NYU plans to return to classroom teaching for fall 2021 – Washington Square News
With widespread immunization on the horizon, the NYU administration is cautiously preparing for teaching on campus and in person next semester.
Students and faculty should expect a return to fully in-person classroom instruction for the fall semester of 2021, according to the NYU administration. Provost Katherine Fleming announced the plan in a letter published on February 23, that NYU Local reported the same day. This plan represents the end of the combination of face-to-face, blended, and online courses that students have become familiar with over the past two semesters.
“We do indeed plan to resume full face-to-face teaching for fall 2021,” Fleming wrote in a statement to WSN. “This means that the professors teach the students in the classroom… But like everything else in [COVID-19]it’s hard to be really specific about long term planning.
According to Fleming, the decision to return to fully in-person teaching was based primarily on the increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines rather than a decline in the number of ongoing cases.
“We expect vaccinations to be much more widely available as the rollout continues,” Fleming said. “And, based on the President’s assurances, we expect all faculty, staff and students to have access to vaccines by the start of the fall term.”
President Joe Biden sworn on March 2 that there would be enough vaccines “for every adult in America by the end of May” – an update from an earlier timeline, which would see vaccines available to everyone by the end of July or early August.
The updated schedule is based in part on a White House sanctioned deal between Merck and Johnson & Johnson. These two pharmaceutical companies are expected to produce millions doses of a single injection vaccine. New York City mass vaccination sites including the Javits Center and Yankee Stadium have already started administering this vaccine, according to a Press release from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office.
At least 7,000 NYU community members – eligible as New York Phase 1a and Phase 1b members groups – were Free vaccinations by NYU Langone Medical Center. The university has been approved as a vaccination site and is waiting to receive stocks from the state. NYU’s Office of Strategic Assessment, Planning and Design and the COVID-19 Prevention and Response Team released a plan for a planned vaccine distribution center on the first floor of the Bobst Library and announced another vaccination site at the Student Health Center.
“NYU will encourage and assist the immunization effort in any way it can, according to the law,” Fleming said. “As a state-licensed vaccination site, we intend to vaccinate community members here at our student health centers, both at [Washington Square] and Brooklyn – and in a converted Bobst Library space as soon as we get supplies. We will let the community know when we know more clearly when they are up and running. “
In New York, the rate new cases, although declining, remains at around 3,600 new cases per day at the time of publication. Experts also warn that a new variant of the virus, named B.1.526, is diffusion quickly throughout the city and tri-state area.
“We certainly take the New York variant, the 526, very seriously,” said Dr.Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19, in a recent White House. press conference. “We really have to keep an eye on this for its ability to evade both monoclonal antibodies[ies] and, to some extent, the antibodies induced by the vaccine. So it’s something that we take very, very seriously.
NYU’s current safety guidelines won’t necessarily disappear, Fleming said, even after the mass vaccination has been carried out.
“The exact form that classroom teaching will take (occupancy limits, social distancing, face masks, etc.) will need to be determined over the coming months as the pandemic and public health protocols evolve, ”he said. she declared. “Despite what we plan, recommendations from public health and from states and cities will always trump our plans.. “
A few days before Fleming’s announcement, the CPRT warned an increase in cases. Face-to-face contact between students as well as large and small gatherings were the two factors that contributed to the spike.
“To continue to facilitate physical distancing, we currently plan to accommodate classes in larger spaces and with lower occupancy rates,” Fleming said. “We will likely start the year by requiring that students and instructors continue to wear face coverings until public health officials advise us otherwise.”
Fleming also confirmed that the BioReference swab and binx health saliva tests will remain available to NYU students in the fall of 2021, saying that regular testing has been essential in controlling the spread of the virus on campus.
“We do not intend to interrupt our testing program for the foreseeable future,” she said.
Despite the administration’s optimism of plans for faculty and students to return to teaching on campus, in person, Fleming admitted that some courses are likely to be taught in a blended or distance format.
“While we strive to promote face-to-face learning where possible, the way courses are delivered will likely be determined on a case-by-case basis, by faculty in consultation with their departments and units, and taking into account the needs. . students, especially those facing current travel restrictions, ”Fleming said.
Still, some parts of campus life may start to move closer to normal.
“As more and more members of our community get vaccinated, we will be able to take back the things we took for granted in 2019: interacting in labs, attending small group seminars, eating at restaurants on campus, going at the gym, ”Fleming said.
A version of this article appeared in the electronic edition of Monday, March 8, 2021. Email Suhail Gharaibeh at [email protected]