July 22, 2021
Dear Tulane Community,
We are currently monitoring the increase in cases of COVID-19 in the New Orleans area, primarily due to the delta variant. It is increasingly important that all individuals get vaccinated with the emergence of the delta variant, which is more transmissible than previous strains of COVID-19. According to the City of New Orleans, most cases are among unvaccinated individuals, and 97% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated individuals. Vaccinations are our best line of defense against this global epidemic.
Nearly 90 percent of Tulane faculty and staff are fully vaccinated – we encourage all in our community to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. When more people are vaccinated, there are fewer chances for COVID-19 to spread or mutate. Vaccinated individuals typically experience milder symptoms if they contract COVID-19 in rare breakthrough cases, including the delta variant.
Tulane Campus Mask Policy
Due to COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations significantly increasing over the past several weeks, the City of New Orleans announced an indoor mask advisory, asking everyone – regardless of vaccination status – to wear a mask indoors when in the presence of people who are not members of their immediate family. Effective immediately, we are implementing the city's advisory by strongly encouraging all individuals to wear masks while indoors on any Tulane University property or campus – uptown, downtown or on the Northshore.
Anyone not yet fully vaccinated is required to mask and distance in public settings and particularly indoors for their safety and the safety of others. The decision to stop wearing a mask is a personal choice for anyone who has been vaccinated. Not all people who have been vaccinated will feel comfortable without a mask in public areas.
The entire Tulane community is required to participate in contact tracing to limit the spread of COVID-19. If you have received a positive COVID-19 test from a testing center outside of Tulane or believe you are a close contact of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must complete a COVID-19 Reporting Form. Once you complete the form, a contact tracer will reach out and advise you on what actions to take.
- For those who are close contacts to a known case of COVID-19, CDC guidance for unvaccinated individuals requires quarantine for at least 7 days with release after a negative test.
- For close contacts to a known case of COVID-19, CDC guidance does not require quarantine for vaccinated individuals.
- All individuals who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate for 10 days based on the onset of symptoms or the positive test result.
- Tulane Contact Tracers make all decisions on quarantine and isolation dates. You are required to report exposures or positive test results immediately.
- COVID-19 surveillance testing is a requirement for all faculty, staff, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are on a campus during the summer. Everyone should be participating in surveillance testing twice per month regardless of vaccine status or the presence of antibodies from a previous COVID-19 infection.
- Protocols for Fall Testing will be announced in the coming weeks.
Important COVID-19 Testing Facts
- Employees who are symptomatic or are a close contact to a known case can contact the Living Well Clinics or their personal health care provider for testing. The Tulane Testing Centers and the Student Health Centers do not provide symptomatic testing for employees.
- Please do not schedule an appointment or visit a campus testing center before receiving a QR code via email from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have an active order (QR code) to get tested, you will be turned away from the testing center. For questions about testing, email email@example.com.
- Remember, if you have tested positive outside of the Tulane Testing Program, you must submit documentation through the COVID-19 Reporting Form.
If you have tested positive, you do not need to be tested for 90 days. If you receive a notice, please contact CHTestResults@tulane.edu for assistance.
Receiving the vaccine does not exempt you from the testing program.