Best Practices for Reopening


Under overarching guidelines and provisions included in NYU Returns link, the "SPS Returns: Best Practices for Reopening" link focuses on matters associated with the School of Professional Studies and its facilities. The contents provide answers to a common set of questions that most members of our community have pertaining to SPS specific academic activities and operations.  For ease of reference, going forward, the contents will refer to the "SPS Returns: Best Practices for Reopening" as "SPS Best Practices".

Prevention and Protection

Ensuring the health and safety of the NYU community is our priority. Achieving this goal can be accomplished through the collaboration and cooperation of our staff, students, faculty, employees, and visitors. By working together and honoring the practices outlined under NYU Returns, and SPS Returns links, we can ensure that school operations will reopen successfully.

Until a proven and easily available vaccine and treatments become available, the best defense is to (1) take measures to prevent the spread of the virus and (2) take the recommended and necessary actions to protect ourselves and others, as detailed below:

1.    General Wellness Responsibility:
            a.    If you are not feeling well, stay home. Follow the steps listed under the Human Resources Section in this document.
            b.    When clearing your throat, coughing or sneezing, cover your face with your elbow; do not use your hand.

2.    Physical Distancing: 
            a.    Always maintain a minimum physical distance of 6-feet from others on NYU properties or among members of the NYU community. 
            b.    Minimize the number of person-to-person contacts.  If you must meet in person, use the spaces designated for in-person meetings and follow all precautions posted.  Additionally, wear proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) as detailed in the note below.

3.    Personal Protection Equipment (PPE):
            a.    Face Coverings or Masks: At minimum, everyone is required to wear a non-medical face covering when on NYU properties or with other members of the NYU community while conducting University business. Observe the following stipulations when using facial coverings:
                   i.    Face coverings must fit properly and when worn must fully cover both the nose and mouth
                  ii.    Face coverings must fit securely to the head by ear loops or head straps
                 iii.    Layered cotton cloth is the preferred material for covering the face
                 iv.    Face coverings must not have any type of exhaust or vent for exhaled air
            b.    Faculty and staff will be provided masks in alignment with NYU policy, which will comply with the requirements and/or guidelines provided by the New York City and New York State governments.  Instructions for picking up NYU provided masks would be posted when it becomes available.  It is expected that individuals arriving at NYU facilities will have a mask on when they first arrive.  (Note: When in an isolated space such as a single occupancy office, you may remove the mask while you are alone.)

4.    Cleaning and Disinfecting:
            a.    Avoid bringing your hands near your eyes, nose, or mouth.
            b.    Wash your hands often with soap and water after touching common surfaces such as doorknobs, handles, elevator buttons, and other shared surfaces (such as computer lab keyboards, etc.).
            c.    Use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible.
            d.    Deposit used disposable masks or gloves properly in trashcans.

5.    Follow Instructions:
            a.    Review and follow the contents of both the NYU Returns and SPS Best Practices in their entirety. Refer to these documents often as they will be updated frequently to reflect the most current information about combating the pandemic.
            b.    Observe and adhere to all posted signs and instructions pertaining to movement and traffic flow within SPS facilities and follow the guidelines for the use of shared spaces and shared facilities.

General Guidelines for All SPS Facilities

1.    Covid-19 Testing Requirements:  Taking a Covid-19 test is a mandatory requirement for everyone returning to NYU.  The guidance varies depending upon when the person is arriving to NYU and the status of Covid infections in the area of the person’s last residence before arriving to NYU.  Therefore, we strongly recommend that everyone refer to NYU Returns for detailed and specific guidance regarding Covid-19 test.

2.    Arriving and Leaving SPS Facilities:
            a.    All members of the NYU community are required to log into Daily Symptom Check App called NYU Daily Screener, answer a few questions, and enter body temperature to assess that the person is in good health.  Successful check will indicate that the person will be able to access the NYU facilities on that day.  Daily Symptom Check can also be accessed through NYU website.  It is recommended that Daily Symptoms Check be done before the person leaves the residence.
            b.    To the extent possible, NYU SPS will establish staggered start- and end-times as well as break-times for employees to minimize delays, long queues, and crowding.  Class schedules, if and when possible, will be staggered to maintain an evenly distributed traffic flow within all facilities.
            c.    Everyone entering SPS facilities is required to observe the minimum physical distancing requirements of 6 feet at all entry and exit points and to form queues as necessary.  Be sure to allow adequate time since the delays are likely when entering and exiting buildings.

3.    Circulation Within Facilities
            a.    Elevator use:  Occupancy limitations for all elevator cars will be posted by the elevator banks on every floor.  When in the elevator car, if possible, face away from other passengers.
            b.    Elevator floors will be marked to indicate where passengers should stand to maintain social distancing.
            c.    Staircases:  When possible take the stairs to ease delays at the elevator banks.  In buildings with more than one staircase, one will be marked for traffic going “Up” or and the other "Down".  When only one staircase is available, always stay on the right-hand side of the staircase.
            d.    Corridors:  To maximize safety of pedestrian traffic, internal corridors will be designated as “One Way,” when possible. Otherwise, walk on the right-hand side of the corridors.

4.    Academic Spaces
            a.    Classrooms
                    i.    Classroom floors will be marked to indicate chair locations that meet the minimum 6-foot physical distancing requirements.  Faculty and students will always keep their chairs at the marked locations to meet physical distancing requirements and ensure safe communications.
                   ii.    The number of classroom participants (faculty, students and guests) are never to exceed the listed maximum occupancy.
                  iii.    Small classrooms not utilized for in-person instruction may be used for specific purposes, such as a place for students to study between classes.  Each small classroom will have a maximum occupancy. A booking process is being implemented and a link will be provided for students to book times/spaces in advance.
            b.     Computer Labs
                    i.    Computer labs with fixed desks and seating will be clearly marked to indicate the spaces that the students can use and the spaces that must be kept empty to meet the minimum 6-foot physical distancing requirements. 
                   ii.    In computer labs with movable computer workstations, the floors will be marked to reflect physical distancing requirements.
                  iii.    The number of classroom participants (faculty, students and guests) are never to exceed the listed maximum occupancy.
                  iv.    The number of computer stations in the Open Computer Labs will be reduced to meet the 6-foot minimum physical distancing requirements.
                   v.    NYU may request access to large computer labs to conduct classes.  If so, academic units will need to make alternative arrangements by holding classes either off-line or in a blended mode.
            c.     Tutoring Spaces
                    i.    Academic groups offering tutoring services will continue to offer tutoring sessions remotely.
                   ii.    If an in-person session is required, the host group will schedule the tutoring session via email with a mandatory confirmation.  The host group will confirm reservations through a calendar invite to facilitate contact tracing, if necessary.
                  iii.    Tutoring spaces will be modified to meet the minimum 6-foot physical distancing requirements between student and tutor.
            d.     Adjunct Faculty Lounges
                    i.    Floor plans will be reconfigured to maintain the distance of 6 feet between workstations.
                    ii.    Revised maximum occupancy limits will be posted in all adjunct faculty lounges.
                    iii.    The cleaning schedule will include touchpoints on adjunct faculty lockers.
                    iv.    Tables and chairs in the adjunct faculty lounges will be reconfigured to meet the minimum 6-foot physical distancing criteria where possible.
            e.    Group Study Areas (Rooms or Open Spaces) / Walk-up Computers
                    i.    Group study areas in the corridors will be available but converted to single occupancy workstations.
                    ii.    The number of computers available at walk-up computer stations in the lobbies and corridors will be reduced to meet the minimum 6-foot physical distancing requirements.

5.    Academic Support Functions
            a.    SPS departments whose work involves interacting with students or faculty will meet in person only when necessary; instead, whenever possible, every effort will be made to meet remotely.
            b.    Based on the criticality of needs, departments will determine when in-person meetings with students or faculty is necessary.  Such meetings will be required to be scheduled in advance.  Meeting confirmations will employ a calendar invite to facilitate contact tracing, should it become necessary.  Departments will conduct these meetings only in designated spaces that allow attendees to meet all safety requirements and protocols.
            c.    All SPS departments will discontinue all walk-in appointments to ensure everyone’s safety.
            d.    To schedule appointments, please see the contact information below (To be entered):
                      i.    Wasserman Center at SPS:,
                     ii.    Academic Advising:
                    iii.    Admissions: GRAD:, 212-998-7100
                    iv.    Admissions: DAUS:, 212-998-7100
                     v.    Noncredit Student Services:; 212-998-7200
                    vi.    Office of Student Affairs:

6.    Administrative Spaces
            a.     Departmental Suites
                    i.    Using the guidance provided by NYU Returns, all department heads will prepare a phased reopening plan in coordination with SPS Human Resources.  Each plan will meet physical distancing and other safety requirements.
                   ii.    Plexiglas or other barriers will be considered on reception counters that require frequent in-person interactions.
                  iii.    In-person meetings are discouraged until further notice. Whenever possible, meetings should occur via conference call or the NYU-approved virtual platform (Zoom).
                  iv.    Use of small conference rooms to conduct meetings will be discontinued.  When possible, small conference rooms will be repurposed for specific academic support activities or they will be secured/locked.
                   v.    Large conference rooms will be posted with revised maximum occupancy.  Floors will be marked with fixed chair locations that meet the minimum 6-foot physical distancing requirement.  Conference rooms must be reserved through SPS Events Team and used only for critical and confidential matters when a virtual meeting is not possible.
                  vi.    To reserve a conference room, the names of all attendees must be submitted.  Meetings will be confirmed via calendar invite with all participants noted to aid contact tracing, if it becomes necessary.  The meeting host is responsible for providing a complete attendee list to the lobby security desk at least 24 hours in advance.

7.    Shared Spaces
            a.    Pantries / Vending Machines / Copier Rooms:
                    i.    Only one user at a time may occupy these locations.  Be sure to maintain a safe distance and wait your turn.
                   ii.    Each individual must clean all touch points prior to leaving.
                  iii.    Pantry Use:  Bring your own utensils (plates, silverware, mugs, etc.), and wash them with soap and water immediately after use. Do not leave items in the sink or pantry, Utensils must be stored in one’s personal space and not in common areas.  Utensils left in common areas will be discarded.
            b.    Bathrooms:
                    i.    Touchless soap and paper towel dispensers will be installed in all bathrooms.  All multi-occupancy bathrooms will have at least two soap and paper towel dispensers.
                   ii.    Where possible, sinks will be separated by partitions to maximize the number of sinks available and to provide protection absent the space needed for 6 feet of physical distancing.  If partitions are not possible, some sinks may be removed from service to maintain safe distancing between concurrent users.
            c.    Lounges: The number of seats will be reduced to meet the minimum 6-foot physical distancing requirements. Maximum occupancy will be posted and floors will be marked to indicate fixed furniture locations and seating arrangements.

8.    Support Services Desks / Receptions:
            a.    To reduce the need for in-person interactions, send requests for Technical Support Service team in advance via email or a phone call when possible.  Contact details are below:
                    ·    7 east 12 & 838 Broadway:, 212 992-9142
                    ·    Midtown Center:, 212 992-3240
                    ·    Woolworth:, 212 992-9115
            b.    If you need assistance from SPS Facilities Administration team, to reduce the need for in-person interactions, send requests in advance via email or a phone call when possible.  Contact details are below:
                    ·    7 east 12 & 838 Broadway:, 212 998-7232
                    ·    Midtown Center:, 212 992-3315
                    ·    Woolworth:, 212 992-8350
            c.    Individuals, who need to approach Service Desks with a request, must maintain the 6-foot minimum physical distancing requirement.

Considerations Involving Human Resources

SPS is implementing a phased return of administrative, clerical and technical staff to work in fall 2020 under the guidance of University Human Resources, the Office of Equal Opportunity and other relevant offices. While some employees will continue to work remotely, others will be returning to onsite work full time or on a rotational basis. These plans were developed based on the departmental need to support faculty and students as they return to campus for the fall semester. The plan includes:

            ·    A phased restarting of each unit.
            ·    Developing staggered work schedules for each team member that meet distancing requirements and allows for a productive workflow.
            ·    Staggered start- and end-of workday schedules for all employees as well as staggered break schedules for the clerical staff.

Employees who are part of the group that are returning full time or rotating will receive written notification of the return date and the frequency they can expect to work each week ten days prior to the return date.  However, the frequency of days per week an employee needs to work may be increased or decreased based on operational need and staffing availability.  Specific scheduling -including the day(s) of the week you will be required to work and the arrival and departure times -will be provided by your supervisor.

SPS employees returning to work should consult the University Return to Work website for information and guidelines for all employees including information on testing and quarantining.

Before leaving home, employees must use the NYU Daily Screener app.  Information can be found on: Daily COVID-19 Screener for Campus Access

Employees who need an accommodation for a health-related reason should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at

For all other reasons for an accommodation, contact Kathleen Murray at  Other reasons employees may request an accommodation include:

            ·    Employees in a high-risk age group for Covid-19
            ·    Employees living in high-risk areas due to a spike in COVID-19 case
            ·    Employees with school-going children if schools remain closed due to Covid-19
            ·    Employees who have caretaking responsibilities for a family member affected by Covid-19

After returning to work, if you become sick at work or start developing COVID-19 symptoms, go to the nearest empty room and self-isolate.  Notify your supervisor and Kathleen Murray, the SPS.

For information regarding leave needed for COVID-19 related absences, go to:  Time and Leave Considerations

If you need clarification of University leave of absence policies for yourself or for caregiving responsibilities, reach out to Darian Huntley or Kathleen Murray.


1.    All non-essential events, traditionally held in person, are canceled until further notice.  The Events Team, when possible, will organize events in a virtual format or modify events to be held remotely.

2.    Space/Room Reservations: All event reservations are on hold until City and University leadership provide guidance on safely returning to in-person and on campus events.

3.    Critically Required In-Person Meetings and events:
            a.    Host groups will submit a formal request to the SPS Events team in advance for approval, offering justification for and full details about an in-person meeting or event. The approval process is being determined and the document will be updated when finalized.
            b.    SPS spaces will be used only for meetings/events hosted and sponsored by SPS.
            c.    Only pre-registered guests with confirmations can attend in-person events.  The host group and/or the event team will send an attendance confirmation to all attendees using a calendar invite.  Walk-in guests are not permitted.
            d.    The host group must review NYU’s Visitor Guidelines and ensure that their requests comply with the guidelines.  The host will be responsible to communicate the most current testing and screening procedures at the time of event with the invitees and confirm in advance that they will meet those requirements.  The host group will send prior notifications detailing all precautions and safety measures that speakers/attendees are required to follow.
            e.    The event team and host groups will keep a formal attendance record with full contact details to assist with contact tracing, if it becomes necessary.
            f.    The host group and/or the event team is responsible for sharing the list of confirmed attendees with the facility’s security team 24 hours in advance of the event.

4.    The Events Team will create a separate document that details guidelines for SPS events that will address all safety measures.  SPS departments are strongly encouraged to plan and organize any events for their teams through SPS Events team.  

5.    Food service is discouraged for all meetings until further notice.  Advance approval is required if food must be served.  Approval process will be determined by the Events team and posted shortly.  When catering is a necessity, the Events team will recommend only NYU-approved providers who have been vetted to ensure that all safety protocols will be met.

Notes Specific to SPS Facilities

1.    7 East 12 Street
a.    Refer to Attachment – B for typical floor layouts.
            b.    All entering the facility must use the main entrance only, which is next to the Cardozo Building (Entrance A).
            c.    Everyone will exit the facility through the secondary set of doors, which are also used for material deliveries (Entrance B).  When leaving the building, be sure that the entrance doors lock behind you.  Do not allow anyone to enter as you leave.
            d.    All corridors will become one-way passages in a clockwise direction from floors LL through 9.
            e.    In the event of an emergency evacuation, both staircases will be used by occupants to leave the facility in a safe and orderly fashion.

2.    11 West 42 Street
a.    Refer to Attachment – C for typical floor layouts.
            b.    Access to this facility meets both NYU SPS Best Practices and the guidelines prepared by the property owner, Tishman Speyer. Refer to the supplementary document for Tishman Speyer Guidelines.
            c.    Access and Circulation:
                    i.    Always arrive early to provide adequate time to get to your space.
                   ii.    The Tishman Speyer plan currently allows the use of Stair-A for downward traffic only to leave the facility.  Whenever possible, please take the stairs especially when elevators are in high demand for incoming traffic.
                  iii.    Faculty, students, and employees are encouraged to use the communicating stairs between the 4th and 5th floors.  The doors on the 5th floor will be propped open during normal operating hours to facilitate movement and to reduce touchpoints, subject to meeting the Fire Safety Code.
                  iv.    If the Fire Safety Code permits, doors within the secondary corridor on the 4th floor and doors leading to the computer labs on the 10th floor will remain open during normal office hours.
                   v.    The main corridors and the secondary corridors on the 4th and 5th floors will be posted with one-way movements. The main corridor on the 10th floor will also be marked for one-way movement.
            d.    Brause Library:
                    The provisions of this section will also be coordinated with Bobst Library Team.
i.    Alumni and visitors must schedule appointments in advance.
                   ii.    The reading room is being reassessed for a reduced seating configuration that meets the minimum 6-foot physical distancing requirements.  Revised maximum occupancy will be posted.
                  iii.    Reference computer banks will have reduced workstations to meet minimum distancing needs.
                  iv.    Chairs must remain in their designated locations. 
                   v.    Group study rooms will have a maximum occupancy of two users.  Library staff will use calendar invites to confirm and communicate room reservations; user records will be made available if contact tracing becomes necessary.
                  vi.    Users of scanning and printing equipment are required to clean the keypads after use.

3.    15 Barclay Street
a.     Access and Circulation:
                    i.    Refer to Attachment – D for typical floor layouts.
                   ii.    All traffic will be required to use “Up” escalators when accessing all floors.  Staircases will be dedicated for descending movement only.
                  iii.    Stay to the right when traversing corridors.
                  iv.    Lounge furniture cannot be rearranged.
                   v.    Doors will be kept open, when possible, to reduce touchpoints.
                  vi.    Those needing assistance with the elevator will inform the Allied Universal Security officer at the reception desk in the entrance lobby.  (Note: During extreme cold weather, the security officer is located on the 2nd floor.  At such times, please call the number listed at the security desk in the lobby to request assistance.).

4.    838 Broadway
a.    Access and Circulation:
                    i.    Refer to the 6th floor plan (Attachment E) to review the walking directions in the corridors, with the goal of minimizing two-way traffic.  The CAES suite on the 5th floor will have two-way traffic within the floor corridor and the CAES suite.
                    ii.    Observe physical distancing requirements in the lobby while waiting for the elevator.
                    iii.    SPS is contacting FCM to liaise with the landlord’s team to determine whether the freight elevator can be used for passenger traffic to ease the wait time for the passenger elevator.

5.    Other Rental Facilities
a.    This section will be updated when SPS reengages renting other facilities for academic purposes.

Miscellaneous Notes

1.    SPS Facilities Administration and NYU FCM have worked collaboratively to create and deploy signage throughout all SPS facilities.  Bring questions, concerns to the attention of SPS Facilities Administration for review with FCM.  If you believe your team needs specific signs, please review it with SPS Facilities Administration who will coordinate with SPS SMC before posting them.

2.    Deliveries:
            a.    Deliveries of personal items will not be allowed to any of the SPS facilities.
            b.    Employees ordering lunches are required to meet the delivery person outside the facility, curbside. 


In the event the information presented within SPS Returns website and the information presented within NYU Returns website are not in full alignment, the information included in the NYU Returns website will override the information included in the SPS Returns website.

Attachment B – Typical Floor Plans for 7 East 12 Street

Typical Floor Plans for 7 East 12 Street
Typical Floor Plans for 7 East 12 Street

Attachment C – Typical Floor Plan for 11 West 42 Street

Typical Floor Plan for 11 West 42 Street

Attachment D – Typical Floor Plan for 15 Barclay Street

Typical Floor Plan for 15 Barclay Street

Attachment E – Typical Floor Plan for 838 Broadway, 6th Floor

Typical Floor Plan for 838 Broadway, 6th Floor