COVID-19 Response Update
To learn more about policies, procedures, and updates for the Brooklyn Law School community, visit COVID-19 Information.

3/11/22

Dear Brooklyn Law School Community,

In my August 6 message describing our covid-related safety policies as we entered the 2021–22 school year, I noted that Brooklyn, at that time, remained an area of significant transmission, warranting an indoor mask requirement even for a fully vaccinated community such as ours.

I am pleased to report that the situation has changed markedly. Using the “COVID-19 Community Levels” metrics recently advanced by the CDC, which consider hospitalization rates as well as overall transmission rates, the current “community level” in Kings County is “low.” Late last month, the governor announced an end to the state indoor mask mandate for schools effective March 2, and the mayor announced plans to lift the NYC public-school mask requirement and to lift the city’s Key2NYC requirement that businesses confirm vaccination status for indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment. At the same time, the CDC still categorizes the level of transmission in Kings County as “substantial” (a 7-day case rate >50 per 100k population), so covid-19 remains notably present in our area, though that rate has declined significantly in recent days (and is about 60% lower than at the time of my August message, when cases were also trending upward).

Recognizing this current state of affairs, a partial, but not yet total, relaxation in our mask policy is now appropriate. When we return from spring break, mask wearing will be required on campus only during class sessions and in elevators. These are situations where people are at close quarters and, in the case of classes, are required to attend and to be near others for extended periods. In other settings, mask use will not be mandatory but remains allowed, and indeed welcome, particularly when distance cannot be maintained; our campus is a “mask-friendly” environment. Especially if you will be in a confined space with others for any meaningful length of time, mask wearing is both a prudent and considerate practice.

All community members are encouraged, in all settings, to continue to maintain reasonable social distance from others as circumstances and surroundings permit.

If you are immunocompromised or otherwise at high risk for severe disease, be aware of the CDC’s recommendations:

  • Consider wearing a mask in indoor public settings;
  • Have a plan for rapid testing if needed;
  • Consider talking to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals, PrEP, and monoclonal antibodies.

Please bear in mind that we will continue to monitor trends and that our health and safety protocols will continue to follow the latest public health guidelines. If the transmission level continues to fall, we may lift the mask mandate altogether (though even then we will remain a “mask-friendly” campus). On the other hand, if the CDC community level or transmission level reverts to a higher position, we may reinstitute a comprehensive mask requirement or otherwise modify our rules.

Many thanks for your ongoing efforts to keep our community safe and healthy during this challenging time.

Sincerely yours,

Michael T. Cahill (he/him)
President, Joseph Crea Dean & Professor of Law