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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.

This message was sent to the Rockefeller community from the Office of the Executive Vice President on May 14, 2021 at 3:57 p.m.
Subject: Update on Rockefeller Phase III+ policies

Dear Rockefeller colleagues,

On behalf of the University’s Research Restart Committee (RRC), I am writing with updates to the current Phase III+ policies. We want to thank the campus community for your extraordinary diligence in complying with Phase III+ restrictions and are pleased to announce that we are lifting several of these restrictions for fully vaccinated people.

For unvaccinated people, there are no changes to the current policies. Social distancing and face masks are required at all times while on campus (indoors and outdoors).

There are changes to the policies for fully vaccinated individuals, defined as at least two weeks beyond the final dose of vaccine (after the second Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and after the first Johnson&Johnson vaccine). Effective immediately for fully vaccinated people:

  • Social distancing is no longer required (including indoors)
  • Masks are no longer required for scientists working at their desk or their lab bench. However, masks should be worn while moving about other parts of the lab and at all times while non-lab members are visiting or providing services to the lab. Masks remain required in other indoor areas on campus
  • Masks are no longer required for non-public-facing staff working at their assigned work area or desk. However, masks should be worn while moving about other areas of their office and at all times while people who are not part of their department are visiting or providing services to the department. Masks remain required in other indoor areas on campus
    • (“Public-facing” staff are those whose responsibilities include in-person interactions with others who “walk-up” to interact with them, such as those in security, receiving, stockroom, mailroom, cashiers, receptionists and doorstaff)
  • Groups of fully vaccinated people are permitted to have in-person meetings without masks while in meeting rooms. If unvaccinated members of your group need to participate in these meetings, you must set up a Zoom portal so that they can join these meetings virtually. If you have questions about the appropriate number of meeting attendees for a given room, please for guidance
  • Individual visitors to campus will be permitted for business purposes only and must provide certification that they are fully vaccinated. Visitors are not permitted on campus for social or recreational purposes at this time. Permission for visitors to access campus still needs to be obtained following submission of the request to
  • Visitors are not permitted to access food services or to join others at the Faculty Club
  • Doubles tennis is now permitted with court reservations required (Rockefeller personnel only)
  • Yoga classes in the Great Hall will resume next week. Look for an announcement with more details to follow
  • The squash courts and Founder’s gym remain closed at this time

Local guidelines and policies are changing quickly. As of May 14, 2021, New York State has indicated only that it has taken yesterday’s announcement from the CDC under advisement. Rockefeller housing policies are still being considered and will be announced separately.

We anticipate that the situation will continue to improve; however, should it worsen again, campus members should be prepared to return rapidly to prior policies and precautions.

Access to the Pfizer vaccine on-campus at the Kellen Biolink (594 East 68th St.) will continue next week, including access for anyone over the age of 12. You can sign up your child or facilitate an appointment for a friend or family member by visiting this link (requires VPN). If you are making an appointment for yourself, use this link (no VPN required). Getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself, your colleagues and your loved ones from COVID-19. Please send questions about vaccinations to

If you have any questions about the information above, please send an email to

Please continue to use good judgment and common sense at all times.

Take care,


Timothy P. O’Connor, PhD
Executive Vice President
The Rockefeller University