Coronavirus Updates

(As of July 8, 2020)

Required Protocol for Returning to Campus

For the safety of our community and in accordance with the Enhanced University Health and Safety Policy, everyone must complete the following protocol before returning to campus:

Complete Return-to-work Training
Schedule a COVID-19 Test
Download the COVID-19 Symptom Self-check App (Instructions)
Review important details about recovery planning

For the latest news on health advisories, Campus Services, University Libraries, and other activities, visit the COVID-19 Resource Guide for the Columbia Community.

What You Need to Know

  • Please read Dean Linda P. Fried’s July 7 letter to our community.

  • There is widespread community transmission of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) in New York City. Please follow public health precautions, including practicing social distancing and staying home if you are sick. All New Yorkers should monitor their health carefully.

  • As New York and the rest of the country slowly begin to return to onsite work, Columbia University, the Medical Center, and our School have been working in a closely coordinated effort to lay the groundwork for a Phase 1 return to on-campus operations and research activities, in adherence with New York State’s “Moving New York Forward” plan.

  • The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health will be open for the 2020-2021 academic year. See the latest information.

  • Our re-opening plans call for a slow increase in the number of employees onsite, in very-carefully organized phases. The Mailman School Guide to Returning Safely Onsite provides information specific to Mailman School faculty and staff.

  • If you have questions related to Columbia University COVID-19 response, or to the Morningside or the Medical Center campuses, we encourage you to visit Columbia’s COVID-19 Resource Guide website and the CUIMC resource page, which are updated regularly with resources and information.

  • For those who must conduct their work on campus, we are taking every precaution to ensure your health and safety.

  • Those employees and students who need to access School buildings but who are not authorized to work on-site as part of Phase I will need to need to make arrangements: students please contact OSA at or 212-342-3128; faculty and staff please contact Brian Byrne, director of operations, at

  • The University has suspended all Columbia-related travel, both international and domestic, for all affiliates until further notice. Consistent with CDC guidance, Columbia advises all affiliates who have returned from ANY international travel, stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing. Follow the self-isolation guidance found on the Columbia COVID site. Additionally, all Columbia affiliates are strongly urged to postpone any non-essential personal travel abroad. Clinical staff should review CUIMC's Coronavirus Information for Providers and Clinical Staff.

  • Columbia Health’s COVID-19 phone hotline is available for questions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday: 212-854-9355. Columbia Health has also shared coping tools here.

In times like this, the paramount importance of public health is evident. Our community has risen to this challenge with compassion, resilience, and expertise to protect the health of our community; to help slow the spread of the virus in our region and improve population health; and to ensure the continuity of our teaching, research, and service mission. We are grateful to our colleagues who continue to perform essential work on-site, including critical coronavirus research, and our colleagues at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital who are providing care and support for patients.

Columbia University and our School have established resources to support students, faculty, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on policies, online education, and health and wellbeing.

The well-being of our community is a top priority and we are actively monitoring the situation. We are following the guidance of the NYC Department of HealthUS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization, and Columbia University. As this is a continually  evolving situation, we are also developing and implementing contingency plans and policies with the University and Medical Center, including contingency plans for remote learning and working, should the need arise.

As a School of Public Health, we also have the unique opportunity to tap into the expertise of our faculty, who include some the of world’s top infectious disease experts, as we plan.

Health care

COVID-19, which is caused by the SAR-CoV-2 virus, can lead to fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, headache, and shortness of breath. If you are not feeling well, particularly if you are feeling feverish and have an accompanying cough, congestion, or difficulty breathing, or if you have any questions about whether you should stay home, please call at Student Health Service at CUIMC (212-305-3400) or Columbia Health at Morningside (212-854-7426). Employees should contact their health care provider or the Employee Assistance Program.

Some tips to protect your health:

  • It’s not too late to get the flu shot. Remember, the flu is very common and can be quite severe.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Print a how-to sign for your home.

  • Clean high-touch surfaces with disinfectant wipes.

  • Drink plenty of fluids.

Phased Re-opening

Our School’s re-opening plans call for a slow increase in the number of employees onsite, in very-carefully organized phases. The Mailman School Guide to Returning Safely Onsite provides information specific to Mailman School faculty and staff:

  • Who has been identified to return as part of the School’s Wave 1

  • The possible makeup and timing of subsequent waves

  • Steps taken by the Medical Center and the School to protect the health and safety of our returning employees

  • What you can expect at the School if you are slated to return to campus

  • Where you can go for additional information and support

In addition to Mailman’s Re-opening Information, CUIMC has made many resources available with information on broader campus-wide resources that you will find helpful.