How Campus Life Will Be Different

The Facilities and Campus Life Working Group, part of the University COVID-19 Task Force, establishes health and safety protocols for campus operations and creates guidelines for use and assignment of space while COVID-19 mitigation strategies are in place.

Updated: July 20, 2021

Facilities and Operations has implemented several changes to improve health and safety on campus and increase the reliability of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems of buildings on campus to assure indoor air quality performance. Learn more about the changes in place.

Updated: July 20, 2021

Building entrances and lobbies have public health signage and hand sanitizing stations to help ensure the health and safety of the University community.

Updated: July 20, 2021

Classrooms are cleaned daily, including:

  • Tables
  • Podium and lectern areas
  • Floors
  • Chair armrests
  • Door handles and glass
  • Blackboards, erasers and chalk trays
  • Emptying recycling and trash

High-touch surfaces—doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, and light switches—are cleaned twice daily.

Updated: July 20, 2021

Facilities and Operations has implemented several enhancements to its pre-Covid cleaning procedures.

Updated: July 8, 2021

Dodge Fitness Center is currently open for summer 2021 (through September 5), operating under limited capacity. Read about our hours of operation and other helpful information.

Updated: July 20, 2021

Until September 9, elevator capacity will be limited. Follow the instructions on the sign nearby whatever elevator you plan to use. If the elevator permits more than one person at a time and you’re in the elevator with someone else, stay as far apart as the space allows, and keep your face covering on. Everyone will know that this is about keeping our community safe. And if you are able, take the stairs instead.

Updated: July 20, 2021

On campus, everyone must follow University health policy, which is in effect until September 9.

  • Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth at all times, except when alone in a private office or in an enclosed room with the door closed
  • Keep at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) distance between yourself and other people whenever possible
  • Follow signage and guidance on use of campus spaces
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well
  • Follow workplace and shared-space hygiene. Wipe workplace surfaces used frequently, including desk surfaces, keyboards, light switches, and shared equipment such as copiers, printers, A/V, etc., with disinfectant sprays or wipes that the University will provide. Columbia staff will do frequent specialized cleaning of high-touch surfaces throughout campus.

Updated: July 12, 2021

Six libraries are currently open as study space to students, faculty, and staff. All library locations will reopen for the 2021 Fall term for all users. Library stacks will fully reopen for browsing and Circulation desks will be staffed to assist users with check-out of library materials. Butler Library will resume 24-hour operations and Butler Cafe will reopen. The full return of in-person, physical library services will be complemented by robust online resources and activities that will continue to be in place to support users no matter where they are learning.


Some restrictions, including alumni and visitor access, will remain in place until Fall 2021. Please continue to check the Libraries' website for updates.

Updated: August 5, 2021

  • For the safety and health of our community, the University has opened a number of outdoor spaces for community use, with tented and al fresco options. These spaces will be open and accessible unless they have been reserved for an event.
  • As per the updated University event guidelines issued June 17, 2021, there is no restriction on academic events, indoor or outdoor.
  • Currently, there is no restriction on capacity for outdoor events based on phased guidance for gatherings, but keep in mind there may still be limitations on event type or guests.
  • Conferences and event gatherings continue to have restrictions, regardless of indoor or outdoor location.
  • Student groups should work with their adviser to understand current guidelines and available spaces.

Updated July 20, 2021:

 

All faculty, staff, and students must follow guidelines on proper respiratory protection practices, which may include use of face coverings. To obtain additional face masks, cleaning supplies, and cleaning products, visit the Central Purchasing website.

Updated: August 2, 2021

Restroom fixtures have been converted to hands-free operation where possible in academic and administrative buildings. High-touch cleaning will also be performed twice daily to kill germs.

Updated: July 20, 2021

Workspaces have a combination of measures to reduce density, including revised maximum occupancy to meet physical distancing requirements, staggered shifts, reconfiguration of furniture, and asking those who can work effectively from home to delay their return to campus. For all buildings, personal protective equipment (PPE) and enhanced cleaning are provided, and University health policy will be followed. Laboratories have additional safety guidelines.