Preparing for the Fall 2020 Reopening of the Campus

As we are now two weeks away from the start of the Fall 2020 Semester, we are aware that some of you are working with your schools or departments about a plan for campus access.

No one will be permitted in the buildings without approval from their Dean/Manager or Department Head for each daily visit, and, without registering your daily visit with security. We understand that this process may seem cumbersome and is a change from our previous campus behaviors. This protocol has been put in place to allow us to control the density levels in the buildings, and to ensure that the appropriate COVID-19 cleaning is taking place every day before and after each person’s visit. We are developing an online reservation system, but until this is implemented, we will use the email process.

Everyone approved to come to campus is required to get tested for COVID-19 and to send their negative test result to This is a confidential site.

As you may have heard, some testing sites are taking up to two weeks to process and communicate the testing results. If you are looking for the quickest COVID-19 testing turnaround results in New York, we recommend calling the NYS COVID-19 Hotline at 888-364-3065. They can advise you on the testing sites closest to where you live and their current processing time. All of the sites that they recommend for testing are free. The rapid self-administered tests that you may see online have not been approved by the FDA or CDC.

Once you have submitted your negative test, you may schedule time on campus by emailing Tom Tresselt at

You must wear a mask while in the buildings. This is for your protection and for the protection of others. Beginning August 31, as students, faculty, and staff return to campus, each person will be provided with two Cooper Union reusable masks.

During the next two weeks, you will be required to take your temperature at the security station and to answer five questions each day you are on campus:

  • Is your temperature about 100.3 F?
  • Have you test positive for the COVID-19 virus in the last 14 days?
  • Have you been with anyone who has tested positive for the Coronavirus in the past 14 days?
  • Do you have any COVID-19 symptoms – fever, loss of taste and smell, stomach issues, respiratory issues
  • Have your recently traveled back to New York State from one of the states listed on the travel advisory list?

If you answer negatively to all of the above questions, you will be able to enter the building.

Because everyone is required to take the COVID-19 screen each day they come to campus, within the next two weeks, we will be introducing a smartphone application that will allow students, faculty, and staff to complete the screen online before they come to campus. Through the app, you will log your temperature and answer the daily screening questions. Once the daily screen is complete, the app will provide you with a bar code to present to security that is good for one day of entry. You will receive more information and instructions to download the app from the Health and Safety Committee.

To stop the spread of COVID-19 on campus, it will require we each do our part to keep everyone safe. Wearing masks, honestly answering the daily screening questions, staying home if you feel sick, washing your hands regularly, and wiping down equipment and tools after usage will help us all stay safe as the pandemic continues. Cooper is doing its part by providing gel disinfectant machines throughout the campus; masks to all faculty, students, and staff; state of the art daily disinfecting techniques; and clean air flow to the buildings. There will be signs reminding us of what we each can do to stop the spread of the virus on campus.

We will be sharing more information regarding the return to campus during the next two weeks. We will be providing an e-guide to Returning to Cooper that will include building hours and other safety protocols.

We are excited for the start of the semester and thank you for doing you part and following new campus standards to keep each other safe.

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.