New York University students queue up for COVID-19 tests

NEW YORK: Hundreds of New York University students and staff waited in line outside a white tent on Tuesday (Aug 18) for coronavirus testing ahead of some classes resuming in early September, a scene expected to unfold on many US campuses in coming weeks.

NYU is testing students who have chosen in-person learning, with classes for undergraduates beginning on Sep 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.

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New York, once the US epicentre of the pandemic, has an infection rate below 1 per cent, 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 per cent would be better off easing into the new academic year with virtual classrooms, Anthony Fauci, the top US 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.

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READ: Fauci says virtual classrooms better in parts of country hard hit by COVID-19

Some US 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 thousaRead More – Source