Summary Update of COVID-19-related Developments
Date: November 2, 2021
To: THE NYU COMMUNITY
From: Katherine Fleming, Provost
Martin Dorph, Exec. Vice President
Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, Exec. Lead, NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team
COVID-19 Case Data, and COVID-19-related Restrictions
Last week we had our 7th week of reduced numbers of new cases.
We continue to evaluate our safety protocols and restrictions in the context of conditions and data trends, such as new cases and case positivity on campus and more broadly in New York City. Since the start of the semester, we have made some discrete, modest, appropriate, incremental changes (eg, allowing non-resident NYU students to visit students in NYU housing, permitting students to attend student course-based performances or athletic events, etc.).
Because it would not be unexpected to see some increase in cases and case positivity in the aftermath of an event such as Halloween, we expect to evaluate the outcomes of this week’s data before moving forward with additional lifting of restrictions.
Post Halloween Testing
If your Halloween celebration included instances where you may have been at greater risk for COVID—you were in a large, packed crowd where a lot of people were unmasked, you were at an indoor party where people weren’t wearing masks, etc.—we recommend you get tested for COVID-19 this week. It’s quick and easy to either make an appointment for a BioReference test or pick up a Binx test (the saliva test).
The Thanksgiving holiday break often involves travel of all sorts, get togethers, and sharing meals with people whose vaccination status you may not know. Holiday periods have been followed by spikes in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations before.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently released updated guidance for celebrating the holidays. We urge you to read and act in line with their recommendations.
We want to remind members of the community of the availability of discretionary testing should they wish to make use of it before leaving for Thanksgiving.
A Federal Mandate, and Its Significant Implications for Employees Who Have Not Complied with Our Vaccination Requirement
NYU employees complied with the University’s vaccination requirement at very high rates–99% of faculty, 97% of administrators and staff. However, for that very small fraction who have not, there has been an important development.
In September 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that requires all employees of federal contractors—which includes NYU—to be fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021. For the NYU employees who remain non-compliant, this mandate means that they must be fully compliant by December 8, 2021 (ie, they received the final dose of their vaccine two weeks prior to December 8, or have an approved medical or religious exemption). If they do not, they should expect:
- To be prohibited from being on campus beginning on December 8, 2021
- To be placed on unpaid status as of January 1, 2022 (Non-compliant adjunct faculty must reach out to their respective schools to understand appointment implications after January 1, 2022)
Non-compliant employees are urged to be in touch with their school or unit human resources officer (HRO) for any additional details or with any questions.