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Social Distancing Guidelines for the Workplace During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Rockefeller University is implementing these social distancing guidelines effective immediately in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community:

  • Employees are advised to:
    • Avoid meeting people face-to-face. Employees are encouraged to use the telephone, online conferencing, e-mail or instant messaging to conduct business as much as possible, even when participants are in the same building.
    • If a face-to-face meeting is unavoidable, the meeting time should be for a minimum period of time, in a large meeting room and participants should sit at least 6 feet from each other, if possible.
    • Avoid person-to-person contact such as shaking hands.
    • Avoid unnecessary travel for business or pleasure. Cancel or postpone any such travel, as well as nonessential meetings, gatherings, workshops and training sessions.
    • Do not congregate in work rooms, pantries, copier rooms or other areas where people socialize.
    • Eat at your desk or away from others. Bring your lunch or purchase take-out meals from the Bass Dining Commons. (During this period of social distancing, the Commons will be open for take-out only. The Abby Dining Room is temporarily closed.) As a reminder, food and drink are NOT allowed in the lab.
    • Encourage community members and non-members to request information and materials or place orders via phone and e-mail to minimize person-to-person contact. When items or materials must be collected in person, have them ready for fast pick-up or delivery. Note that delivery personnel bringing items to the 66th St. Gate will not be allowed to enter campus. Plan to pick up these items at the 66th St. Gate.
  • Telecommuting: Whenever appropriate, telecommuting arrangements should be made, on a temporary basis, at the discretion of Head of Laboratory and Head of Department.
  • Housing Accommodations: Essential Personnel, as identified under The Rockefeller University Disaster Plan, are expected to report to work. Essential Personnel have already been designated as such; however, if you are unsure of your status as Essential Personnel, speak to your supervisor.
  • Employees absent from work during University enforced social distancing will be compensated as determined by the University.

Outside activities
Employees are encouraged to the extent possible to:

  • Avoid using public transportation during rush-hour crowding (walk, cycle, or drive a car whenever possible). Alternatively, if possible, adjust your schedule to commute early or late to avoid rush-hour crowding on public transportation.
  • Avoid recreational or other leisure classes, meetings, or activities where you might come into contact with contagious people.
  • Avoid handshaking as a means of greeting. Possible alternatives may include using a slight bow, elbow bump or toe kick when greeting others.
  • Use only your knuckle to touch light switches, elevator buttons, etc.
  • When opening doors (especially bathroom or other public area doors) or touching other public surfaces, use a paper towel, tissue or disposable glove.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer when handwashing is not possible.
  • Use general surface cleaning products or wipes to clean commonly touched surfaces.

If you have any questions, please contact for more information.