Columbia Reopening Plan

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Columbia has maintained its campus operations (Irving Medical Center, Manhattanville, Morningside, and Lamont), including maintaining the presence of some students, some faculty, and essential staff. Essential workers have remained on campus throughout; this includes many facilities and security staff on all campuses, as well as health care professionals. Throughout this time, we have implemented a number of safety protocols including those recommended by the New York State Department of Health.

As New York City was able to enter Phase 2 on June 22, we entered a new stage, in which the first wave of laboratory and clinical researchers returned to campus, and on July 20 another wave of researchers returned. Both groups of researchers, and all others returning to campus, have been subject to gateway SARS-CoV-2 testing, the use of a daily symptom self-check, and completion of a safety training program.

Now that New York City has entered the Governor’s Phase 4 for reopening, the University intends to activate a plan to return some faculty, staff and students to campus in the fall. Our August 8 submission presumed we would be offering on-campus housing to 60% of our Columbia College and The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences undergraduate students, who traditionally live in our campus residence halls.  However due to New York State requirements for students coming from states that require a 14-day quarantine, we have scaled back this plan. Additionally, we will be able to accommodate the same proportion of Columbia School of General Studies undergraduate students in off-campus Columbia residential housing as we have in the past. In addition, a number of graduate students have and will be returning with some degree of presence on campus (for some in-person or hybrid instruction).

Thus, the Columbia Plan provides for the possible staged reopening of campus life, but also creates concrete plans for a scaling back and a shutdown that may be required either by the Governor or by the decision of the President and the Trustees of the University.

Individual school plans have been developed and will be available if needed.