Gateway Testing Requirements and Other Testing Recommendations, January 2022

Editor's note:

Updated on Jan. 11 to reflect revised gateway testing deadline for Spring 2022. Gateway tests must be completed by February 4, 2022.

December 29, 2021

Dear Fellow Members of the Columbia Community,

We are writing today to provide details on the January 2022 gateway testing requirements and other testing recommendations.

Columbia offers testing in five locations, with two sites operating five days per week, and are reopening for testing on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. University testing appointments open 7-10 days in advance so please plan accordingly.  To ensure opportunities to be tested, please book your appointment in advance of your desired testing date, consider all of the potential sites, and remember that it is not possible to add people to a fully booked schedule. On select days, the Lerner Hall location will be offering extended hours.  Please note that walk-in testing is not available during January 2022, and tests from non-University sites cannot be used to meet the University-required COVID-19 tests.


Recent Positive PCR Test
If you had a PCR positive 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.
 

Morningside Undergraduate Students
All undergraduate 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 provide proof of this test, unless it is positive.
 

Gateway testing for fully vaccinated students

  • Residential students: Get a gateway COVID-19 PCR test from a Columbia testing location on the first business day after your return to campus and again between days 5 and 7 after you return.  
  • Non-residential undergraduate students: Get a gateway COVID-19 PCR test from a Columbia testing location within 72 hours after your return to campus.

Gateway testing for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students: Get a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from a Columbia testing location prior to accessing campus, and weekly thereafter if you have an approved exemption or until you are fully vaccinated.  

Morningside and CUIMC Graduate and Professional Students
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 provide proof of this test, unless it is positive.
 

Gateway testing for fully vaccinated students: Get a gateway COVID-19 PCR test from a Columbia testing location within 72 hours after your return to campus.  

Gateway testing for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students: Get a COVID-19 PCR gateway test from a Columbia testing location prior to accessing campus, and weekly thereafter if you have an approved exemption or until you are fully vaccinated.  


Faculty & Staff

All faculty and staff that have traveled, have been away for a period of time, or have participated in social events and gatherings are strongly recommended to get a PCR test from a local testing site 48 hours prior to returning to University facilities. There is no need to provide proof of this test, unless it is positive.  

New faculty, researcher, or staff OR any individual who has not received a gateway test since Jan. 1, 2021: Get a gateway COVID-19 PCR test from a Columbia testing location within 72 hours after accessing the campus.

Returning faculty, researcher, or staff: In light of holiday travel and gathering, all non-student affiliates are strongly recommended to receive a PCR test before or as you return to campus at either Columbia testing sites or other community testing locations. There is no need to provide proof of this test, unless it is positive.

Are you also a student? You must meet the relevant student requirements described above.

Campus access will be allowed while awaiting results of the gateway test. After February 4, 2022, red passes will be applied to all those who are not compliant with the gateway testing requirement.  You may notice that the testing requirement box on the ReOpenCU app will be unchecked until after you have completed the requirement.  Please allow up to 72 hours for the box to be checked following your University gateway test.

Thank you for your continued diligence with preventive measures as articulated in the Columbia Community Health Compact and for your support and participation with the testing requirements as we return to campus for the Spring 2022 term.

Be well,
Melanie J. Bernitz
Senior Vice President, Columbia Health
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine (in the Center for Family and Community Medicine)

Donna Lynne
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Chief Executive Officer, ColumbiaDoctors