New York University students queue up for coronavirus tests

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hundreds of New York University students and staff waited in line outside a white tent on Tuesday for coronavirus testing ahead of some classes resuming in early September, a scene expected to unfold on many U.S. campuses in coming weeks

Reuters August 19, 2020 02:10:36 IST
New York University students queue up for coronavirus tests

New York University students queue up for coronavirus tests

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hundreds of New York University students and staff waited in line outside a white tent on Tuesday for coronavirus testing ahead of some classes resuming in early September, a scene expected to unfold on many U.S. campuses in coming weeks.

NYU is testing students who have chosen in-person learning, with classes for undergraduates beginning on Sept. 2. The university, housed in hundreds of buildings across lower Manhattan, is also giving students the options of remote learning or a blended program between the two.

New York, once the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, has an infection rate below 1%, a benchmark for restarting certain activities coupled with social distancing and mask wearing.

Schools in parts of the country that have a coronavirus infection positivity rate of more than 10% would be better off easing into the new academic year with virtual classrooms, Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases expert, said on Tuesday.

Fauci said in a virtual conference hosted by health information website Healthline that primary and secondary schools as a default position should try and reopen for the psychological health of children, but no single approach should apply to every school in the country.

"To make a statement on one side vs the other and take the country as a whole won't work — we're so heterogeneous with the infections," Fauci said.

Some U.S. schools have closed almost as quickly as they welcomed back students as the level of new cases per day remains high in many states, including California, Florida and Texas.

The United States has more than 5 million cases of confirmed coronavirus infections, the highest in the world, according to a Reuters tally, with more than 170,000 reported fatalities.

Many colleges have plans to test students who are coming back to campus, even if classes are all remote, according to guidance posted on school websites.

At some schools, a coronavirus test site is the first place students must go when they arrive on campus before going to their dorms. They may not enter any other campus buildings until the result comes back negative, which could take several days in some cases.

Testing availability on campuses will vary.

NYU plans to test a random sampling of students, faculty and staff each week of the fall semester, adding up to several thousand tests per week.

Florida State University has set an "aspirational goal" of giving COVID-19 tests to all faculty, staff, and students returning campus this fall. Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, said all students living in residence halls will be tested upon arrival to campus and all students partaking in any in-person learning must be tested before the start of the academic quarter on Sept. 21.

At Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, the school plans to pay for every student on campus to be tested upon arrival and twice a week throughout the fall semester.

Many elementary, secondary, high schools and colleges scheduled to begin the new term in August or September are mandating remote learning, as teachers unions opposed in-person instruction.

(Reporting by Mike Segar and Gabriella Borter in New York; Writing by Grant McCool; Editing by Frank McGurty and Aurora Ellis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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