COVID-19 Updates for the NYU Shanghai Community

Live Updates

This page contains the latest information available to NYU Shanghai about the COVID-19 pandemic, useful links, and FAQs.

NYU Shanghai Community Members: Please click here to log in with your NetID to see memos and announcements issued regarding the university's response to the virus.

Latest information about COVID-19

Last Updated: August 11, 2020 4:02 PM, China Standard Time

By NYU Shanghai
Relevance: All NYU Shanghai

Daily Situation Reports

World Health Organization daily situation reports
CDC 2019 COVID-19 Situation Summary
Latest statistics on Coronavirus with info about cases in Shanghai by District (Chinese)
COVID-19 Dashboard Tracking Global Cases (by Johns Hopkins CSSE) Updates on the Coronavirus Epidemic (Shanghai-related news)
Coronavirus Live Updates (New York Times)

Confirmed cases: 794
Currently hospitalized: 53
Deaths: 7
Recovered: 734

NYU Shanghai: 2*

*Two students tested positive for COVID-19 after studying away in London.  Both have since recovered.

Useful Information

Advising Information for Fall 2020
Class of 2024 FAQs
Summer and Fall 2020 Academic Calendar
NYU Shanghai Teaching & Learning Toolkits
NYU COVID-19 Updates Page
NYU Health Alert: 2019 Novel Coronavirus
New Access Restrictions to NYU Shanghai Campus/Residence Halls (PDF)

Important Dates

September 14, 2020 -- Fall Semester Begins

Contact Information

Department Email/Phone number
Undergraduate advising
Graduate Office
NYU's Office of Global Programs
Public Safety | 021-2059-5500
Human Resources | 13764511733
Wellness Exchange 021-2059-9999
Office of Research
General Inquiries

Shanghai East Medical Center (NYU Shanghai’s designated hospital for all suspected cases)
No.150, Jimo Road, Pudong New Area (Line 2 Dongchang RD Station Exit 1)
Tel: 021-3880 4518
上海市浦东新区即墨路150号, 近浦东大道(2号线东昌路站1号口)电话: 021-3880 4518

About the Coronavirus


Health and Safety Tips

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wear a mask when out in public.


Faculty Work on COVID-19

​​Letter from Shanghai The Hudson Review, ​Larry Wolff -- Silver Professor of European History at New York University
18 Lessons of Quarantine Urbanism Strelka Mag, Benjamin Bratton, Visiting Professor of Interactive Media Arts
Faculty Research on COVID-19


2 weeks 6 days ago
Returning to Shanghai
To: NYU Shanghai Students
  • Tong Shijun, Chancellor
  • Jeffrey S. Lehman, Vice Chancellor
  • Joanna Waley-Cohen, Provost
Relevance: Students

Dear NYU Shanghai Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors,

Some of you have shared with us a video of a presentation given by an NYU Shanghai official to admitted Chinese first-year students in Chengdu. While attempting to reassure his audience that they would have international classmates this fall, our Director of Chinese Admissions made several comments that were not accurate.

As we indicated in our message last week, the government has advised us that we may not bring all our international students back in a single group. The first group will consist of first-year students who have not previously studied in Shanghai. The second group will consist of all upper-year students who have expressed a wish to return to Shanghai this fall. Contrary to what is stated in the video, we are working hard to bring this second group back.

To be specific, 251 upper-year international students indicated a preference to return in their response to the survey. The student mobility team is already working on pulling together all their travel information so that we can submit it as soon as the authorities are prepared to accept it. Once we have a sense of when the first group of students will be arriving, we will ask the government to treat all 251 students as a single group and to invite this group to return as soon after the first group as possible.

We will be updating the community as soon as we have additional information from our government partners.

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2 weeks 6 days ago
Update Concerning Fall 2020 Semester
To: NYU Shanghai Students
  • Tong Shijun, Chancellor
  • Jeffrey S. Lehman, Vice Chancellor
  • Joanna Waley-Cohen, Provost
Relevance: Students

Dear NYU Shanghai Undergraduate Students:

We are writing as promised to update you on what the evolving pandemic situation and restrictions on international travel will mean for NYU Shanghai students during the fall semester.

The past few weeks have seen a worsening of the pandemic in some countries, even as it has remained stable and improved in others. As a result, almost all countries are maintaining severe restrictions on international travel. Here in China, the flare-up of cases last month in Beijing was successfully controlled, and Shanghai has remained a city without any significant community spread of infection.

Accordingly, classes in the Academic Building will resume on September 14. We expect all students who are currently in China to be able to attend those classes in person, even as we continue to operate under the system of “responsible reopening” that has been in place since April.[*]

The Chinese border has been closed, with very few exceptions, to all foreign travelers since March 28. At this time anyone who wishes to enter China must be sponsored by an institution that can apply for a special letter of invitation on their behalf. NYU Shanghai is such an institution, and we expect to obtain such letters for our students and faculty. However, in order to minimize the epidemiological risks associated with people returning from abroad, the authorities are authorizing communities to return in groups, not all at the same time.

As of today, it appears that the first group of people who will be able to return to China (or come to China for the first time) will include our first-year international students. NYU Shanghai’s pedagogic philosophy emphasizes the opportunity for Chinese and international students to have intense multicultural interactions, both inside and outside the classroom – this is especially critical in the first year, when class spirit and bonds are forged in the dormitories and in core classes taken by all first-year students.  First-year international students should all be able to enter the country and complete quarantine in time for the beginning of classes, so long as they have provided us with the details from a valid passport.

More specifically:

  • If you are an entering first-year student who is currently outside China and you have provided us with the relevant documentation, we will provide you with additional information next week about how the process for your entry into China is unfolding, including the process for securing a visa and how best to obtain transportation to Shanghai.
  • If you are an entering first-year student who is currently outside China and you have not provided us with the relevant documentation but you can do so, please send that information to by Monday, July 20.
  • If you are an entering first-year student who is currently outside China, you have not provided us with the relevant documentation, and you are unable to do so at this time, you may take your NYU Shanghai classes remotely. The classes will combine asynchronous and synchronous instruction, and all students will receive academic support tailored to their personal circumstances.

We regret that sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are currently outside China and wish to return will not be included in the first group of returning students. While we are making every effort to ensure their timely return, we cannot say with confidence that they will be able to enter the country and complete quarantine in time for the beginning of classes. We do expect that they will be able to enter the country and complete quarantine during the semester, but are unable at this point to say precisely when.

Accordingly, if you are now outside China and were hoping to return,[†] and you are not an entering first-year student, you will need to select among four options:

  • Option A. You may take classes remotely for the entire semester. The classes will combine asynchronous and synchronous instruction, and all students will receive academic support tailored to their personal circumstances. You may seek to register in any open class in the New York University network for which you meet the prerequisites.
  • Option B. You may affirm your interest in returning to Shanghai as soon as possible. If you pursue this option you should register primarily for courses offered from Shanghai and take them remotely for the time being, so that your schedule will not need to be adjusted when you return to Shanghai.
  • Option C. If you are lawfully able to live and study in an NYU “Go Local” site without need for a student visa, you may indicate your interest with the Office of Global Programs through this website: Pursuing such an opportunity will not count as a “Study Away” semester. If you wish to pursue this option, you should submit your interest form before July 20. After submitting your form, you will receive further communication from the Office of Global Programs. This option commits you to staying at the Go Local location for the full semester and precludes you from returning to China part-way through the semester. Please note that you may still need to take some of your courses remotely, as most Go Local locations will be offering only a limited number of in-person courses.
  • Option D. If none of the first three Options work for you, the usual policy on taking a Leave of Absence (“LoA”) remains available. See Because taking an LoA would delay your graduation, you should speak with your academic advisor before requesting such a leave.

We appreciate that this information is likely to raise many additional questions, depending on your particular situation. We have prepared several “Frequently Asked Questions” documents to provide you with assistance.  For all academic questions, please see For non-academic questions pertinent to entering first-year students, please see

If you are a sophomore, junior, or senior, you must complete the short survey at the following link by July 20, in order to confirm your interest in one of the Options above and to assist us in offering the courses all students need to continue to make progress towards their degrees in the fall:

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate these unprecedented issues together.  Our university has forged a unique identity as a close-knit, cosmopolitan society of scholars. We have had to work together with creativity and resilience to adapt to a rapidly evolving environment that is far beyond our control. As this year unfolds, we have confidence in our collective ability to keep meeting new challenges, doing what is necessary to preserve the qualities that make NYU Shanghai special.

[*] As we have previously indicated, we will also be welcoming approximately 3000 other NYU undergraduate and graduate students who are currently in China to study with us on a temporary campus elsewhere in Shanghai. We will all be doing our best to ensure that these visitors enjoy a satisfying semester as members of the NYU Shanghai community without undermining the experience of those who are pursuing NYU Shanghai degrees.

[†] If you are currently outside China and were scheduled to study away at another NYU campus or site this semester, you should still be able to do so as long as you are lawfully able to live and study at that location without need for a student visa.

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1 month 1 week ago
Fall Semester
To: NYU Shanghai Students
  • Tong Shijun, Chancellor
  • Jeffrey S. Lehman, Vice Chancellor
  • Joanna Waley-Cohen, Provost
Relevance: Students & Parents

Dear NYU Shanghai Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors:

We write now to share an update on how we are adapting to the continuously evolving global situation, and what it implies as you plan for the fall semester.

As you all know, the COVID-19 epidemic infection was fully controlled in Shanghai in March through strict testing, quarantine, and distancing rules, and it remained controlled. Accordingly, we were able to resume live classes on our campus at the end of April. Looking ahead to the fall semester, we expect that our residence halls and Academic Building will remain open, and that we will be in full operation under our “responsible reopening” protocols.

We naturally expect that all our Chinese students will be able to be back in the classroom in Shanghai this fall. When it comes to our international students who were planning to be back in Shanghai this fall, the need to cross borders makes matters somewhat more complex. We are currently concentrating our attention on three scenarios:

  1. The most likely scenario is that the current restrictions on travel to China will be lifted and our international students will be able to return to China in time to begin classes on September 14. We expect to know by July 15 whether this scenario has come to pass, and we will provide you definitive confirmation at that time.
  2. The second-most-likely scenario is that the travel restrictions will not be lifted in time for the first day of classes but will be lifted in time for our international students to return part way through the semester. In this situation our international students will begin the fall semester by taking NYU Shanghai classes remotely and will rejoin their classmates in Shanghai as soon as that becomes possible. The classes will combine asynchronous and synchronous instruction, and all students will receive academic support tailored to their personal circumstances.
  3. The least likely scenario is that the travel restrictions will not be lifted until the fall semester is over and our international students will be taking NYU Shanghai classes remotely throughout the fall and will return to Shanghai for the spring semester.

For our junior and seniors students who are eligible to Study Away during the coming semester according to our current academic policies, please note that the global pandemic situation means that study away opportunities will be modified.  You will learn more very soon from the Office of Global Programs.

Sophomore students who are not currently eligible for Study Away will receive an update setting forth your options after July 15th.

The situation for this fall is dramatically different for Chinese students who are not NYU Shanghai students but are, rather, enrolled as students at NYU New York or NYU Abu Dhabi. For them, the most likely scenario is that they will not be able to get back to their base campus this fall. To help them out, NYU Shanghai will be opening a “temporary academic building” nearby in Pudong where they will be able to take classes appropriate to their particular degree programs pursuant to a “Go Local” program. We will want to show a welcoming NYU Shanghai spirit to our new “visitors,” and we will do our best to help them feel at home.

We regret that the ongoing uncertainties are complicating the task of planning, even as the beginning of fall semester seems to be approaching rapidly. We are continuing to monitor developments on a daily basis.

If you are an international student and have changes to your passports and have not been in touch with the student mobility team, please contact If and when you have academic questions, please contact

This past semester presented our university with difficult challenges, and we were able to meet them thanks to our shared commitment to being a close-knit, cosmopolitan scholarly community. We are confident that those same values will serve us well, whatever new challenges may await us this autumn.

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4 months 2 weeks ago
A Message about NYU's 2020 Commencement
To: NYU Community
  • Andy Hamilton, President of NYU
Relevance: NYU Global Community

Members of the NYU Community,

There are few academic rituals more meaningful and enduring than Commencements. On these special occasions, we come together as a community to mark the achievements of our talented graduates in the presence of families and friends, faculty and alumni; to proclaim the power of learning and scholarship; to pass the torch of knowledge from one generation to another.

It is with deepest regret, therefore, that I write to let you know that NYU’s 188th All-University Commencement Exercises, due to take place in Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, must be postponed to a date still to be decided. Likewise, the individual school graduation ceremonies cannot go forward as planned. Given the advice of public health officials, as well as the restrictions put in place by city and state authorities, and out of our own sense of obligation to safeguard the safety of our community, it is impossible to imagine we could or should hold such large assemblies this spring.

Be assured, however, that once we are on the other side of this difficult and extraordinary time, we will find a way to hold an in-person graduation exercise and properly recognize the Class of 2020 with all the pomp and circumstance you deserve and that NYU knows how to muster.

In making this decision, we have consulted with student leaders as well as the deans of our schools, and we are grateful for their guidance. In short order, the deans will also be in touch with their graduates about the plans for the school graduation ceremonies or celebrations, whether virtual this spring and/or future in-person events at a later date. And while we cannot go forward with our physical gathering in Yankee Stadium, I want you all to mark the date May 20, 2020 on your calendars, for we will be looking for special ways to make sure we stay connected and celebrate the Class of 2020 on that day and in the weeks leading up to it--and to assure you that, yes, for all eligible graduates, degrees will be conferred!

To the Class of 2020: I feel keenly the disappointment you must be experiencing and I would remind you of the special bond I feel for your class. We “entered” NYU in the same year and I so looked forward to marking our four years together as you progressed from freshman to senior year. And I recognize that this news follows a string of developments and announcements, each one more unnerving than the last. Many of you and your families may have already put plans in motion to be on campus in May. I also realize that you understandably have a multitude of questions for which we do not yet have answers as we all navigate these turbulent times. But we pledge to keep you informed over these coming weeks and months as our plans evolve and we get a better sense of our options.

In an academic career spanning four decades at five universities, the highlight for me of each of those 40 years -- without a doubt – has been Commencement. While we will have to delay this year’s celebration, what does not have to be postponed is our expression of pride in what you have accomplished. And when we do convene to celebrate the Class of 2020 it will come with an added dose of praise and congratulations for the tremendous resiliency you have shown in the face of great adversity.

Please take care of yourselves and each other.

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5 months 1 week ago
Taking the Measure of the COVID-19 Circumstances
To: The NYU Community
  • President Andrew Hamilton
Relevance: All NYUNYU

Dear NYU Community Members,

For all of us, the media environment is filled with coronavirus-related alerts: new statistics, new locations, market swings, et cetera. With recent word of New York's first confirmed case and new guidance to universities from the CDC about foreign travel, I thought it important to write to you.

I want you to be aware that COVID-19 is the topic of daily analysis and consultation at NYU. We set that level of scrutiny because we take the issue seriously; it allows us to collectedly keep on top of new developments, to evenly make the adjustments necessary to keep our community safe and well, to communicate clearly and regularly, and to have a decision-making process as dynamic as the situation.

This week, we are taking several steps -- prohibiting upcoming non-essential international University travel, postponing some events at NYU Abu Dhabi, and allowing students to voluntarily leave Study Away sites and pursue their classes remotely -- that we think are measured and prudent, yet decisive.

And that is just the manner in which I believe we should continue to proceed. Because just as we are committed to safeguarding our community's health, so too do we think it is important to safeguard everyone's academic progress and research, and to maintain, to the extent circumstances permit us to do so wisely, the daily rhythms of university life.

I appreciate how readily uncertainty can give rise to anxiety, and anxiety to impetuousness. That is why we have made the coronavirus the subject of such close and sustained attention -- so that we can act quickly and decisively, but not impulsively.

At the moment, the most authoritative voices tell us we can go about our business normally, using the precautions we should typically take in flu season. And so we should. For now, while continuing to be attentive, we should not let our worries get the better of us. We need not don special gear for normal NYU activities. And we certainly should not allow those whom medical authorities tell us do not present any danger to be ostracized, bullied, or mistreated.

Perseverance is part of NYU's character. I am proud of and grateful for everyone's steadfastness at this moment. And rest assured, if the moment comes when there is reason to act, or to act more sweepingly, we shall do so thoughtfully but unhesitatingly.

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5 months 2 weeks ago
NYU Florence, and Other Coronavirus-related Developments
To: The NYU Community
  • Andrew Hamilton, President of NYU
Relevance: All students, faculty, and staff

Dear Members of the NYU Community,

While there are and have been no cases of anyone in the NYU community contracting the coronavirus known now as COVID-19, here in New York or elsewhere, developments resulting from the spread of the virus continue to be felt widely: in industry, in financial markets, in travel, among public health authorities and providers, and among the regions where its reach has been greatest.  

So, this is an apt moment to update you again, particularly because of the changes in circumstances for our fellow community members at NYU Florence.

As you may have heard in recent news accounts, the incidence of new coronavirus cases has increased sharply in northern Italy.  In response, the Italian government has taken swift action, including quarantining a set of towns in regions to the north of Tuscany, where NYU Florence is located.

While we do not believe there is a particularly pressing health threat to the NYU Florence community, the events of the last few weeks has conveyed a sharp lesson to us about how countries, in their public health efforts to curb the spread of the virus, can act swiftly and unexpectedly in ways that could abruptly restrict our community members' ability to travel.

So, against this backdrop, out of an abundance of caution, and guided by the priority we place on the well-being of our students, we have made the decision to:

  • ​Cancel classes for the rest of the week at NYU Florence.
  • Have all students promptly travel home or to another location, which staff will assist them in doing with logistical and financial support.
  • Suspend operations at the campus on Thursday.
  • Resume holding classes remotely starting next Monday, making use of the tools being used by NYU Shanghai as well as the experience we have gained.


We plan to have the NYU Florence community carry on in this manner until at least March 29, when we hope everyone can reconvene at Villa La Pietra.  We are also currently advising students elsewhere in Europe against travel to northern Italy.

We know that for many of these students, the opportunity to spend a semester in Florence -- a world center of culture, art, and beauty -- was a dream.  As a community, we share their sense of disappointment and regret that this illness has emerged to disrupt their studies in this manner, and their hope that things will be back to normal at the end of March. 

At NYU Shanghai, classes - which are meeting remotely - successfully got underway last week, and they are proceeding well.  Vice Chancellor Jeff Lehman, who is teaching a course this semester called “Creativity Considered,” conveyed to me that while everyone would, naturally, prefer to be together in a classroom, he and his co-teacher were pleased to find that the online tools we have employed have, in fact, allowed him to maintain authentic discussion and engagement.  He said he has received similar, positive reports from other members of the NYU Shanghai faculty.  And the students have not only been resolute and patient, but gracious in their praise (PDF) for the work that faculty and academic support did to get the semester underway.

Although US health officials have indicated that they do expect to see some spread of the virus in the US, there have not yet been any cases in New York City.  Classes started here on January 27, and the vast majority of our community had assembled here by that time; by this point, we are well outside the incubation window for those who were here for the start of classes. 

In the 60-plus years since NYU opened a site in Madrid, it has increasingly deepened its commitment to global education and engagement.  Today, it is at the forefront of global higher education among US universities.

No one believed it would be easy, and that was not why we embraced that trajectory.  The determination to engage the world also meant engaging the world's challenges; that is intentional: we want our students and faculty to help find the needed solutions.  Having chosen this direction, NYU will inevitably be among the first universities to grapple with the complexities of increasingly interconnected world. 

Global is the right course for NYU. And if it sometimes presents us with hurdles, our reaction should be to surmount them calmly, resiliently, and resolutely, as we have in this instance.

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