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Social Distancing Guidelines for the Workplace During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Updated July 28, 2021

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

Beginning May 14, 2021, the University modified policies in line with the CDC Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. Additional modifications to the guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals were implemented May 28, 2021. These guidelines were further modified in response to new guidelines from the CDC issued on July 27, 2021, the level of vaccination in our community, COVID infection rates in the region and the nation, and evidence about increased infectiousness of the Delta variant.

  • In-person, face-to-face meetings are not allowed unless all participants are fully vaccinated. Participants in the meetings must wear face covering. Employees should use Zoom, telephone, online conferencing, e-mail, instant messaging or other electronic method to conduct meetings with people who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals who are in face masks are not required to socially distance from each other.
  • If in-person interaction between people who are not fully vaccinated 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 and wear face covering. 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.
  • Eat in identified break areas or outside and maintain appropriate social distance from others. When inside, individuals must replace their face covering as soon as they have finished eating/drinking. When outside, unvaccinated individuals must replace their face covering as soon as they finish 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: Work activities that can be effectively accomplished remotely (as determined by your supervisor) may 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. See RU Travel Policy for more details.
  • Avoid recreational or other leisure classes, meetings, or activities where you might come into contact with large groups of people whose vaccination status is unknown.
  • 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.