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.
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.
Receiving the vaccine does not exempt you from the testing program.