As we prepare for summer sessions, 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.
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: May 12, 2022
Protocol and Policy Updates for Spring 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.
University COVID-19 Monitoring Plan
The City of New York has modified its COVID alert level from low to moderate risk. Accordingly, and as of May 5, 2022 the Columbia COVID-19 monitoring plan has also been adjusted to yellow, in order to be consistent with the status of the City.
In addition to the primary 2 dose vaccination series, one booster will be required for all new and continuing students registering for the Fall 2022 semester.
- 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 will go into effect on July 12, 2022 if you are not compliant with the booster mandate. Students who remain non-compliant will be subject to deregistration prior to the start of the Fall term.
- 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.
Please upload documentation and dates for your booster dose as soon as possible via the Columbia Health Patient Portal. Instructions can be found here. Reminder: uploading documentation does not equal compliance. Your submission must be verified and approved by Columbia Health to fulfill your requirements.
As the University announced in early May, with public and private testing sites readily available alongside home tests, and in the context of high vaccination/booster coverage at the University, the University’s random surveillance testing program will end on Thursday, May 12.
If you test positive, you should email email@example.com for further guidance and help navigating resources.
Wastewater surveillance will continue for undergraduate residential buildings, 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. Separate isolation facilities will be reserved for students with underlying health conditions, and those with symptoms that require close monitoring.
- For more information on protocols for COVID-19 cases in the classroom and attendance policies, refer to the resource guide on the return to in-person instruction.
- 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 in required isolation may only leave their residence in limited situations:
- Up to 3 times per day to pick up grab-and-go meals from a designated location on campus
- Medical appointments or treatment
- Relocation to an off-campus location (i.e. with family) for isolation via private vehicle
- 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.
- Only students who have not received a booster (if eligible) will be required to quarantine in-place after close contact with a student in isolation.
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. Additional information and instructions for students can be found in the resource guide on the return to in-person instruction.
Dining, Events & Gatherings
Students should avoid indoor social gatherings unless you are aware of the vaccination and testing status of everyone present.
Isolation Dining Options
Columbia Dining’s isolation meal service ends on Friday, May 13 at 6:00 p.m. Columbia Dining will be closed for the summer and students in isolation after this date should make arrangements to have food/groceries delivered or ask friends to help by dropping off food and supplies.
Residence Hall Visitors & Guests
- Guests – Residential students may host one non-CUID holder guest overnight after completing a required pre-registration and vaccination verification process. 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.
- Note: Guests registered during the Spring term do not need to be re-registered by their host for overnight visits during the Summer.
- Residence Hall Access – All CC/SEAS students in residence over the summer will only be able to swipe into their assigned residence hall.
Columbia will continue to require non-cloth masks to be worn in instructional spaces for Summer sessions. As has been policy for the past year, instructors have the option to remove their masks while teaching. Current policies on masking in all other settings continue unchanged, with masking optional for other public settings with the exception of clinical contexts where masking is required.
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.