Spring Term 2021 Required Gateway COVID-19 Testing

December 01, 2020

Dear Fellow Members of the Columbia Community,

As we approach 2021, I write to update you about an important requirement for Spring Term 2021 SARS-CoV-2 Gateway testing.  

Effective January 4, 2021, a NEW gateway test is required for all faculty, staff, and students accessing Columbia campuses and other facilities. This includes individuals who have been on a campus throughout 2020 and who previously complied with the requirements of the gateway testing program. This gateway test must be administered by Columbia University’s COVID Testing Program starting January 4, 2021 through January 25, 2021. 

Due to our stringent quality and data management systems, the only acceptable tests will be conducted by Columbia’s COVID Testing Program at one of our five approved testing sites (Monday to Friday in Morningside Lerner Hall & CUIMC Black Building Schaeffer Gallery; Select dates at West 51st St., Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, or Tarrytown Columbia Doctors). Tests submitted from other locations, including NYP or WHS, will not be accepted.

Access to all Columbia campuses and facilities via the ReOpenCU app (symptom checker app) and Columbia University ID card swipe system will only be permitted for those faculty, staff, and students who have completed the repeat gateway test requirement by January 25, 2021.

Register for this gateway test online beginning December 23rd, 2020. The schedule opens 10-14 days in advance. During the gateway period, there will be more than sufficient schedule capacity in the Morningside and CUIMC locations to accommodate all those requiring testing; however, schedule availability in each site will depend on the demand for specific appointment dates and time slots. We encourage you to plan ahead, schedule in advance, and consider all testing sites if a particular date and time is preferred. 

For those who do not complete a new SARS-CoV-2 PCR test between January 4th and January 25th, access to the campuses and facilities will be reinstated within 48-72 hours of completion of a gateway test at an approved site.   

More information regarding the testing plan for the Spring Term can be found online

We thank you for your continuing commitment to participating in the University testing program and the steps you take each and every day to keep our community safe.

With care for our community,

Melanie J Bernitz, MD, MPH  

Associate Vice President & Medical Director, Columbia Health  and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine (in the Center for Family and Community Medicine)