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

Notice

Information Regarding the NYFA COVID-19 Testing Protocol

January 27, 2021

Dear NYFA NY Community,

The spring semester is underway! We hope you are engaged in your learning and teaching and looking forward to the months ahead.

In preparation for the campus reopening on February 8, 2021, we are writing to offer clear and helpful information regarding NYFA’s COVID-19 Testing Protocol. NYFA has established this testing protocol to minimize and monitor the spread of COVID-19 within our community, as well as to safeguard our community’s health and safety.

This protocol is based on current information and guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical publications, and NYFA’s public health consultant, Dr. Peter Bloland, regarding: 1) COVID -19 testing practices; 2) immunity derived from prior virus infection; 3) the effectiveness of vaccines approved by the FDA for emergency use in preventing the infection and transmission of the SARS- CoV-2, current and new variants; and 4) the ability of current diagnostic tests to detect all virus variants. This protocol will be reviewed and revised as new information emerges and public health directives are updated.

NYFA COVID-19 Testing Protocol
NYFA has a three-tiered approach to COVID-19 Testing. Students and employees are required to get tested for COVID-19:

1. Prior to campus entry for the spring semester (pre-entry testing)
2. When experiencing one or more COVID-19 related symptoms (symptom testing)
3. During the course of the spring semester (on-campus surveillance testing)



PRE-ENTRY TESTING:
  • Students/employees are required to submit their laboratory test result reports from RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic testing to covidteamny@nyfa.edu. To gain entry to campus and participate in an in-person class or activity, the report must indicate that a COVID-19 RT-PCR Test was administered within 7 days of the first day of campus entry and that the test result was negative.
  • It is the responsibility of the student/employee to meet the pre-entry testing requirement and seek testing.
  • RT-PCR COVID-19 testing sites can be located here. And a list of exclusively free testing sites is offered through NYC Health and Hospitals.
  • Students/employees are excused from the pre-entry test requirement if they are recovered from COVID-19 and submit to covidteamny@nyfa.edu aa COVID-19 RT-PCR Test Report that indicates: 1) a positive test result, and 2) the COVID-19 diagnostic test was administered more than 10 days prior to and no more than 90 days beyond Feb. 8, 2021 or the first day of campus entry.
SYMPTOM TESTING:
  • Students/employees are required to get a RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic test if and when they feel sick and report or experience one or more COVID-19 related symptoms.
  • Students/employees who report or experience one or more COVID-19 related symptoms will be required to self-isolate and will only be permitted to enter campus and/or participate in in-person class or activities when they submit to covidteamny@nyfa.edu a COVID-19 RT-PCR diagnostic test report indicating negative findings OR when they are recovered from COVID-19 and cleared to return to campus by the COVID-19 Team Administer on account of successful completion of their isolation period.
  • It is the responsibility of the student/employee to meet the symptom testing requirement and seek testing.
  • RT-PCR COVID-19 testing sites can be located here. And at sites offered through NYC Health and Hospitals.
  • Students/employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, are recovered from COVID-19, and report/experience new symptoms related to COVID-19 are required to self-isolate, seek medical consultation and/or get tested. (Persons recovered from COVID-19, although no longer infectious, may test positive for COVID-19 for 90 days or more after infection. Hence, seeking medical consultation in this circumstance is strongly recommended.)
  • Students/employees who have been partially or fully vaccinated and students/employees who were diagnosed with COVID-19 more than 90 days prior to reported symptoms are required to self-isolate and seek RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic testing when experiencing/reporting one or more COVID-19 related symptoms.
ON-CAMPUS SURVEILLANCE TESTING:
  • Surveillance testing will begin the week of February 8 and will be provided to students and employees at no cost. NYFA has partnered with Binx Health to offer the community access to quality RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
  • Each week a group students and employees will be randomly selected to participate in on-campus surveillance testing.
  • Students/employees, if they are selected as surveillance testing participants, will be notified the day their testing is required. A COVID-19 Team Administrator will inform the selected students/employees when and where to report for testing.
  • Two rooms on campus will be designated each day as testing rooms.
  • Testing rooms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each testing administration period.
  • No more than two individuals will be scheduled to occupy a testing room at any one time.
  • Each room will be equipped with monitors offering clear guidance on how individuals collect their samples to ensure accuracy of test results. A COVID-19 Administrator will also be present to provide support and guidance.
  • Each participant will be directed to wash hands thoroughly before and after the test is self-administered.
  • Prior to collecting the specimen to be sent to the lab for processing, each student/employee, upon taking their seat in the test administration room, will be required to activate their test kit, using their phone or tablet, at https://app.mybinxhealth.com/activate-box
  • Upon activation, students/employees will be asked to sign the HIPAA Authorization form allowing NYFA to receive test result reports. All test reports received will be reviewed and stored in compliance with all relevant privacy protection laws. Students/employees will also be sent their private test results, accessible via a secured online portal.
  • The RT-PCR COVID-19 diagnostic test each student/employee will receive requires each individual, on their own, to insert a swab ½ inch/1cm up each nostril to collect a viable specimen for analysis.
  • NYFA will send test kits via overnight mail to a lab for processing and results, once specimens reach the lab, will be reported to the individual and to NYFA within 48 hours.
  • Approximately 25% of the NY campus population will be required to test each week.
  • Students/employees will be excused from participation in surveillance testing if:
    • A vaccination record indicates that the student/employee has received the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at least 14 days prior to surveillance testing selection date.
    • The student/employee presents a COVID-19 test report that indicates a positive test result and a test administration date no greater than 90 days and no sooner than ten days prior to surveillance testing selection date.
  • Students/employees wanting access to Binx products for individual use only and for purposes other than mandatory surveillance COVID -19 testing will be able to request and purchase home testing kits to be delivered to their homes at reduced cost.
Below is additional information regarding the COVID-19 diagnostic testing being offered by NYFA through our partners, Binx Health.

How do I pick-up my test?
Your test will be presented to you when you report to the testing room.

What type of testing will be offered?
We are offering self-collected nasal swab testing kits. The collection method is easy to self-administer and pain-free and the sample is processed on PCR COVID-19 diagnostic platforms with FDA emergency use authorization. The nasal swab is an anterior nasal sample that only needs to be inserted about ½ an inch into each nostril.



How long does it take to collect my sample?
The sample collection process will take, on average, less than five minutes.

What do I need to bring to do my test?
To complete the Binx COVID-19 sample collection, you will need a pen and a either a smartphone, tablet, or computer to activate your kit and set up your account. All other necessary materials, including detailed collection instructions, are included in the collection kit.

How do I collect my sample?
First, activate your kit when you are seated in the testing room and ready to collect your sample. Second, follow the detailed instructions for use within the test kit to collect your sample. Third, return your test kit to the COVID-19 Team Administrator before exiting the testing room.

What email address should I use to activate my test?
You must use your nyfa email address to activate your test kit.

How do I return my test?
NYFA will be sending your test kit to the lab via overnight delivery.

How do I contact Binx?
For questions related to your test kit contents, setting up your account, activating your kit through the online portal, and using the kits, contact binx customer support.When will my test results be available and how do I access them?
Individual results will be available via your Binx account within 24-48 hours of when the lab confirms receipt of your properly submitted sample. When results are available, you will receive an email to log-in to view your lab report.

If you have a positive test result, you will receive a phone call from a licensed healthcare professional and your COVID-19 Team Administrator to discuss your results and next steps.

What type of COVID-19 test will I receive?
The test used to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 from your sample is a PCR-based test. This has been demonstrated to be the most reliable method for detecting COVID-19 by identifying if your sample contains genetic material (RNA) from the virus that causes COVID-19.

How accurate are Binx tests?

Both nasal and saliva at-home collection kits have been authorized by FDA under and EUA. The laboratory tests designated in the at-home EUAs are also authorized under EUA for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2. The COVID-19 EUA ​assay used is routinely used across many high complexity labs with the required level of validation. Appropriate and stringent test controls are run alongside each batch of tests and include positive, negative, NTC, extraction and internal controls, as well as a human housekeeping target for self-collected samples to ensure all samples collected are adequate. Binx monitors key metrics at its partner labs to ensure that the incidence of any type of false result is minimized.

Concluding Remarks
This information will be made available to you on the HUB for future reference. Please direct questions regarding the NYFA COVID-19 Testing Protocol to:

COVID-19 Team Administration: covidteamny@nyfa.edu.

We are eager to respond to your questions or concerns regarding the NYFA COVID-19 testing protocol and any other aspect of our COVID-19 safety measures, including but not limited to the COVID-19 Safety Training, the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker, and best personal hygiene practices to protect yourself and others from illness and community spread.

We recognize that what we require adds both inconvenience and challenge to your already busy lives. We believe that with all of the effort we are investing as a community, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to continue to learn and grow from one another as artists and responsible global citizens. And we also know that we are working together to save lives.

With abundant gratitude,

The NY COVID-19 Team Administration
 

 

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