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Preparing for Spring 2022 & Recent University Updates

December 23, 2021

New COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Mandate: University Compliance by January 31, 2022

This requirement is for all students (including students in online only courses and the OPEN program). Note that clinical sites may require booster vaccination prior to the university deadline. All nursing students in clinical programs are recommended to receive a booster vaccine before the start of term 1/18/22 (if eligible for booster dose).

Columbia University’s current vaccination mandate has been expanded to require booster doses for all students who meet the criteria for eligibility.

  • In general, you are eligible for a booster six months after the last dose of your initial Pfizer or Moderna series (or WHO-authorized vaccine) or two months after the initial J & J vaccination.
  • Students will upload their booster dose information/documentation through the CUIMC Student Health Portal as you did with prior doses.

For some of you, the easiest option for obtaining a booster dose may be in the area where you are spending the winter break. The COVID Vaccine Finder by State can help you find a location in your community.

Please note this new booster requirement is in addition to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and influenza vaccination requirement.

First Two Weeks of Spring Term (On-Campus Degree Programs)

Didactic Classes will be held online from Tuesday, January 18 – Monday, January 31. Clinical and Simulation courses will continue as scheduled and in-person.

This change does not affect access to campus: All on-campus program students are invited back to campus before and during the two-week remote learning period, but must follow the testing requirements noted below as well as other campus COVID-19 safety measures.

This two-week remote learning period is designed to minimize disruptions for students who may be unable to travel or who must isolate because of COVID-19. It will also allow a period for gateway testing of all students prior to the start of in-person classes.

COVID-19 Testing for Students (On-Campus Degree Programs)

  • Before returning to campus: We strongly recommend that all students get a PCR test 48 hours prior to arriving on campus. While this test is not currently required, it may become so depending on public health conditions. Either way, we urge students to schedule a PCR test appointment well in advance, ensuring that your return to campus is not delayed or disrupted.
  • Those who test positive outside of Columbia are required to isolate for ten days before returning to campus. Note that at this time, we do not require the results of negative tests from this external testing to be uploaded or submitted—but please report positive test results through
  • Once on campus:  All students are required to get a Columbia gateway test within 72 hours of their return to campus (gateway test can be scheduled here, appointments open up 7-10 days in advance). Non-degree OPEN students are excluded from this requirement since OPEN is an online remote program, and OPEN students do not have access to campus.
  • Surveillance testing and supplementary/voluntary testing: Voluntary and surveillance testing will continue to be offered to all faculty, staff, and students in the Spring.

Travel Restrictions

If you are traveling over winter break, review Columbia's international and domestic travel restrictions, and remember the Spring 2022 Travel Restrictions go into effect on January 18.

New Gathering Policy

In-person, indoor gatherings of any kind during the first two weeks of January are prohibited.

Face Coverings

Our current indoor face covering policy continues through mid-March 2022.

As guidelines can change rapidly, please continue to watch your e-mail accounts for university updates and visit the COVID-19 resource website. With these guidelines in place, together we can provide a safe learning environment for all nursing students. Thank you for all that you do to keep each other healthy and reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our university community and surrounding neighborhoods.