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Phase III+: The University is open for expanded research operations; only authorized personnel will be admitted on campus. More info here.

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

The Rockefeller University implemented social distancing guidelines in early March 2020 to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community during campus operations. During Phase III+:

  • In-person, face-to-face meetings are not allowed. Employees should use Zoom, telephone, online conferencing, e-mail, instant messaging or other electronic method to conduct business, even when participants are in the same building, department, or lab.
  • If in-person interaction is unavoidable, the interaction should be for a minimum period of time, in a large area room and individuals should maintain at least six feet of separation from each other. Employees must wear a face covering that covers nose and mouth. See Guidelines for Mentoring/Training Activities.
  • Avoid person-to-person contact such as shaking hands.
  • Do not congregate in work rooms, pantries, copier rooms, or other areas where people socialize.
  • We encourage you to not eat meals while on campus, but when that is not practicable, eat in identified break areas or outside and maintain at least six feet of distance from others. Replace your face covering as soon as you have finished eating/drinking. As a reminder, food and drink are NOT allowed in the lab.
  • Community members should place orders for food and personal items via phone and e-mail to minimize person-to-person contact. When food or personal items are delivered to campus via courier/delivery personnel to the 66th Street Gate, they must be collected in person. Note that delivery personnel bringing items to the 66th Street Gate will not be allowed to enter campus. Plan to pick up these items at the 66th St. Gate. University business-related materials and services MUST be requisitioned through the IAS iProcurement System for delivery to University Receiving and/or Mailroom.
  • Telecommuting/Working Remotely: We encourage that those work activities that can be effectively accomplished remotely (as determined by your supervisor) should be done remotely.
  • Personnel on campus: 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 University policy.

Outside activities
Employees are encouraged to the extent possible to:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel for business or pleasure. Cancel or postpone any such travel, as well as nonessential meetings, gatherings, workshops, and training sessions. See RU Travel Policy for more details.
  • Avoid using public transportation if 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 large groups of 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.