Messages to the Community

Important Health and Safety Updates and Reminders: September 10, 2021

A message from Dr. Renée White, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Tokumbo Shabawale, Executive Vice President for Business and Operations


We are so pleased to see many of you back on campus. As we look to the weeks ahead, we will be sharing regular updates and reminders to ensure everyone has the latest information about the university’s health and safety protocols. By caring for one another and following these guidelines, we will help keep each other safe.

Here are the updates for this week.

Required Proof of Vaccination for Indoor Dining and Fitness Spaces

Beginning September 13, New York City will begin enforcing a new policy requiring proof of full or partial COVID-19 vaccination to dine indoors and use fitness centers. This requirement applies to the university’s cafeteria and fitness facilities in the residence halls and University Center. It may also affect other indoor campus spaces, and the university will communicate those additional spaces and impacts to the community if and when they are identified.

We know this requirement will present challenges for those members of our community who have received approved exemptions from the university’s COVID-19 vaccination policy. Those who have not received any dose of an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine will not be able to eat in the cafeteria or use indoor fitness facilities.

All community members, regardless of vaccination status, will be able to pick up grab- and-go options from the cafeteria to eat elsewhere on campus, including outdoor and other designated spaces on campus.

Reminder: Ongoing Testing Requirements

All community members must participate in The New School’s ongoing testing program.

  • Vaccinated individuals must take a COVID-19 PCR test no later than 14 days after the date their previous test was taken. We recommend that community members select a day of the week that works for their schedule and take a test on that day every other week.
  • Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals must take a COVID-19 PCR test no later than 4 days after the date their previous test was taken. We recommend that community members take a test every Monday and Thursday.

Students, faculty, and staff who are on campus regularly are expected to use the free binx self-collection nasal swab test kits available in multiple campus locations. For those community members who are unable to pick up a test kit on campus, the university will accept PCR tests from off-campus providers.

While your test results are in process, you will remain in compliance with university policy.

You can check your building access status at

If you are feeling sick or develop symptoms, please stay home and immediately contact Student Health Services or your medical provider.

University’s Contact Tracing and Quarantine Policy

The university will initiate its contact tracing and quarantine protocol if a community member is exposed to COVID-19. The purpose of contact tracing is to identify and notify in a timely manner close contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 and to educate those contacts on quarantine instructions, symptom monitoring, and steps to take if they become symptomatic. To learn more about this process, visit the Health and Safety page of the university’s COVID-19 Community Guide.

Health and Safety on Campus

As we recently shared, we begin the semester with a high rate of vaccination and testing among our community.

  • Over 99 percent of our faculty and staff and over 95 percent of our students in New York are fully vaccinated, and the student number will increase as more students complete their vaccine series and are counted.
  • Since our Fall 2021 policies went into effect on August 16, New Schoolers have taken more than 18,000 PCR tests with a positive rate of 0.30 percent over the last two weeks. In comparison, the positive rate of our neighborhood (ZIP Code 10011) is 3.00 percent and of NYC as a whole is 3.39 percent.

These rates underscore the sense of responsibility and concern that is shared across our campus, and we are grateful for your commitment to caring for our community.

We welcome everyone to visit the university’s COVID-19 dashboard, updated weekly. Thank you for your continued efforts to help keep our community safe.

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Graduates and Adult Learners

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