Whereas on November 30, 2021, the United States and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) designated the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron as a Variant of Concern;
Whereas, in response to both of the above, the CDC has already strengthened its recommendation on booster shots to “Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their initial J&J vaccine”;
Whereas widespread rapid turnaround testing can reduce chains of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and subsequent strain mutations;
Whereas maintaining Rutgers as an in-person University requires mitigating the spread of all variants of SARS-CoV-2 using scientific and evidence-based methods; and
Whereas a main lesson of the pandemic is that urgent, rapid, and mitigative action is critical; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the Rutgers University AAUP-AFT:
- Urges President Holloway and the University administration to act with extreme urgency to provide a plan for responding to the SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron rather than adopting a wait-and-see approach.
- Urges the administration to do all in its power, including organizing frequent visible on-campus vaccination clinics, to provide third-shot boosters to all members of the Rutgers community, including all faculty, staff, and students and the family members who live with them. Included in the definition of “Rutgers community” are residents of the communities in which Rutgers is located.
- Urges the administration to make available, on demand and free of charge, COVID-19 tests on a weekly basis to all members of the Rutgers community, regardless of vaccination or booster status, beginning on the first day of class for the Spring 2022 semester, including in all student housing, as part of a structured testing/surveillance model to be in place for the entirety of the Spring 2022 semester.
- Urges the administration to update its vaccine requirement(s) to include CDC-recommended boosters for all eligible students, faculty, and staff.
- Urges the administration to retain the current masking/facial covering mandate and social distancing requirements in all indoor shared spaces throughout the Spring 2022 semester.
- Urges the administration to continue the current campus libraries entrance policy, whereby only those holding valid Rutgers University IDs may access university libraries, for the remainder of the spring 2022 semester.