The current trajectory of the pandemic, broad availability of a variety of testing modalities, and high vaccination/booster coverage in the Columbia community have prompted several important updates to public health measures at the University for the Fall Semester.
The University’s COVID-related policies continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis to reflect current public health conditions. Please continue to stay up-to-date with the latest information.
Updated: September 5, 2022
Protocol and Policy Updates for Fall Semester
Columbia has updated several key policies in consultation with the President’s COVID-19 Task Force and consistent with updated guidance from the CDC and New York State Department of Health. Please review the information below carefully.
All new students are required to sign an updated Columbia Community Health Compact. Returning students do not have to sign the Compact again. No symptom attestation is required for new or returning students.
Download the ReopenCU app and follow the instructions, or log into the web application, read, and digitally sign the Compact. ReopenCU will monitor Compact-signing compliance and Columbia Health will issue red passes for violations.
In addition to the primary 2 dose vaccination series, one booster dose is required for all new and continuing students registering for the Fall 2022 semester. A booster dose, in addition to the required primary vaccination series, is recommended for periodic visitors to campus.
- On-Campus: Students can schedule an appointment via the Columbia Health Patient Portal, though appointments may be limited.
- Off-Campus: Booster shots are free and broadly available. The NYC Vaccine Finder can help you get boosted in the city, and the COVID Vaccine Finder by State can help you find a convenient location in your local community.
- You can also text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX) to get a link with local Covid vaccination information.
- Bring your original CDC vaccination card with you to document your booster dose, and save this important record.
Students who are non-compliant with the booster mandate will have a registration hold placed on their student account in SSOL, and subject to deregistration.
- Continuing Students: A registration hold is in effect for students who are not compliant with the booster mandate, along with a RedPass limiting access to most campus facilities.
- New Students: A registration hold will remain in effect at the start of the new student registration period for any new student who is not compliant with the booster mandate –or any other required vaccination, and a RedPass will limit access to campus facilities.
Please upload documentation and dates for your booster dose as soon as possible via the Columbia Health Patient Portal. Reminder: uploading documentation does not equal compliance. Your submission must be verified and approved by Columbia Health to fulfill your requirements. Instructions can be found here.
In the context of high vaccination/booster coverage at the University, students are encouraged to use readily available public and private testing sites in addition to at-home tests.
Students who test positive should email firstname.lastname@example.org for further guidance and help navigating resources.
Wastewater surveillance will continue for undergraduate residential buildings to assess overall trends on campus, and should public health conditions change, the University will reassess the need for on-campus testing options.
Isolation Protocols and Procedures
Students who report a positive test to Columbia Health while on campus will be instructed, in most cases, to isolate in-place for a minimum of 5 days – either in their assigned campus residence or non-Columbia housing. The number of days in isolation can increase to 10 depending on symptoms, testing, and immunocompromised status.
- All students who report a positive test will be provided with resources and support when contacted with instructions to begin their isolation period.
- Approved masks (i.e. non-cloth) must be worn at all times by those in isolation while in the presence of others.
- Anyone concerned with their own symptoms, or those of a roommate or neighbor, should proactively contact Columbia Health or Public Safety for medical assistance.
- All roommates or suitemates of students in isolation should wear an approved mask at all times and will be required to test 5 days after exposure, unless otherwise indicated.
- Information on dining protocols for students with COVID can be found here.
Separate isolation rooms will be reserved for students with documented health risks (i.e. immunosuppressed or other complications) if a roommate is required to isolate in-place. Students should contact Columbia Health at 212-854-7426 (available 24/7) if you need to be relocated for health reasons.
Attendance Policies and Missed Class
Student absences relating to COVID-19 will be recognized as circumstances for which absences are excused, and students will not be penalized. Students should contact their instructor to inform them of an absence and request appropriate accommodation. For additional information and guidance, speak with your CSA adviser.
Events & Gatherings
There are no restrictions on social gatherings on or off campus, except for clinical-related settings.
Residence Hall Guests & Visitors
- Guests – Residential students may host non-CUID holder guests overnight in accordance with Columbia Housing guest policies. Please note, at this time, minors are not permitted as overnight guests.
- Gatherings - Residents may host small gatherings in their room or suite and are expected to follow all relevant policies. Residential Life, Public Safety, Columbia Housing and other University staff reserve the right to limit the number of guests signed into the residence hall by one host.
- Residence Hall Access – All residential students, and students with commuter access, will have swipe access to the common areas of all campus residences.
Note: Hosts are responsible for informing their guests of the University’s vaccination requirements.
Masking is strongly recommended in all indoor settings.
- Classrooms: Masking in all classrooms will be required through September 30th to allow a smooth return to the classroom. As has been policy for the past year, instructors have the option to remove their masks while teaching.
- Clinical and Clinical Research Settings: Masking in indoor settings in clinical and clinical research areas and other human subjects research as well as field research is required.
- Shuttles: Masking is required on Columbia-operated shuttles.
Effective for all Columbia-related travel beginning September 6, 2022 or later, there are no longer COVID-19–related travel restrictions. We strongly recommend pre-departure and post-arrival testing; use readily available public and private testing sites in addition to home tests. However, the following guidance remains:
- All affiliates must continue to abide by the Columbia Community Health Compact, all relevant university health protocols, and the University International Travel Planning Policy. All school-level requirements and protocols must also be followed.
- For all travel, domestic and international, masking is strongly encouraged in any indoor setting with a large number of attendees.
- Caution is urged for travel to countries that are designated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notice Level 3 or 4 or “Level Unknown.”
For more details on travel during the fall 2022 semester, consult the Resource Guide.
Information on what to do if you or a roommate has tested positive.
Review the latest updates and information from the President's COVID-19 Task Force, including weekly campus-wide test results, up to date announcements from University leadership, and links to resources and support services.