Return to Campus Reminders

January 06, 2022

Dear Students,

I hope you are having a wonderful start to the new year.

The University is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic status in the New York City metro area and on our campuses. As we move into the Spring term, I want to share some key information about health and safety requirements and what to expect on campus in January.  

Booster Mandate

A reminder that the University has expanded the vaccine mandate to include a booster shot. Please get yours as soon as you are eligible if you haven’t already, and by January 31 at the latest (for those who are eligible). If you are not yet due for your booster, please do so as soon as you become eligible. Once you’ve done so, please upload an image of the booster vaccine record to your student health service Patient Portal and enter the date you received your booster (Morningside and Manhattanville students; CUIMC students) to ensure that the University has your most updated information.

Changes in Gathering and Dining Policies

The following restrictions have been put in place for the month of January, to ensure a safe start to the semester:

  • All meals will be grab and go for the first week back, starting January 18.
  • Columbia-related non-academic gatherings on and off campus are prohibited until the end of the month.
  • No fans will be allowed at athletic events for the first two weeks of January.
  • Masking indoors will continue through March 31.

Gateway Testing

All students are required to get a COVID-19 PCR test at the start of the term, by January 28 at the latest. Find guidance for your specific requirement and timing under Testing Approaches

FAQs On Testing:

Where can I make an appointment to get tested?

Columbia runs five testing locations by appointment only (no walk-ins at this time). To schedule your appointment, go to the Columbia Health Patient Portal, sign in with your UNI and UNI password, select "Appointments" from the main menu, select "schedule an appointment,” and select “COVID-19 testing” by location.

Tests from non-University sites do not fulfill the gateway testing requirement. Appointments open 7-10 days in advance, so please plan accordingly.

What if I have a recent positive test? 

If you had a positive PCR test in the past 90 days, and reported this to the University, as required by the Columbia University Community Health Compact, you will be considered compliant with the gateway requirement. Please do not re-test unless directed to do so by a healthcare provider and refer to the testing FAQ on how to submit your documentation in case of a positive test result.

Should I get tested before coming to campus?

Though it is not a requirement, all students are strongly recommended to get a PCR test from a local testing site 48 hours prior to returning to campus. There is no need to report it unless it is positive, in which case please notify [email protected]

Mask Reminder

All Columbia affiliates must continue to wear masks at all times indoors in Columbia facilities, regardless of vaccination status, and masking outdoors in large gatherings is strongly encouraged. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks both indoors and outdoors. 

New Student Checklist

If this is your first term at Columbia, welcome! Here’s a checklist of your requirements:

Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns about these policies and requirements.

Take care,

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

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