Summary Update of COVID-19-related Developments
Date: December 18, 2021
To: THE NYU COMMUNITY
From: Katherine Fleming, Provost
Martin Dorph, Exec. Vice President
Dr. Carlo Ciotoli, Exec. Lead, COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team
Booster Vaccination Requirement for All NYU Community Members
Earlier this week, the University announced that all eligible students, faculty, administrators, and staff are required to obtain a COVID-19 booster vaccination and to upload proof of having received it by January 18, 2022.
In the face of rising case counts and the spread of both the delta and omicron variants, getting a booster vaccination is the single most important step NYU community members can take to help safeguard themselves against COVID-19, the collective health of the University community, and the health of our neighborhood and city.
We all have a responsibility to keep each other safe. Please act now. Do not wait to schedule an appointment.
The Rise in Case Counts, and Steps NYU Is Taking in Response
As we noted in the communication we sent on Wednesday, our testing detected a sharp and conspicuous acceleration of cases in the NYU community beginning this week.
On a national level, the seven-day average for new cases is in the range of 120,000 cases per day; in late-October/early-November, the seven-day average was more like 72,000 new cases per day. In New York City, the current seven-day average is now approximately 4,000 new cases per day; in the late-October/early-November period, it was well under 1,000 new cases per day.
With the start of the holiday season, the advent of colder weather, the persistence of the delta variant and the emergence of the omicron variant, health officials anticipated that there would be an increase; still, we are seeing steep increases. It shouldn’t be a cause for alarm, but it should be a cause for concern and appropriate precautions.
Governor Hochul issued new mask-wearing restrictions, and Mayor De Blasio has issued an order requiring vaccinations among employees of private employers (given the health rules NYU already had in effect, neither of these changes will require additional actions by our community). NYU itself took a number of steps.
The bottom line: it’s about stopping the spread. We all have a role in that, and in keeping each other safe. So, please:
- Comply with the booster requirement as soon as possible. It enhances the immune response and is the most important step we can take.
- Wear your mask — it is as important now as ever. Our contact tracing indicates that transmission is happening where people are taking off their masks to eat or socialize together. And unfortunately there are growing anecdotal reports of less conscientious mask-wearing, which has got to change.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
Travel and Holiday Guidance
- You should consider getting tested before you travel, especially if you have any reason to believe that you were put in a situation that involved a higher risk for transmission.
- We urge you to follow the CDC’s travel and holiday guidelines.
- We strongly encourage you to wear your mask as much as possible while traveling, and to avoid eating and drinking in settings where you cannot distance yourself from others.
Testing Center Schedule
Testing Center Hours over the next two weeks
Winter Break begins at the close-of-business next Wednesday, December 22.
Next week, testing will be available on Monday, December 20 - Wednesday, December 22 through the testing center at 50 W 4th St. The following week, which is winter break, testing will be available Monday, December 27 - Wednesday, December 29 there. You can schedule an appointment here.
The notification and contact tracing teams will continue to operate during the break. Anyone who has a positive test will be contacted and normal protocols will be followed.
Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.