New York University is going with mostly virtual final exams because of a COVID-19 outbreak.
“The continuous review of the data from our COVID-19 testing program has indicated a considerable acceleration in the rate of new cases in our community. It’s not a cause for alarm, but it is a cause for concern, caution, and appropriate actions,” said a letter from Katherine Fleming, the provost, Martin Dorph, the executive vice president, and Carlo Ciotoli, leader of the COVID-19 Prevention and Response Team.
“We strongly encourage that final examinations and/or assessments be changed to remote/online format,” the letter said. “Only those assessments that are fundamentally unsuited to being conducted remotely (i.e. those that have a crucial in-person component) should proceed in person; in these cases, faculty should let their department chair and dean’s office know that they plan to conduct their exams in person.”
The letter also said, “All discretionary, non-essential, non-academic gatherings and events are to be canceled immediately. This includes events, club meetings, get-togethers for the holidays, celebrations, and athletic events, among other gatherings, both on-campus and off-campus, for students, faculty, and other employees.”
And the letter encouraged students to eat outside. If they are unable to do so, the dining halls remain open. “We strongly encourage students to make use of ‘grab and go’ eating, rather than sitting with others in a dining facility. If you do eat inside, you should keep your mask on until the moment you start eating, you should try to maintain physical distancing of at least six feet (two meters), and you should limit your meals to 15 minutes and then re-mask,” said the letter.