NYFA COVID-19 Health and Campus Guidelines and Information - Updated: June 16, 2021, 4:00pm Click here for more information

Notice

NYFA COVID-19 HEALTH ALERT

March 25, 2020, 6:51 pm

NYFA COVID-19 Health Alert

Dear NYFA New York,

In the spirit of honoring our mission to keep our community informed, we are updating our health alert today to reflect new information.

Given that NYFA New York is situated in the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, at this point in time, we must all assume that we have been exposed to a person infected with the coronavirus. In the days ahead, we will sadly but likely receive several reports from our students, faculty, and staff informing us of their suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses. We earnestly hope that any member of our community who contracts COVID-19 experiences minimal discomfort and has a quick and complete recovery.

Since NYFA NY was closed as of Mar. 13, we are approaching the end of the CDC designated 14-day quarantine period for anyone considered to be at risk for having been exposed to coronavirus via close contact with an infected NYFA student, faculty, or staff member attending on -campus programs and activities. We will hence be surrendering the practice of keeping our broader community informed of each new case of COVID-19, as information is reported. Our NYFA New York incidence report on The NYFA HUB will be updated daily. Also, NYFA will maintain the practice of privately informing individuals suspected of having had contact with a NYFA community member who has contracted the virus, mainly to offer support and assist those who are ill and needing to access medical guidance and care. For today, however, we have two new reports to share.

We have received word that a faculty member, medically evaluated, but not tested for COVID-19, has nonetheless received a definitive COVID-19 diagnosis documented by a healthcare provider. This faculty member provided instruction to students attending multiple NYFA programs (Fall One Year Documentary, March 4WK Documentary, March 8 WK Filmmaking, Fall One Year Filmmaking, Spring One Year Filmmaking, and Fall BFA Filmmaking). This faculty member was not experiencing concerning symptoms while teaching class on campus. He sought immediate medical attention on Mar 23, the day of his symptom onset.

As per New York State and New York City public health department directives, all NFYA faculty, students, and staff, having been in probable contact with this faculty member, were notified and directed to self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms of concern. This instructor has had no contact with NYFA students, faculty or staff since March 12. NYFA community members potentially exposed to the virus on or before Mar 12, are encouraged to be attentive to cold/flu like symptoms, throughout their quarantine period, ending, midnight, March 26.

We also received a report that a student enrolled in Spring 2020 One Year Acting For Film, Section A, tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, we learned this information just today. The student, however, tested positive on March 10 and was attending class until the day his COVID-19 diagnosis was confirmed. Given that 15 days have past since the student has had any contact with any member of the NYFA community, no one on campus at that time needs to self-quarantine, with the exception of anyone feeing ill. Those members of our community presently experiencing cold/flu like symptoms are to view their symptoms as potentially related to COVID-19 and follow the guidelines noted below.

This directive, as you all now know, applies to all New York residents, given the proliferation of virus transmission in New York State and, in particular, New York City. Everyone living in New York City is being advised, by the NYC Department of Public Health to act as if they have been exposed to COVID-19. This means monitoring one’s health closely and staying home as much as possible.

HEALTH GUIDELINES FOR NYFA NY

NYFA recommends all faculty, staff and students comply with CDC and state and local public health department directives, shared and updated as new information emerges. These directives can be quickly accessed via The NYFA HUB and in previous NY CAMPUS HEALTH ALERTS AND COMMUNICATIONS.

Monitoring Your Symptoms and Seeking Medical Guidance:

Call your medical provider, an urgent care facility, or engage in Telehealth with a virtual medical resource should you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Sore throat

Follow all medical directives received, which may include continued self-monitoring and self-isolation, or referral for COVID-19 testing.

Please refer to The NYFA HUB for guidance on accessing medical care. Please contact Dean Sandra Schein (sandra.schein@nyfa.edu) in the event you are experiencing symptoms of concern and you cannot connect with a medical care provider for screening and guidance.

The NYC Department of Health advises that anyone who is ill with fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, OR other cold or flu-like symptoms should assume they have COVID-19 and do the following:

  • Stay home. Do not leave home unless to seek medical care.
  • If you must leave your home, maintain distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
  • Take your temperature twice daily.
  • 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 sharing household items. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with other people in your home. After using items, wash them thoroughly with soap/detergent and water.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or cough and sneeze into your sleeve. Dispose of the tissue in a lined trashcan and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home (TV remotes, computer keyboards, phones, refrigerator and doorknobs and handles, counters, tabletops, faucets, light switches, etc.). Clean surfaces and objects with detergent and water and then disinfect with diluted bleach or EPA-registered household disinfectant (https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-agai...)
  • Wear a mask should you need to leave home to seek medical care.
  • Do not visit friends and family members who are older adults, have weakened immune systems or are chronically ill (lung disease, heart disease, cancer).
  • Do not have visitors come to your home.
  • Avoid traveling via public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.
  • If you live with others, stay in a designated “sick room” and if possible, use a separate bathroom. Disinfect surfaces after each use.
  • Stay connected with family and friends through email, Skype, phone, and social media to ward of feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • Reach out to NYFA staff for assistance and guidance (see NYFA Resources)

For additional information on protecting yourself and others from COVID-19, please read the information posted and updated routinely by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the NYC Department of Public Health.

Also, to assess your risk for COVID-1, based on best clinical practices, CDC guidelines, illness severity and risk factors, such as age and preexisting conditions, use this Coronavirus Checker, developed by Emory University.

FLATTENING THE CURVE FOR NEW YORKERS

Sadly, there will come a time, sooner rather than later, when more members of our community become ill with COVID-19. There is community spread in NYC and confirmed cases of COVID-19 are increasing daily. For up-to-date information on the incidence of COVID-19 in NYC, please consult the COVID-19 TRACKER.

New York State is taking drastic action to mitigate the transmission of coronavirus among its residents. Governor Cuomo has mandated strict social distancing measures --NEW YORK STATE ON PAUSE--for New York, effective March 22, 8:00pm.

COPING WITH STRESS AND ANXIETY RELATED TO COVID-19

We are living through an unprecedented time. In confronting potential threats to our health, our finances, our freedoms, our education and employment status, etc., it is normal and understandable to feel worry, fear, sadness, grief, frustration and a host of other troubling feelings. Yet even during times such as these, there are skills and attitudes on can practice and apply to feel hopeful, capable, engaged, and well.

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES to help you cope during this challenging time:

  • NYFA Counseling Services (students): To schedule an appointment, send an email to counseling@nyfa.edu
  • Employment Assistance Program (EAP) for Faculty/Staff: no cost support can be accessed through Life Balance
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TALKWITHUS to 66746

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.

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 include yoga, meditation, stretching, virtual hangouts, virtual game nights, and so much more.

CONCLUDING MESSAGE

We hope that you have read this email carefully. Should you have any questions about its contents, please contact Dean Sandra Schein (sandra.schein@nyfa.edu). Also, since New York City, is being labelled as the nation’s epicenter of the coronavirus, it is likely that your family and friends living elsewhere are concerned for your well-being. If you so choose, please share with them this correspondence. Perhaps others outside of NYC can help you take the proper precautions in staying healthy and safe. And should you feel ill, your family and friends may also be able to offer you support in accessing the help you need.

It is our sincere hope that anyone contracting COVID-19 experiences mild symptoms and recovers fully and quickly. We also hope that many of us remain healthy for the duration of this pandemic. To achieve this hope, each of us must comply with the new state mandate: stay home. By staying home, you save lives- possibly the lives of strangers, possibly the lives of your neighbors, possibly the lives of your colleagues and friends.

Please reach out to your campus resources to report concerns for your health and the health of other members of our NYFA New York Community.

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

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

Together, we will endure this challenge of resilience 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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