NYC COVID-19 Context and Vaccine Availability

March 25, 2021

Dear Students,

As the weather continues to warm, I’m looking forward to safe outdoor activities like seeing friends for walks in the park. There is much we can all do to stay connected to our communities, while also continuing to follow the Compact to Keep Our Community Healthy.

Check out this video by DT Bruno, MSW and 2020 alum of Columbia's School of Social Work, which shows how you can use American Sign Language to help #KeeptheCompact!   

New York City: Current COVID-19 Context
In my March 12th message, I mentioned that while New York State is loosening some restrictions on indoor activities, Columbia has not changed our events policy. I want to give a bit more context about why:

  • Cases in the New York City metro area remain troublingly high, even as the numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths around the U.S. trend downward.
  • There are more contagious variants in the City that account for a large percentage of our cases locally.
  • The majority of our student community are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

University public health experts continually evaluate safety guidelines using these and other important data points in order to inform decisions. We must continue to take the precautions that have worked remarkably well throughout the pandemic, to keep our community and surrounding neighbors safe.

Vaccine Availability
We have received a number of questions regarding vaccine availability for students on campus. Columbia University has not yet received a vaccine allocation. When we do, details will be shared with the University community. Updates are posted regularly to We encourage you to check the website periodically and watch your email for updates. If you currently meet New York State eligibility criteria, you may wish to pursue vaccinations through other NY sites.

As always, if you have questions about any of the information in this message, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

Take care,

Joseph Defraine Greenwell, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Office of University Life
Gender Pronouns: He/Him/His

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