Health and Safety Update -- July 23, 2020

To all members of the Cooper Union Community:

This is the third communication in a series of weekly updates designed to keep you informed on Cooper Union’s COVID-19 planning. As of now New York City is currently in Phase 4. While this does allow certain venues to operate at 33% capacity, others such as malls and gyms remain closed. For more information on Phase 4 in NYC click here. There are now 31 states on the “quarantine list” for individuals coming to NY, NJ and CT, which requires a 14-day quarantine.

As a reminder, the campus remains closed until further notice. Students, staff and faculty who need to return to campus will need approval of their academic dean or supervisor, as well as a negative COVID-19 test result that is less than two weeks old (with results sent to Members of the Cooper Union community will only need to be tested the first time they come to campus; subsequent testing will be required if they are exposed to a positive case, begin to exhibit symptoms and/or have traveled to a location that requires quarantine and retesting.

COVID-19 testing is easy and covered by our health insurance. You can get tested for COVID-19 at CityMD, Walgreens and CVS, just to name a few providers. If you live in NYC, here is a list of places to go for free testing. Please note that some test results may take up to two weeks so plan accordingly. Anyone who comes to campus will be required to wear appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) such as a face covering, and obey social distancing within the building. This means keeping a distance of six feet between individuals whenever possible.

Before the start of the fall semester, we will also be implementing contact tracing and self-assessments using a mobile app. This will make it fast, easy and convenient for anyone to enter the building safely. For those without a smartphone, there will be tablets with styluses for people to use (with gloves).

Wishing all the best for our community,

The Health and Safety Committee


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.