Important Information on the Lifting of Additional COVID-related Restrictions
Date: September 23, 2022
To: The NYU Community
From: Gigi Dopico, Interim Provost; Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President and Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, Vice President for Campus Health
The Overall Public Health Context
Today — thanks to effective vaccines, higher population-level immunity, and more widely available medication (when clinically indicated) — the risk of medically significant disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 is greatly reduced. Widespread restrictions are being lifted across the globe and locally, and the focus is shifting to personal decision-making based on individual risk and comfort level. A more holistic assessment of the public health landscape is being used, which now includes such metrics as the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in New York City. Even as we continue to seek to minimize the effects of COVID-19, we want to continue restoring many of the important aspects of campus life that we have had to forego over the last couple of years.
In line with the foregoing, we are lifting a number of COVID-related restrictions we have had in place.
Lifting NYU’s Mask Mandate on September 28
Ending the Mask Requirement
Overall, mask-wearing will no longer be required effective Wednesday, September 28, 2022, with a few exceptions.
Mask-wearing will still be required:
- In healthcare settings (eg, the Student Health Center; the Dental Practice)
- For those who have recently been infected with COVID-19 or had a recent exposure. These individuals should follow public health guidance on mask-wearing.
Establishing a Culture Where Continued Mask-Wearing Is Welcomed
Though there will no longer be a universal mask mandate, many NYUers will make an individual choice to continue to wear masks, particularly during the first weeks after the lifting of the mandate. Some will do so because even without a widespread requirement, consistently wearing a comfortable, well-fitting face mask can help protect the wearer from infection.
It is important that we, as a community, embrace a choice by friends, classmates, and colleagues to continue to wear a mask, and that we commit ourselves to establishing an atmosphere where masks are always welcomed and those who choose to wear masks feel comfortable and supported in their decision.
No one can be required to remove a mask if they wish to wear one. And event hosts, faculty, supervisors, etc. are not permitted to require masking within a specific space (e.g., an event, classroom, meeting, or workspace).
Lifting the Restrictions on Eating Locations
Along with the ending of the mask requirement, the COVID-related restrictions on where community members can eat and drink will also end effective Wednesday, September 28, 2022.
The lifting of COVID-reated restrictions on eating does not change other existing prohibitions on eating (e.g., restrictions on eating in labs or restrictions on eating in the library’s special collections rooms).
Employees with Violet GO yellow passes are still not permitted to eat in NYU buildings or at NYU-sponsored activities (on or off campus).
Lifting Special Performing Arts Restrictions
Beginning Wednesday, September 28, 2022, the special restrictions on performing arts classes, rehearsals, and performances are lifted and will be in line with the University’s general COVID-19 policies.
The policy regarding audience members, attendees, and visitors will be in line with the University’s general policy for visitors, vendors, and guests.
NYU’s Vaccination Requirement and the Bivalent Booster
Complying with NYU’s Vaccination Requirement
NYU requires that all members of the community and all visitors must provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and boosted with an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed vaccine (other than those who were approved for an exemption).
Keeping Up to Date with Boosters
The University, in line with CDC guidance, strongly recommends that all members of the community keep up to date with boosters (ie, that NYU community members have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for them by the CDC). Both Pfizer and Moderna are now offering FDA-authorized bivalent boosters (which provide protection against both the original strain of COVID-19 and the Omicron variants that are currently causing most COVID infections). You can find a simple “booster decision tool” on this page on the CDC’s website.
The Student Health Center’s Vaccination Service
Going forward, the Student Health Center (SHC) will revert to providing vaccination appointments only for students.
The Student Health Center (SHC) does have a limited supply of the bivalent booster vaccine available for students seeking the COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccination. For employees, appointments for bivalent boosters are widely available at local pharmacies and other healthcare locations. To find locations for booster appointments, New Yorkers can text their zip code to 438829, call 1-800-232-0233, or use the CDC’s booster finder or the City’s booster finder. They can also use the schedule tool for Walgreens, for CVS, or for Rite-Aid.
Ending Mandatory Testing for Students and NYU Employees
Effective Wednesday, September 28, students, faculty, administrators, and staff who were approved for an exemption from the vaccination requirement will no longer be required to test regularly to maintain building access.
Continuing Mandatory Testing for Visitors
Visitors, vendors, affiliates, and alumni who have claimed an exemption and who have been sponsored to come to campus will continue to be required to upload a negative test result prior to their arrival in order to be able to access NYU facilities.
While the University will continue its testing services (Binx and Bioreference) for the short term, given the wide availability of at-home testing and the prevalence of COVID PCR test sites in the area of campus, including multiple sidewalk locations, we expect to wind down the University’s testing services in the relatively near future.
The Binx locations in Kimmel and MetroTech will close at the end of next week.