Barnard College announced its campus pandemic safety protocols in an email yesterday, in anticipation of the Fall 2021 semester.

Yesterday, Barnard Provost Linda Bell, EVP Jomysha Delgado Stephen, Dean Leslie Grinage, and VP for Operations Roger Mosier announced two major components of the Fall 2021 COVID-19 procedures. The first was the Fall 2021 Summary Grid, an overview of the three progressive phases of reopening, slated to begin on July 29 and coming fully into effect by September 9. The second was a thirteen-point summary of which policies will change and which will be unaffected. 

Bwog has summarized those points and condensed them for clarity. For more information, please refer to the full email below.

Changes include the following

  • All classes will be in person for the Fall 2021 semester, with some exceptions that will be noted on that class’s syllabus.  
  • All students must submit proof of vaccination or exception by August 15. To do so you may upload proof of vaccination or follow the vaccine documentation upload instruction.
  • Vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to physically distance indoors starting on August 16, and beginning September 9, there will be no physical distance requirement as the College says its campus will be “a fully vaccinated campus.” Bwog has inquired further as to how those who are vaccine-exempt fit into the “vaccinated campus” equation. 
  • On-campus dining locations will be fully open for vaccinated individuals for the Fall 2021 semester, while unvaccinated individuals will be limited to take-out options. 
  • Beginning in the Fall, face masks will be optional while outdoors. Vaccinated students may also choose not to wear a mask in their rooms or suites. 
  • Events and gatherings with exclusively Columbia and Barnard participants may be held in person beginning in the Fall semester and may be scheduled in advance. Guidelines are in development for events with non-Columbia and Barnard affiliates.
  • Prior to September 9, faculty and staff must obtain approval before traveling to certain international regions. After September 9, students may get approval for College-sponsored international travel on a case by case basis.

Policies still in effect include the following: 

The email then notes that these policies are subject to change and revision. Updates will be available through, Connections, as well as other communications from the College.

Update on August 3 at 3:46 pm EST:

A Barnard spokesperson provided Bwog with answers to questions regarding move-in to residential housing and physical distancing requirements. Specifically, we at Bwog wanted to know how students with mobility issues and/or those who are physically differently-abled are meant to move in without either help from family and friends or help from a cart, and we wanted to know how Barnard could be considered a fully vaccinated campus when there may be people with vaccination exemptions and how that could affect physical distancing requirements. The spokesperson’s statements are below.

Though outside visitors will not be able to help this year, Resident Assistants (RAs) and Orientation Leaders (OLs) will be available on our main campus and in residence halls to assist students with the move-in process. Also, carts will still be made available to those who wish to use them. Finally, Barnard accommodates all student requests for move-in assistance for disability-related reasons through the Center for Accessibility Resources and Disability Services (CARDS) website.

All students, faculty, and staff will be in compliance with the College’s vaccine requirements by September 9. Specifically, every member of the Barnard community who is accessing campus will either be fully vaccinated or have a documented approved exemption by this date.

Email sent to Barnard affiliates from ProvostBell, EVP Stephen, Dean Grinage, and VP Mosier on July 29 at 4:15 pm:

Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

We are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone back to campus for Fall 2021. Over the past weeks and months, the College has been preparing for a full return to in-person instruction and residential operations. Given that we are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have developed a number of new accompanying practices to support our operations and to contribute to a safe 2021-22 academic year.

First, the Fall 2021 Summary Grid provides a snapshot of three phases of campus ramp-up – from today to the vaccination deadline of August 16, from August 16 to the start of classes on September 9, and from September 9 forward. Of course, as community, city, state, and national conditions evolve, we will continue to provide regular updates.  

Second, below is a summary of the College’s planning for the Fall semester, including student move-in and the ramp-up for the start of classes.

1.Vaccinations: To reiterate prior communications, all members of the Barnard community must be vaccinated or have documented approved exemptions prior to August 15 in order to be on campus. You can upload proof of vaccination to fulfill this requirement or refer to the vaccine documentation upload instructions. 
2.CoVerified: The College is continuing to require a mandatory screening procedure to monitor health conditions of members of the community and to re-emphasize that if you are not feeling well, you should stay home. The CoVerified app will continue to be what faculty, staff, and students use to manage the daily symptom screening process and access Barnard’s campus, as well as schedule tests at Barnard. Starting August 16, the CoVerified App will be fully integrated with the Lenel ID card swipe system, which will be installed in most buildings on Barnard’s campus. Barnard community members will be required to swipe into buildings in order to access their offices and work-spaces, and will be able to do so only after generating a green “cleared” screen in CoVerified. The system will require all users to generate a green “cleared” screen on the day of arrival, at least one hour before they attempt to access their workspaces. We therefore strongly encourage you to get in the habit of completing your health attestation at home as part of a daily routine before travelling to campus and to begin to access the CoVerified application now, if you have not already done so. 
3.ReopenCU: The ReopenCU app continues to be the health screening app utilized to access Columbia’s campus. Barnard affiliates who are current with testing and vaccine status complete a health attestation and generate a “green pass” in ReopenCU, which allows them to swipe at Columbia buildings with their Barnard IDs. ReopenCU is managed by CUIT, who should be contacted directly for any technical assistance at 
4.COVID-19 Testing: Barnard will continue to have a testing requirement for all faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus, regardless of their vaccination status. General information about the College’s testing program can be found in the information sheet for students, as well as the information sheet for faculty and staff. a. The testing requirements associated with moving into Barnard housing are summarized in this chart; additional details can be found on the Move-In Information Sheet and students will receive additional communications closer to their move-in dates.b. Faculty and staff must complete an initial test for the Fall semester. This requirement can be fulfilled by a negative PCR test taken EITHER within the 14 days of the first day back on campus OR by September 1 (for faculty and staff regularly on campus during the month of August). Non-Barnard tests will be accepted.c. Non-residential students must complete an initial test for the Fall semester. They must have the negative result of this test before accessing campus. This test will start their weekly testing frequency, which is required for all students. 
5.Fall instruction: Instruction will be in-person, with most classroom capacities at pre-COVID levels. Some exceptions will occur in select classes and students should consult the course syllabi for any exceptions. 
6.Face coverings: Our current protocols for masks indoors will not change as we move into the Fall semester. Everyone will be required to wear face coverings indoors unless they are the sole occupants of their office, a conference room, or similar space, regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, vaccinated students may be unmasked in their rooms or suites. We are developing additional protocols related to faculty teaching in the classrooms; these will be communicated as they are finalized. Outdoors, face coverings are not required for those who are vaccinated. Those who are unvaccinated must continue to wear face coverings outdoors. 
7.Physical distancing: Beginning August 16, the indoor distancing requirement will be relaxed for vaccinated individuals only. Unvaccinated individuals will be informed of any additional distancing precautions that may be required. Starting September 9, the College will not have a universal physical distancing requirement, indoors or outdoors, as a fully vaccinated campus. 
8.Dining: During the Fall semester, in-person dining will resume at our on-campus dining locations, including Hewitt Hall, the Diana Center, and Peet’s Coffee in Milstein. Vaccinated individuals may eat indoors at these locations, masking up when not eating or drinking. Unvaccinated individuals will receive to-go food service only, and will consume food outdoors or in private locations such as individual offices, break rooms, or student rooms/suites without others present. 
9.Events and gatherings: Spaces on campus will be prioritized for instruction, and we expect meeting spaces to be somewhat limited on campus. Meetings or events where all attendees are affiliated faculty, staff, and students of Barnard and Columbia, and are therefore in compliance with Barnard’s vaccination policy, may be held in-person and can be scheduled in advance for the fall semester. Protocols will be developed for meetings and events involving non-Barnard or University affiliates; these will need to be approved in advance for in-person scheduling and more information will be communicated later in the summer. 
10.Visitors and Campus Access: Barnard currently allows visitors to enter the grounds of the campus during daytime hours, 8am-8pm. Access to buildings is restricted, with some exceptions. For detailed information on protocols related to the categories of visitors, both prior to the vaccination deadline of August 15 and after, please see Accessing Campus on our website. 
11.Travel: Prior to September 9, faculty and staff will need to seek and obtain permission for College-sponsored international travel to/from State Department Level 3 + 4 locations. No approvals are needed for College-sponsored domestic travel. For students during this time, College-sponsored international travel is suspended and domestic travel must be approved. After September 9, students may request case-by-case approval from the Provost for College-sponsored international travel, and no permission will be needed for College-sponsored domestic travel for students. Personal travel is highly discouraged during the semester, as travel increases the possibility of infection and/or transmission of the coronavirus even for vaccinated people. 
12.Unvaccinated Community Members: Unvaccinated individuals will be informed of the additional precautions that they must follow, which will include increased testing, masking, or other requirements. 
13.Community Commitment and Personal Responsibility Pledge: The College remains steadfast in its commitment to keeping campus as safe an environment as possible. This requires that all members of our community continue to do their part. This includes the acknowledgement in writing of and adherence to an updated 2021-2022 Community Pledge by all students, faculty and staff. With this commitment, everyone promises to abide by a set of rules for behavior on campus. These include requirements around the wearing of masks, the use of designated spaces at designated times, as well as other behaviors to help promote the well-being of all on campus and in our communities. The deadline to complete the pledge is August 15.

We are extremely grateful for the many staff and faculty members who have worked tirelessly to reinvent our operations, develop new systems, and thoughtfully develop protocols to best protect the community. All the above is subject to change as we will continue with our principles of being adaptable and nimble in response to the dynamic nature of what is still a global pandemic. People should look for updates on as well as via announcements in Connections and other communications from the College.

In anticipation of a great semester,

Linda A. Bell,

Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Jomysha Delgado Stephen,

Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Chief of Staff to the President

Leslie Grinage,

Dean of the College

Roger Mosier,

Vice President for Operations

Barnard’s campus via Bwog Archives