Indoor Seating at Dining Halls Will Begin on October 13

October 08, 2021

Dear Students,

Thank you all for your patience and flexibility during the first few weeks of the fall term regarding indoor dining. After careful review of campus and New York City COVID-19 conditions by the university’s public health working group, we are pleased to announce the opening of indoor seating at dining halls beginning Wednesday, October 13.

With this opening of indoor dining, it remains critically important that all public health guidelines continue to be followed. As a reminder, the indoor face covering mandate requires you to wear your face covering while indoors; therefore, your mask should only be removed once seated and eating. Immediately after eating, please again resume wearing your face covering as you connect with others in the dining halls. Please also respect the desire by many to dine indoors: Once your meal is over, avoid lingering, and make the space available for others.  

Outdoor seating around campus will continue to be available and you are encouraged to take advantage of it, especially since the weather is still temperate. Some outdoor tent areas will be converted to heated “indoor” spaces later this month to increase indoor dining capacity—the same face covering mandates will apply to these dining areas.

Please remember that under current New York City law, you will be required to show proof of vaccination if you will be eating indoors in our dining halls. We are asking students to download the New York State Excelsior Pass or NYC COVID Safe App to help speed up the process as you enter the dining halls. You can also show a photo or hard copy of your official vaccination record.

Grab and go options will continue to be available for all students on meal plans.

As with all university decisions related to COVID-19, we continue to carefully monitor the data and adjust aspects of our operations that affect the transmission of COVID-19. We appreciate that each of these changes has an impact on your daily life. But know that our ultimate goal is to support your health and wellbeing, as well as that of the entire Columbia community. Your support of the safety measures in place will go a long way to ensuring that safety.


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

David Greenberg
Executive Vice President, University Facilities and Operations