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



June 26, 2020, 6:30 pm
NYFA New York Campus Communication

Dear NYFA New York,

The summer semester is well underway. I hope you are all well and actively engaged in your programs.

New York State’s commitment to mitigate the spread of virus is also well underway. Thousands of New Yorkers are being tested daily, nearly 3,000 contact tracers have been hired and trained, and scientifically driven methods for detecting increased community spread are being continuously monitored by expert consultants. On June 25, for example, 67,642 people were tested for COVID-19. Of those tested, 749, or only 1.1% tested positive for illness. For NYC, once deemed the epicenter of the nation’s pandemic, the decreased rates of infection are truly cause for relief. We can certainly celebrate and take pride in the collective commitment of our communities working together to stay safe and save lives.

Yet this is no time to relax our vigilance and suspend any of the recommended practices, such as good personal hygienewearing masks and physical distancing—all of which have proven vital in our success in flattening the curve.

NY State Travel Advisory

Unfortunately, 26 states, primarily in the South, Midwest and West are experiencing rising rates of COVID-19 illness. Public health experts have expressed concern that the widespread transmission of virus is correlated with the states’ premature reopening plans and communities’ disregard of recommended health protection guidelines.

To protect the health of New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo, on June 25, 2020, enacted an ordinance requiring anyone arriving to New York from designated restricted states to self- quarantine for 14 days. It is uncertain for how long this ordinance will remain in effect and if other states will eventually be added to the current restricted states list.

New York City COVID-19 Reopening Plans

NYFA administrators continue to meet daily to plan for the safe reopening of our campus. Details regarding the NYFA Health and Safety Protocol will be released in the very near future. In the meantime, please know that actions are already in motion to implement best practice measures advised by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health.

The NYC campus cannot reopen until NYC enters Phase Four of Governor Cuomo’s NY Forward Plan. As of June 22, New York City entered Phase Two of the NY Forward plan. As you may have noticed, for example, restaurants are now open for outside dining only and hair and nail salons have also reopened, in compliance with mandated measures to protect the health and safety of clients and employees. NYC will be allowed to progress to Phases Three and Four, if and only, metrics confirm that the spread of the virus remains appropriately mitigated.

In compliance with state regulations, and if NYC remains on course to Phase Four, NYFA will begin its phased reopening. In early August 2020, we plan to offer students the opportunity to return for limited film production. In mid-September 2020, NYFA plans to welcome incoming and continuing students back to campus.

Students and employees planning to travel during summer semester or students traveling to campus to begin either production work or their programs from either out-of-state or international locations, are encouraged to consult the CDC Travel Advisory , Table of Global Policies , and the New York State COVID-19 Advisory before finalizing plans.

For international students, please reach out to International Student Office (international@nyfa.edu) for additional support and guidance.

COVID-19 Resource Updates for New York State

New Health and Safety Resources for NYC Residents

  • New York State has expanded its Testing Protocol. Anyone who has attended a large gathering (such as a protest) is now eligible for testing. According to this protocol, Free Diagnostic Testing for NYC Residents is also available to anyone experiencing symptoms, regardless of age, occupation and chronic conditions or anyone who is concerned about potential exposure to COVID-19.
  • 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. Researchers have found that testing for SARS-CoV-2- the virus that causes COVID-19- too early in the course of infection is likely to result in a false negative test. Waiting at least 8 days since exposure is advised to improve significantly the reliability of your test result. 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 available.
  • The Trace and Test Corps has been established to assist New York City residents required to self-quarantine or self-isolate when exposed to someone with COVID-19 or when diagnosed with COVID-19, respectively.
  • 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 know that nothing about the virus is changed. It is still infecting New Yorkers and people throughout the nation and the world. It can still lead to hospitalization and death in individuals at high risk for severe illness. It can still lead to significant symptoms causing much discomfort and concern for young and healthy individuals.

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-isolation, once you have recovered from COVID-19.


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.

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


  • 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.



  • 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.

NYC and National Mental Health Hotlines and Help Centers


Staying home and learning or working through online platforms is taxing on our bodies and our spirits. Taking even more of a toll on our health and well-being in recent weeks has been the rash of killings of Black men and women and the ongoing incidents of police brutality against people of color. In the midst of pain, upheaval and uncertainty, is it helpful to stay connected, take care of ourselves, take care of each other, and unite in the fight to end racism and oppression.

Student Life and the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is offering programs and resources for education and advocacy in support of Black Lives Matter. Pride Month is also being celebrated in honor and celebration of the LGBTQI community. Don’t miss Queer-eoke, scheduled for June 30, 7pm!

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 upcoming session, scheduled for July 9th.




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


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.


Attend NYC Pride, Sunday, June 28, 11am, featuring performances by Janelle Monae, Deborah Cox, Billy Porter, Luisa Sonza, Rufus Wainwright, Michael James Scott and so much more.

And in celebration of the Fourth of July, Hamilton (yes, the Broadway musical!) is being released on Disney Plus. Although Disney Plus has ended its 7-day free trial offer, one can purchase a membership for $6.99/month and cancel any time.

For retreats to art, culture and history, I again offer you the The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning and Online Collections. There is just so much to explore!


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 public health emergency.

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!

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

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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