Undergraduate Residence Hall Restrictions Announced

The following communication was sent to Columbia College and Columbia Engineering undergraduates to communicate new restrictions implemented by the University's public health working group in relation to COVID-19.

Editor's note:

To be consistent with policies and minimize the spread of COVID-19, Barnard will also temporarily restrict guest access to the residence halls.

September 17, 2021

I write to announce that due to rising COVID-19 positivity rates in our residential community, we are implementing temporary restrictions that will go into effect at 7 p.m. today, Friday, September 17. 

Contact tracing indicates transmission is not occurring in the classroom. Instead, testing and tracing indicates that the main cause is students socializing unmasked at gatherings in residence halls and at off-campus apartments, bars and restaurants.

To slow the spread, beginning at 7 p.m. today:

  • Students will only be able to swipe into their assigned residence hall.
  • Students will not be allowed to host guests. 
  • Commuter access into residence halls will not be allowed.
  • Social gatherings in indoor spaces will be limited to 10 students or less for Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students. Clubs and organizations are strongly encouraged to move all programming on-line or outdoors for the next two weeks.
  • A random sample of undergraduates (increasing to 25%) will be selected each week and those selected individuals must get tested within one week of notification. 

We recognize this is a very sudden change, but we believe these temporary restrictions will address the current situation and help slow transmission. These changes will be imposed for a two-week period, at which time we will reevaluate and determine if they can be lifted or must continue.

Wear your masks indoors, on and off-campus, even when you are gathering with close friends. Help us slow COVID-19 transmission, and move our community to green!

Thank you,

Cristen Kromm
Dean of Undergraduate Student Life