NYFA COVID-19 Health and Campus Guidelines and Information - Updated: January 4, 2021, 1:38pm Click here for more information

Notice

NY COVID-19 HEALTH AND CAMPUS UPDATE

May 15, 2020, 9:30 am
NY COVID-19 Health and Campus Update

Dear NYFA NY Community,

First and foremost, to our 102 graduating students—Congratulations!

In completing your programs successfully, you have demonstrated tremendous perseverance, adaptability, creativity, motivation, talent and abilities. NYFA faculty and staff are tremendously proud. To you and your families, we extend our sincere gratitude for engaging with us on your journey to becoming skilled artists and storytellers.

NY Campus COVID-19 Updates

As summer semester begins and until further notice, NYFA will continue providing students exclusively online instruction.

A Second Semester Orientation for continuing students is scheduled. All continuing students are required to Register. Please do so as soon as possible!

Students planning to travel and attend summer semester classes from either out-of-state or international locations, are encouraged to seek guidance from the International Student Office (international@nyfa.edu), the CDC Travel Advisory and the Table of Global Policies before finalizing your plans.

NYFA administrators are meeting daily to prepare for when our campus reopens. We will not reopen until we are fully prepared to implement the health and safety protocols recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local public health and education agencies. We will also not reopen until NYC enters Phase Four of Governor Cuomo’s NY Forward Plan.

COVID-19 Updates for New York State

The New York State “Pause” orders are being lifted today for 5 regions in New York State. These regions meet the seven conditions required for safe reopening. “Pause” orders for New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley regions of NY State are extended through May 28. To view the conditions required for reopening and the progress of New York City and other NY state regions in fulfilling these conditions, please refer to Governor Cuomo’s Regional Dashboard

New York City has met four of the seven conditions necessary noted in New York State’s reopening plan. NYC is observing a continuing trend of decreasing numbers of daily hospitalizations and ICU admissions, decreasing numbers of new infections, and decreasing numbers of COVID-19 deaths. And although NYC has not yet reached criteria for adequate testing and contact tracing, plans are in place to eventually meet those objectives.

New Health and Safety Resources for NYC Residents

  • New York State has expanded its Testing Protocol. According to this protocol, Free Diagnostic Testing for NYC Residents is available to anyone experiencing symptoms, regardless of age, occupation and chronic conditions. Free Antibody Testing for NYC Residents is also available to eligible NYC residents. Please know that neither the diagnostic test nor the antibody test is 100% reliable. For example, in regard to the diagnostic test, 5-15% of tests provide a false negative result; this means that a person may be infected with coronavirus, but the test result is negative for COVID-19. In regard to the antibody test, research has not confirmed that testing positive for antibodies ensures that one is immune to reinfection.
  • New Yorkers are required to wear masks or cloth facial coverings whenever in public and unable to maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. Free Face Coverings for NYC Residents are now available.
  • New Yorkers experiencing symptoms are encouraged to utilize the Free COVID-19 Online Assessment to report symptoms and receive guidance on the level of care needed.
  • NYC Residents with symptoms or questions about COVID-19 can call 1-800-NYC-4NYC to connect with a medical provider, free of charge, 9am-9pm.

COVID-19 Health Alerts and Guidance
Please read and review the revised Health Guidelines on The NYFA HUB for guidance on monitoring for COVID -19 symptoms of concern, practicing good personal hygiene, accessing a telehealth appointment, and knowing when calling 911 or going to an emergency room is needed. The NYFA Hub includes, as well, guidelines for releasing yourself from self-quarantine, once you have recovered from COVID-19.

There is new concern for a rare, potentially COVID-19-related illness affecting infants, children and teenagers. The illness is being referred to as Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome (PIMS). Its symptoms include:

  • Prolonged fever (more than four days)
  • Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Change in skin color- becoming pale, patchy and/or blue
  • Difficulty feeding (infants) or too sick to drink fluids
  • Difficulty breathing or breathing very quickly
  • Racing heart or chest pain
  • Lethargy, irritability or confusion

This condition is defined by the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association as rare and uncommon. However, if an infant, child, or teenager experiences 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, serious, but presently, non-fatal illness.

PROTECTING YOUR EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Please review the COVID-19 Health Alert for tips on staying sane during this challenging time of illness, physical distancing, online learning, and mind-boggling uncertainty.

If you are experiencing Quarantine Fatigue, you are not alone. By week 8 of stay-at-home-orders, many of us are feeling exhausted and stressed. Our discipline and commitment to washing our hands frequently, cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces, wearing masks whenever leaving our homes, avoiding touching our faces, and maintaining a 6 feet distance from others at all times is waning. I know I am experiencing quarantine fatigue. Multiple times each week I leave the house to walk my dog and realize too late that I am not wearing my mask. I notice, too, that I am not as vigilant as I was weeks ago in washing my hands immediately upon returning home from an “essential” outing. By surrendering to my fatigue, I am putting myself at risk of contracting the virus. So, I must address my issue of quarantine fatigue! But how?

Here are two good resources for Understanding Quarantine Fatigue and Combating Quarantine Fatigue.

For more immediate access to support, please connect with any of the resources noted below.

EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING RESOURCE FOR ALL

  • Aetna's Resource Guide for Members and Non-Members offers excellent resources for maintaining physical, emotional, and financial well-being and targeted resources for parents, caregivers, health care workers, and those grieving the loss of loved ones.

EMOTIONALPROFESSIONAL EMOTIONAL HEALTH RESOURCES: STUDENTS

EMOTIONALPROFESSIONAL EMOTIONAL HEALTH RESOURCES: 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
  • Employment Assistance Program (EAP) for Faculty/Staff: no cost support can be accessed through Life Balance
  • Free weekly online support groups: Free Online Support Groups by LMFT offered through Seeking Shalom.

For additional and immediate guidance on coping with COVID-19, Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 and Coping With Stress and Social Distancing During Disease Outbreaks are both excellent resources, published, respectively, by the CDC and the NYC Department of Health.

National Mental Health Hotlines and Help Centers

  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-59909
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273- TALK (8255)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • NCADV : organization committed to ending domestic violence
  • SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP ( 24/7 Treatment Referral). Or visit website: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

STAYING CONNECTED AND ENGAGED

Staying home and learning or working through online platforms is taxing on our bodies and our spirits. It is important to stay active, eat healthfully and maintain an optimum sleep schedule. It is also important to stay connected!

The Student Life departments on the NYFA Campuses in LA, NY, and South Beach are offering students opportunities for connection through digital platforms. Upcoming events Yoga, Meditation and activities honoring Mental Health Awareness Month and so much more.

Faculty and Staff are invited to participate in the Personal and Classroom Wellness Forum occurring biweekly via Zoom. Check your inboxes for your invitation and RSVP for the session scheduled for May 19 @ 12pm PST/ 3pm EST.

CREATE MEANING: VOLUNTEER

MEETING YOUR BASIC NEEDS

FOOD SUPPORT

NYC Residents who are struggling to feed themselves and their families are encouraged to take advantage of programs offering assistance.

HOUSING

Your landlord cannot evict you for having COVID-19 or for being under home quarantine. View guidance on tenant protections related to coronavirus through the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants. Contact them with questions or concerns here.

WEEKEND FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT

For retreats to art, culture and history, I offer you the The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning and Online Collections.

To experience NYC ‘s favorite attractions, Explore Virtual NYC.

CONCLUDING MESSAGE

I hope that you have read this email carefully. It will be archived on The HUB for future reference here. Should you have any questions about its contents, please contact Dean Sandra Schein (sandra.schein@nyfa.edu). If you so choose, please share with your family this correspondence. Their knowing the resources and support available to you may ease their anxieties around you living and studying/working in New York City during this pandemic.

To protect yourselves, to protect our family, friends, and neighbors, and to honor and assist our selfless and courageous healthcare workers, please practice good personal hygiene and stay home. Physical distancing and sheltering -in-place are more tolerable when we remind ourselves of their meaning and purpose. By staying home, we are saving lives.

Please reach out to your campus resources for any concerns you may have regarding your health and well-being. We are eager to assist you!

Students:
Sandra Schein, Dean of Students, NY: sandra.schein@nyfa.edu

Faculty/Staff:
Domingo Morales, Associate HR Director: domingo.morales@nyfa.edu

Together, we will endure this challenging time by sharing our strengths and uniting for the common good.

With appreciation for you all,

Sandra Schein, PhD.
Dean of Students, NYFA New York

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