COVID-19 Monitoring Plan

Last Updated: October 22, 2021

Current Alert Level: Low Risk (Yellow)

Guiding Principles

  • Columbia University Framework for COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Management is developed to provide guidance for fall 2021
  • A single approach will guide the University's approach
  • Careful consideration will be given to contextualizing of the observed trends, keeping in mind the change in knowledge about the epidemic, and the need for flexibility in analyzing and acting upon the criteria set forth
  • The University will continue to prioritize activities relating directly to the University’s instructional, research and service mission
  • All actions will be informed by national, state, and local guidance

Description of Framework

  • Select metrics reflecting the COVID-19 status in New York City, as well as the situation on campus, will be monitored carefully to determine the COVID-19 risk level
  • Key thresholds for each metric were set to signal COVID-19 risk and for re-institution or lifting of certain measures. Measures include:
     
    • Masking
    • Distancing
    • Gatherings
    • Travel
       
  • In the context of COVID-19 vaccine availability and Columbia's vaccination mandate, hospitalizations, deaths, and vaccine coverage become the metrics of particular importance, rather than number of cases or PCR positivity

Priority Metrics to Monitor

Types of Gatherings

*"Columbia Affiliates" is defined in this context as University faculty, researchers, staff, and students.

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Lower Risk

Metrics

  • Columbia affiliate vaccination coverage >95%
  • Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations/day in New York City <180 (7-day rolling average)
  • Number of COVID-19 deaths/day in New York City <10 (7-day rolling average)
  • PCR positivity in New York City <5% (7-day rolling average)
  • Number of COVID-19 cases/day in New York City <550 (7-day rolling average)*

*Metric will be interpreted in the context of hospitalization and death data.

What to Anticipate

 

 

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Low Risk

Metrics

Metrics will be interpreted in the context of hospitalization and death data.

  • Columbia affiliate vaccination coverage >95%
  • Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations/day in New York City >180 (7-day rolling average)
  • Number of COVID-19 deaths/day in New York City >10 (7-day rolling average)
  • PCR positivity in New York City >5% (7-day rolling average)
  • Number of COVID-19 cases/day in New York City >550 (7-day rolling average)*

*Metric will be interpreted in the context of hospitalization and death data.

What to Anticipate

 

 

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Moderate Risk

Metrics

  • Columbia affiliate vaccination coverage >95%
  • Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations/day in New York City >360 (7-day rolling average)
  • Number of COVID-19 deaths/day in New York City >50 (7-day rolling average)
  • Number of COVID-19 cases/day in New York City >1000 (7-day rolling average)*
  • Ongoing transmission on campus (multiple campus-related clusters or cases)

*Metric will be interpreted in the context of hospitalization and death data.

What to Anticipate

 

 

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Higher Risk

Metrics
Thresholds for metrics in Moderate Risk (Orange) level have been reached or exceeded for an extended period of time.

What to Anticipate
For a higher-risk situation, a specific response strategy will be developed based upon a range of measures that reflect the epidemic situation in the city and on campus at the time.