street
New York, NY 10010
Phone: (212) 686-7500

For more information please visit the VA NY Harbor Health Care System website  here.

Miami VA Healthcare System
1201 N.W. 16th St.
Miami, FL 33125
Phone: (305) 575-7000 | 888-276-1785

For more information please visit the Miami VA Healthcare System website  here.

Guidelines to Promote Emotional Health and Wellness

Students:

If you are experiencing stress and anxiety in response to the information you are receiving about the coronavirus, or if you fear for you own health and/or the health and safety of loved ones, you are not alone. It is normal to feel sad, anxious or overwhelmed in the face of these uncertain times. You also may be experiencing other normal but troubling symptoms of distress, such as difficulty sleeping, headaches or changes in appetite. NYFA Counseling Services is eager to help you cope and endure these stressful times. Please reach out for support. Counseling Services is prepared to respond to students’ needs when classes are in session or when students are engaged in distance learning.

New York:  counseling@nyfa.edu

Los Angeles:  CounselingLA@nyfa.edu

South Beach:  sobecounseling@nyfa.edu

 

Faculty/Staff:

NYFA Employees can access an 24/7 emotional support line, staffed by trained mental health professionals. This support line provides referrals to community resources to help with emotional concerns, as well as financial and legal concerns:

  • Call 1-866-342-6842

NYFA Employee Assistance Program (EAP): For unlimited phone consultations and live chats and up to 3 in-person sessions:

  • Call 1-800-854-1446
  • Login Instructions:
    • Visit < a href="http://www.lifebalance.net">www.lifebalance.net
    • User ID & Password: lifebalance

National mental health organizations have published numerous guidelines on ways to manage the many and diverse challenges we are facing. Please read the recommended coping strategies below:

  • Learn to recognize how you experience stress: Knowing the early warning signs for stress is key to intervening early and preventing the emergence of mental illness and compromised well-being and functioning. Below are examples of how stress is experienced by others:
    • An increase or decrease in your energy or activity levels
    • Having trouble relaxing or sleeping
    • Worrying excessively
    • An increase in irritability or a lowered tolerance for frustration
    • Crying more frequently than usual
    • Wanting to self-isolate, disengage and avoid all opportunities for social engagement with others
    • Having stomachaches or headaches
    • Eating too much or too little
    • Being easily startled
    • Feeling overwhelmed by sadness
    • Having difficulty staying focused, thinking clearly, and making decisions
    • Increasing your use of alcohol, tobacco or controlled substances
    • Blaming other people for everything
    • Having difficulty giving or accepting help
    • Inability to feel pleasure or have fun
  • Take stock: As routines drastically change, try maintaining focus on sustaining healthy choices in regard to exercise, nutrition, sleep and hydration. If you are experiencing stress, resuming your prior routine of self-care is an important first step in improving your emotional health and well-being. See below for resources to improve sleep, nutrition and exercise.
  • Identify and express your emotions: it is normal and expected for you to feel anxious, angry, frustrated, sad, and lonely. Acknowledge that you are experiencing these emotions and observe them without judgement. In sharing your emotions with others, you will discover that you are not alone, and you will feel relief from expressing how you feel.
  • Practice stress reduction techniques, those you have practiced, or learn new techniques to add to your repertoire. See below for resources for mediation, deep breathing, mindfulness practice, yoga, etc.
  • Have compassion for yourself and others: Recognize that everyone, including yourself, is doing their best to navigate challenging and unchartered territory. Anchor yourself and avoid reacting to the emotional instability of others.
  • Stay socially connected: Reach out to others via phone, email, text, social media, Zoom, etc. Plan virtual gatherings. Reach out to the elderly or those you know who may be socially isolated to offer support.
  • Limit your access to the news: Although it is good to be informed, reading and listening to reports of increasing rising death and unemployment rates, a volatile stock market, travel bans and restrictions, etc., is anxiety provoking and distressing. To sustain your health and well-being, limit your exposure to the news. Consider getting all the information you need twice daily, within a 30-minute timeframe.
  • Develop a plan to protect your need for personal space: stay-in-place orders are forcing families and those sharing households with others to be in close proximity for extended periods of time. During a stable time of emotional neutrality, discuss with those with whom you live a plan for providing each of you some privacy and solace. If you are a victim of domestic violence, do not stay home, and safely seek protection. Call the Domestic Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for immediate help and guidance on how to seek safety and shelter.
  • Let go of what you can’t control and focus on what remains within your control. In regard to this pandemic, we cannot control when the curve will flatten, when our campuses will reopen, how our family and friends behave in response to their hardships, and how the virus, if we are infected, will compromise our health and well-being. Yet there remains much within our control. We can control our physical distancing and personal hygiene practices, we can control the attitude we adopt and the perspective we take on our predicament, we can control how we behave toward others, and we can devise plans and back-up plans for the possible scenarios that may unfold. We can also decide to create meaning and purpose as we face this extraordinary challenge. And it is important to radically accept what we cannot change.
  • Practice gratitude and positivity. Train yourself to focus on news reflecting the generosity and courage of the helpers. Take notice of the ways your life may be impacted for the better. Think creatively of how you can use this time of isolation to volunteer, help others, resume a neglected project, develop a new skill or explore a dormant interest. Keep a gratitude diary by recording each day five small things for which you are grateful.

Wellness Resources (Apps and Websites):

National Mental Health Hotlines and Resources

 

Resources for Financial Wellness

If you do not have the financial means to purchase adequate food for yourself of for your family, please reach out to the local food backs in your area:

For help seeking financial relief from banks, credit card companies, the federal government, etc., consult:

Guidelines for Domestic and International Travel

Until further notice, NYFA strongly discourages all nonessential travel.  Students/employees needing to travel  outside their campus region any time during the course of the semester will be required to self-quarantine for 10 days upon their return to their campus region and before participating in any in-person NYFA class or activity.  This quarantine period may be adjusted according to state public health department directives for quarantine upon return from travel.  Seek guidance from your COVID-19 Team Administrator to understand and satisfy state requirements.  

Students and employees who are fully vaccinated and who have submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination are not required to self-quarantine upon return from travel.

However, fully vaccinated students/employees returning to the campus region from travel to international destinations are required to:

  • Get an RT-PCR test 3-5 days after return to the campus region 
  • Submit report of test results to campus COVID-19 Team Administrator
  • Monitor symptoms for 14 days after last day of travel
  • Restrict social activities for 14 days after last day of travel
  • Wear a mask during travel and whenever outside the home and indoors for 14 days after last day of travel

The  CDC states that travel increases one’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Hence, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from being infected with the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.  If you must travel, please follow the  safe travel guidelines published by the CDC.

The CDC also advises that you consider the following as you contemplate your  plans for travel:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading in the area to which you plan to travel?
  • Will you or your travel companion(s) be in close contact with others during your trip?
  • Are you or your travel companion(s) more likely to develop severe symptoms should you contract COVID-19?
    • Anyone with these conditions may be at higher risk of severe illness: age 60 or older; weakened immune systems; lung disease; heart disease; hypertension; obesity (Body Mass Index>39); diabetes; kidney disease; renal failure.
    • Conditions contributing to a weakened immune system include cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, prolonged use of corticosteroids or any other immune weakening medications.
  • Do you live with someone who is older or has a serious, chronic medical condition?
  • Is COVID-19 spreading in the community in which you currently reside?
    • Consider the risk of passing COVID-19 (even if you are asymptomatic as you begin your travel) to those people with whom you will have contact while you travel.
  • How would your life be impacted should you be required to self-quarantine for 10 days upon arriving at your destination or upon returning home?

Guidelines for Precautionary Self-Quarantine Upon Return from Travel

  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Take your temperature twice daily.
  • Monitor for symptoms of concern: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat.
  • Keep a distance of 6 feet/2 meter from others.
  • Avoid public transportation, taxis or ride shares.

Please refer to the  CDC Travel Advisories for more detailed guidance.

Please know that the spread of coronavirus has caused entry and exit bans, quarantines and travel restrictions throughout the world. The travel landscape is frequently changing, and practices vary per country. For example, to enter some countries, you may need to present negative COVID-19 test results to be granted entry. To keep apprised of the most recent information regarding the travel policies adopted by countries around the world, please consult this  Table of Global Policies.

F1/M1 International Student with questions regarding travel, please contact the appropriate International Student Office:

NY:international@nyfa.edu212-674-4300
LA:lainternational@nyfa.edu818-333-3558
SB:sbinternational@nyfa.edu305-534-6009

Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines have been produced, proven effective, and released via Emergency Use Authorization for distribution.

The  US vaccine distribution programs are being managed independently by states, but in most states, those individuals presently or soon eligible to receive their two required doses of vaccine are healthcare workers, essential workers, those living in nursing homes and congregate settings, those 65 years or older, and educators.

You can track your eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine by visiting the sites below. Please know that many NYFA students will not be eligible to receive a vaccine until spring or summer.

And for those receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, please know that for weeks after being vaccinated, infection is possible, as the body needs time to build and strengthen its immunity to the virus.

After receiving the first and second doses of the vaccine, continuing to practice good personal hygiene is strongly recommended. The vaccines aren’t 100% effective and, although highly unlikely,  it is possible to harbor the virus and infect others, even though you may be not experiencing symptoms.  Please refer to the CDC Health Guidelines for the Fully Vaccinated for more information.

New York:  NYC Vaccine Command Center and  New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Program
Los Angeles:  LA County COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan
South Beach:  Miami Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139.  Hours: 8am-7pm

The Miami Convention Center is offering free Pfizer vaccines, no appointment necessary for first dose, via a walk through service. 

The Center for Disease Control publishes and updates important information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines and provides answers to many commonly asked questions. Please click here for the  CDC COVID -19 Vaccines FAQ

Although all of the US vaccines approved vaccines are proven to be extremely effective in preventing severe illness and death from SARS-CoV-2 infection, individuals who are fully vaccinated are advised to maintain caution and take appropriate health and safety precautions. 

Although it is very unlikely, it is still possible for a fully vaccinated person to get infected and become mildly or moderately ill.  It is also possible, that once infected, whether or not symptoms develop, a fully vaccinated person can spread infection to others.  

Although research is yet conclusive, there is some concern that the U.S approved vaccines are slightly less efficacious in providing immunization against the new variants that are have been detected in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
 

Even once you are fully vaccinated, please follow the current guidelines to fully and effectively protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our community.

  • Wear a mask when outside the home
  • Maintain a six feet distance from others
  • Avoid crowds and large gatherings
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Follow NYFA Travel Guidelines and CDC travel guidance
  • Follow NYFA health and safety guidelines

No.  Fully vaccinated individuals who become close contacts of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 do not have to self- quarantine for 10 days.  It is however strongly recommended that even the fully vaccinated closely monitor their symptoms for 14 days following exposure to a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

You will, however, need to provide your vaccination documentation to your COVID-19 Team Administrator in order to be granted this exemption from self-quarantine.

This policy is subject to change based on the percentage of vaccinated people and measures of virus spread in campus region communities.

 

Yes!  NYFA updated the quarantine, testing, and travel guidelines for fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff soon after all individuals, ages 16 and older, became eligible for vaccination.  Please read below.

GUIDELINES FOR TRAVEL FOR THE FULLY VACCINATED

The CDC continues to discourage nonessential travel for those who are fully vaccinated.  NYFA’s Travel Policy also clearly states that nonessential travel is prohibited.  

 

However, if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the following is possible:

 

  • If you are arriving from a destination outside your campus region to begin your NYFA program, you are not required to self-quarantine before participating in your first NYFA in-person class or activity.

  • Upon return from essential travel during the semester, within or outside the United States, you are not required to self-quarantine upon return to your campus region.

  • F1 International Students with questions regarding travel, please contact the appropriate International Student Office:

  • NY:  international@nyfa.edu 212.674.4300

  • LA:  lainternational@nyfa.edu 818.333.3558

  • SB:  sbinternational@nyfa.edu 305.534.6009

  • All students and employees preparing for essential travel are encouraged to research the travel restrictions for their destinations.

 

GUIDELINES AFTER EXPOSURE TO COVID-19 FOR THE FULLY VACCINATED 

 

If you are fully vaccinated against COVID -19 and you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19:

  • You will not be required to self-quarantine.

  • You are encouraged to monitor for COVID-19 related symptoms for 14 days.

  • If you experience one or more COVID-19 related symptoms you are required to self-isolate and immediately get a COVID-19 RT-PCR diagnostic test.

 

GUIDELINES FOR COVID-19 TESTING FOR THE FULLY VACCINATED

 

If you are fully vaccinated, you are not required to be tested for COVID-19:

  • when selected for surveillance testing

If you are fully vaccinated, you are required to get an RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic test:

  • when you experience one or more COVID-19 related symptoms (symptom testing)

  • at the start of each semester (pre-entry testing)

  • when participating in production/production workshops, according to campus and departmental guidelines (pre-production testing)

 

 

The answers to the many questions you have about the COVID-19 vaccines can be found in  this document.
 
You may also visit the  CDC vaccine pages for the most current information available. 

GENERAL HEALTH AND TRAVEL GUIDELINES FOR THE FULLY VACCINATED

People are considered fully vaccinated when: 

  • Two weeks or more have passed since you received your second dose in a 2-dose vaccine series (Pfizer- BioNTech or Moderna); or 

  • Two weeks or more have passed since you received your dose of a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen);  or

  • Adequate time has passed since you received all required doses of  the vaccine authorized in your home country, so that the authorized vaccine administered has reached its full effectiveness.

People Who Are Fully Vaccinated Can Do the Following When Not Present On Campus (NY students residing in EHS must adhere to EHS health and safety protocols): 

  • Visit indoors with a small number of other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks or physically distancing. 

  • Visit indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without wearing masks or physical distancing, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. 

  • Refrain from quarantine and testing when exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19.  However, those fully vaccinated who have been in close contact with person(s) with COVID-19 must monitor symptoms for 14 days, and if experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, self-isolate and get an RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic test.

People Who Are Fully Vaccinated Should Continue to: 

  • Take steps to protect themselves and others by wearing masks, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. These precautions should be taken whenever they are: 

    • In public.

    • Gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household.

    • Visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who lives with a person at increased risk. 

  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings. 

People Who Are Fully Vaccinated Can Travel with Caution and Planning:

  • If you  travel in the United States , you do not need to get tested for COVID-19 before or after travel.

  • If you travel outside the United States, you do not need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.  

NYFA Staff Resources

COVID-19 Team Administrators:

Each campus has staff trained and dedicated to providing students and employees support and guidance during quarantine and isolation and whenever help is needed.  The COVID-19 Team Administrators are also responsible for ensuring that safety protocols are followed. They perform contact tracing when someone in our community tests positive for COVID-19.  They monitor the data submitted through the NYFA COVID Symptom Tracker App. They take the temperatures of those entering campus.  They ensure that cleaning and disinfecting schedules are maintained. They are devoted to keeping students and employees safe.
 
And they are eager to offer assistance.  Their contact information is below.
 
COVID Team NY - 929-432-1432 - covidteamny@nyfa.edu
COVID Team LA - 747-292-9992 - covidteamla@nyfa.edu
COVID Team SB - 786-687-4800 - covidteamsb@nyfa.edu

Additional Staff Resources:

Please request support and guidance for accessing the care you need by reaching out to the appropriate individual on your campus:

New York:
Students: Sandra Schein, Dean of Students, NY:  sandra.schein@nyfa.edu
Faculty/Staff: Domingo Morales, Associate HR Director:  domingo.morales@nyfa.edu

Los Angeles:
Students: Susan Ashe, Dean of Students, LA:  susan.ashe@nyfa.edu
Faculty/Staff: Pankti Shah, HR Director (LA):  pankti.shah@nyfa.edu

South Beach:
Students: Maylen Dominguez, Campus Dean, SB:   maylen.dominguez@nyfa.edu
Faculty/Staff: Domingo Morales, Associate HR Director:  domingo.morales@nyfa.edu

If you need help, please reach out! We want to help, and we are committed to maintaining vital connections with our communities.

 

 

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