COVID-19 Monitoring Plan

Last Updated: May 17, 2022

Current Alert Level: High Risk (Orange)

Guiding Principles

  • Columbia University Framework for COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Management is developed to provide COVID-19 related guidance
  • University guidance applies to all schools, centers, departments and other entities, unless New York State or New York City requires different standards in certain settings
  • Careful consideration will be given to contextualizing of the observed COVID-19 trends, keeping in mind the evolution of knowledge about the pandemic, including vaccine/booster effectiveness (particularly in prevention of severe illness and hospitalizations) and the availability of effective treatments
  • Flexibility is necessary when analyzing and acting upon the priority metrics 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 Columbia’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate and booster recommendations, New York City hospitalizations* and deaths amongst vaccinated individuals become the metrics of particular importance

*Hospitalization data currently include individuals who incidentally test positive upon hospitalization for a non-COVID-19-related cause.

Priority Metrics to Monitor. Listed in Priority Order

New York City

Columbia University

  • Columbia vaccination and booster coverage
  • Results of wastewater surveillance

Types of Gatherings

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

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Low Risk

Metrics Listed in Priority Order

  • Columbia affiliate vaccination coverage (primary series) > 95%
  • Columbia affiliate vaccination booster coverage: > 80%
  • Low New York City COVID-19 Alert Level according to the Department of Health

What to Anticipate

 

 

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Medium Risk

Metrics Listed in Priority Order

  • Columbia affiliate vaccination coverage (primary series) > 95%
  • Columbia affiliate vaccination booster coverage: > 80%
  • Medium New York City COVID-19 Alert Level according to the  Department of Health

What to Anticipate

 

 

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High Risk

Metrics Listed in Priority Order

  • Columbia affiliate vaccination coverage (primary series) > 95%
  • Columbia affiliate vaccination booster coverage: > 80%
  • High New York City COVID-19 Alert Level according to the Department of Health

What to Anticipate

 

 

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Higher Risk

Metrics
Thresholds for metrics in High 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.