Now the global epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, New York reaches out to more universities to house medical staff.
Two weeks ago, FEMA set up a number of temporary medical and housing facilities at several locations in the city. Now, New York University has been enlisted to assist.
In a statement sent to the NYU community from Katherine Fleming, the school’s provost; Martin Dorph, the executive vice president; and its associate vice president for student health, Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, explained:
The City and State reached out to us about the availability of our remaining residence halls to assist with the response to the coming peak of the coronavirus illness here . . . In that vein, next Monday, April 6, we will start making rooms in one of our residence halls—Third North—available to front-line medical workers from our own medical center, with another—Carlyle—to be made available the following week.
NYU’s residence hall, Third Avenue North.
With a record high of 600 deaths in a day, and almost 114,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York in less than a month, thousands of doctors have been deployed to the area to assist in stopping the spread of Covid-19.
“We are facing a hard and urgent truth in New York State right now,” said Governor Cuomo who has repeatedly asked for medical supplies and more healthcare staff.
“States will reach their individual apex at different times. New York will be first,” Gov. Cuomo added.
Already, NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine, agreed to graduate medical students early who have completed their requirements, so that they could help with pandemic efforts. As well, NYU Langone Health, is one of the hospitals serving as the frontline in caring for Covid-19 patients.
“With so many people doing so much to battle COVID-19, the University feels a responsibility to assist where it can,” said NYU executives.
‘Mutual aid will save lives.’
Three weeks ago, New York University faced a series of grave challenges. Within a week, they had to shutter their New York campuses, move students out of dormitories, and convert all of their in-person classes to online courses. During this time, they were coordinating the closure of the rest of their global sites. A few weeks before, they closed campuses in Florence Italy, Shanghai and Beijing.
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The move wasn’t easy, and the decisions proved to be hard. Students who relied on living in the dorms were told they had to vacate. Some coeds who left belongings in residence halls could not retrieve them due to the growing travel restrictions and for some, costs of transport. However, students who had no other housing options were allowed to remain. While others, according to NYU, will have their personal properties, packed and shipped. Additionally, students will receive pro-rated refunds toward housing and meal plans.
NYU is one of thousands of colleges and universities across the US that had to change its operations. The silver lining for the school is that it can lend its facilities to ease some of the pressure faced by NYC and the state. “Mutual aid will save lives,” said Cuomo in his commitment to work with other states when Covid-19 cases peak in their area. For universities and colleges in other states, they must prepare to do the same as NYU.
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