Fall 2021 CUIMC Updates

Updated September 13, 2021

As you prepare to return to the medical center for Fall 2021, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with several campus-specific updates. The updates below reflect the current Columbia University policies and guidelines.

For the latest information on Columbia's operations, including the University's COVID-19 Monitoring Plan, visit the COVID-19 Resource Guide for the Columbia Community website.

Important "Key to NYC" Update

The Mayor’s Emergency Executive Order, the “Key to NYC" program, requires the university to post this sign or a similar one in a conspicuous place that is viewable by prospective patrons prior to entering certain indoor entertainment, recreation, food services, gym, and fitness premises where vaccines are now required. The sign alerts patrons to the vaccination requirement and informs them that employees and patrons are required to be vaccinated. Columbia affiliates should be advised that a green pass does not meet the "Key to NYC" requirements and individuals with approved religious or medical exemptions cannot access these specific facilities

50 Haven Athletic Center

Beginning Monday, August 2, 50 Haven Athletic Center is only available to CUIMC students. Both the athletic center and pool will be open for the fall 2021 semester. You may only schedule one (1) same-day workout session per day; each workout session is one hour. Learn more.

Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library

The Knowledge Center and the Quiet Reading Room on lower level 1 (LL1-112) are open 24/7. CUIMC students, faculty, and staff can swipe their CUIMC ID to enter the Knowledge Center. Card swipe is not required for the Quiet Reading Room.

Library staff is committed to ensuring uninterrupted access to the services and resources needed to support teaching, learning, and research during this time. Please visit the library’s website often for updates.

Event and Gathering Guidance

Columbia University Irving Medical Center follows Columbia's Event and Gathering Guidance for Fall 2021, which relies on the Framework for COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Management Plan to determine what types of events and gatherings are permitted. This guidance is meant to be fluid to accommodate continuously changing circumstances.


  • All gatherings initiated by faculty, staff, and students must adhere to the Columbia Compact and must adhere to the protocols put in place by their school or unit.
  • Campus events and gatherings are defined as any convening on campus, other than classes comprising the academic curriculum, including conferences, performances, campus tours, exhibitions, athletic competitions, protests, and religious services.
  • All event spaces, both indoor and outdoor, are subject to these considerations including but not limited to Haven Plaza, Alumni Auditorium and the Schaefer Gallery, and more.
  • Off-campus events and gatherings that are sponsored by Columbia are subject to the same considerations, restrictions, and approvals as those that are on campus.

Learn more about Columbia's Event and Gathering Guidance.

Public and Open Space Guidelines

For the health and safety of our community, we have reconfigured—and in some cases limited the access of—our indoor and outdoor public spaces to manage or monitor occupancy, promote safe gatherings, and support safe distancing. We encourage individuals to adhere to any compliance guidelines reflected on digital display boards and posted signage.

Public Area Signage

Facilities Management and Campus Services is responsible for purchasing and installing COVID-19 related signage in building entries and lobbies across the medical center conveying recommended safety measures to keep campus buildings and the CUIMC community safe. For questions about public area signage or to report an issue with any public area signage, please contact the CUIMC Facilities Customer Service Center at 212-305-HELP (4357), option 3, or at cumc.facilities@columbia.edu.

CUIMC schools/colleges, central units, departments, and clinical practice sites will be responsible for providing their site-specific signage. They may contact Columbia Print to review and request any customized signage. CUIMC schools/colleges, central units, and clinical practice sites located on campus should submit a work order request to Facilities Management if specific signage installation requires hardware.

Student Health on Haven

CUIMC Student Health on Haven resumed limited in-person Medical Services. It is not currently accepting any walk-ins and is staggering appointment times to avoid having multiple patients in the waiting area. All other Student Health on Haven services are still being offered through a virtual service delivery model. 

View the latest hours and updates

Visitor Policy

For Fall 2021, some restrictions are remaining in place regarding visitors in order to keep the campus safe as Columbia affiliates—faculty, researchers, staff, and students—return to classrooms, their workplaces, and University residences. Additional information on the specific categories of visitors and related restrictions and approval processes can be found in Visitor Guidelines for Fall 2021.

  • All approved visitors are expected to comply with the University’s health and safety policies, which include symptom attestation, testing, and, in most cases, mandatory vaccination.
  • Once visitors are approved through the appropriate University/School approval processes, all CUIMC visitors should be registered by emailing ps-mc-guestaccessrequests@columbia.edu at least 24 hours in advance. In the email, include the date/time and building/floor the visitor will be visiting as well who should be notified when they arrive, including a phone number.

Read the full Visitor Guidelines for Fall 2021.