Messages to the Community

Important Health and Safety Updates and Reminders: September 17, 2021

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

It’s wonderful to feel the energy on campus as we progress through the semester. We are writing today to share updates and reminders for the week to ensure everyone has the latest information about the university’s health and safety protocols.

Please scroll down to read more about:

  • Dining Hall Policy
  • Reminder: Know Your Testing Schedule
  • If You Test Positive for COVID-19
  • Contact Tracing
  • Health and Safety on Campus

Update on Dining Hall Policy

Earlier this week, The New School implemented a new policy for the University Center cafeteria to comply with New York City’s regulation requiring proof of partial or full vaccination to eat at indoor dining establishments. One of the steps in our protocol stated that the name listed on your vaccine record must match the name on your New School ID card. We heard from members of the community who use preferred names rather than their legal names, and moving forward, the university will only verify that the last name on your New School ID card or government-issued ID matches your vaccine record. Thank you to everyone who shared their feedback; this is an important and positive improvement to our policy.

Reminder: Know Your Testing Schedule

All community members are required to participate in frequent COVID-19 testing to maintain access to campus spaces. You can check your building access status at

Vaccinated individuals:

  • You must take a binx test no later than every 14 days.
  • Pick a weekday and test on that day every other week.
  • If your chosen test day is a holiday or conflicts with another commitment, plan ahead and test on the weekday before your usual testing day.

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals:

  • You must take a binx test every 4 days.
  • We recommend testing every Monday and Thursday.
  • If those days don’t work for you or fall on holidays, plan ahead and test on the weekday before your usual testing day.

Binx pick-up and drop-off hours:

  • Pick up a test kit at the University Center, 2 West 13th Street, or 55 West 13th Street
  • Completed test kits are shipped Monday-Friday at 4:00 p.m.
  • Binx pick-up and drop-off locations are not open on Saturdays, Sundays or university holidays.

If you are feeling sick or develop symptoms:

  • Please stay home and immediately contact Student Health Services or your medical provider.

Parsons Paris Mobility Students:

You are required to follow the same protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals on campus. We recommend using LabQ for your free PCR testing, which has convenient locations near campus in Union Square and Washington Square Park along with other sites around the city and New Jersey. Please email your test results to for verification.

If You Test Positive for COVID-19

It’s up to all of us to prioritize the health and safety of our community. If you test positive during the semester, you must follow the university’s isolation policy to help limit the spread of the virus to others. Individuals who have tested positive should only exit isolation following guidance from Student Health Services or their medical provider. False positive PCR test results are extremely rare, and the binx tests are highly sensitive to viral markers in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.

Here are the steps you must follow if you test positive:

  1. Regardless of your vaccination status, you must isolate yourself and stay home for 10 days, check for symptoms, and speak with a medical provider. You cannot come to campus during this time.
  2. Student Health Services (students) or Human Resources (faculty and staff) will check in with you. If you are still experiencing symptoms on the tenth day, your isolation period will be extended in coordination with a medical provider. If you are symptom-free, you are cleared to return to campus. If you are cleared to return to campus, you will not be required to test for 90 days from the test collection date.
  3. Students must inform their faculty that they are required to isolate. Faculty will work with students to address their coursework. For questions about symptoms and isolation protocols, students should schedule a telehealth appointment at or email You should also work with Student Support and Advocacy during your isolation period to ensure your academic needs are met while you recover. Students living in the residence halls will be provided isolation instructions by Residence Hall Staff and/or Student Health Services. Housing staff will help ensure that residential students are able to obtain food and medications as needed during their isolation period.
  4. Community members with prolonged illness related to COVID-19 infection are encouraged to contact Student Disability Services (students) or Human Resources (faculty and staff) regarding accommodations.

Contact Tracing

Last week we shared The New School’s contact tracing and quarantine policy. The university will initiate this protocol if a community member is exposed to COVID-19. As a reminder:

  • Vaccinated asymptomatic individuals who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive will not be required to quarantine; however, they must participate fully in the contact tracing process and monitor themselves for symptoms of infection.
    • Faculty and students should continue to teach and attend class in person while following the protocols for monitoring and testing. Staff should continue to report to work, regardless of whether they are on campus or working remotely.
    • Vaccinated close contacts will be required to test 3 – 5 days following exposure.
  • Unvaccinated individuals who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive must quarantine for 10 days.
    • Students living on campus will be assisted in moving to a space suitable for quarantine and will not be allowed on campus.
    • Faculty, staff, and off-campus students should isolate in their living space.
    • Unvaccinated close contacts will be required to test on day 5 of their quarantine.

To learn more about the university’s contact tracing and quarantine protocols, visit the Health and Safety page of our COVID-19 Community Guide. We will share a detailed FAQ next week.

Health and Safety on Campus

As more community members complete their vaccination series, the university’s vaccination rate continues to climb. We know this is one of the most significant elements helping to keep us all safe, along with proven measures such as wearing a mask, frequent testing, and enhanced ventilation and cleaning. Data posted on our dashboard shows low positivity rates for COVID-19 on our campus since the start of the semester.

  • Over 99 percent of our faculty and staff and over 96 percent of our students in New York are fully vaccinated, and the student number continues to increase as more students complete their vaccine series and are counted.
  • Since the start of the semester, New Schoolers have taken over 28,000 PCR tests.
  • The vast majority of our community are adhering to the university’s vaccination and testing requirements, with less than 1 percent of community members unable to enter buildings and most issues cleared within a day.

Continuing to adhere to the safety measures outlined in our COVID-19 Community Guide is the right thing to do for our community at this time, and we thank everyone for your commitment to caring for one another.

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