NYUAD Response to COVID-19

March 1, 2020

In coordination with NYU leadership, local health authorities, and our Abu Dhabi partner, we continue to monitor coronavirus-related developments. As of this date, there are no cases of coronavirus at any NYU sites, including NYU Abu Dhabi. However, I want to share some important updates regarding the evolving situation.

The UAE is taking important steps in the international effort to try to contain the spread of the virus, including closing nursery schools, postponing major sporting events and conferences, and issuing travel advisories and restrictions to and from countries that have been impacted significantly.

In accord with our priorities of safeguarding the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community while ensuring academic progress we have made the decision, as communicated earlier today, to suspend all NYUAD-funded travel abroad, including for international guests coming to campus, through April 15, 2020. We have also canceled in-person travel to NYUAD for the upcoming Candidate Weekend, instead hosting a virtual event later in the month. The tireless work of our Admissions team to enable students from affected countries to participate online has prepared us well for this option.

Inauguration Update

After careful consideration and much consultation with colleagues here and in New York, I have also reached the difficult decision to postpone the Inauguration and its festival of dialogues, demos, and dreams until such a time when we will be able to gather as a community to celebrate together and share our story within the UAE and beyond. Although I was very much looking forward to having the inauguration with all of you next week, this is the right decision for this moment.

In keeping with our decision to postpone the Inauguration on March 8 and 9, we will very likely be deferring other large-scale public events on campus, though many of those discussions are still ongoing and we will have more information in the coming days.

Personal Travel

We would also again urge you to reconsider non-essential personal travel. As the virus has continued to emerge in new countries, new travel advisories and restrictions are being introduced across Europe, Asia, the US, and the Middle East to prevent its spread, often with little warning. Depending on where you go, you may encounter challenges departing another country or face difficulties and delays when you are trying to return to the UAE.

Please make sure you check the latest travel advisory information, including the CDC’s travel resource page, the World Health Organization travel advice, as well as the Abu Dhabi Department of Health including any restrictions on return to the UAE, before you plan your trip.
If you do decide to undertake personal travel, please make sure to register your trips in NYU Traveler, and ensure you have the Safe NYU app installed on your phone. For more information or travel safety tips, please visit NYU Travel Safe or contact travelsafety@nyu.edu if you have any questions.

Health and Safety

While the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is low, it is important to practice good personal hygiene such as frequently washing hands with soap and water and avoiding in-person contact with those who appear to be sick. If you feel sick, please stay home rather than coming into the classroom or office. More information can be found in the FAQs on our student portal and intranet. Please reach out to the NYUAD Health Center if you are feeling sick, especially if you have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Additional Support

Students who are concerned and would like to speak to someone may access 24/7 counseling services through the Wellness Exchange (+971-02-628-5555) or by contacting the NYUAD Health Center (+971-02-628-8100) or nyuad.healthcenter@nyu.edu to schedule an appointment.

Faculty and staff who would like counseling support should contact the Employee Assistance Program by phone at 8000-44-0626 available 24/7 or email internationaleap@icasworld.com.

As we continue to work through the complexities presented by COVID-19, I am encouraged by the resilience, flexibility, and understanding of our community. The situation will continue to evolve, but we are well equipped with the necessary knowledge, capacities, and resolve to overcome these challenges together.

Mariët Westermann