As of September 13, 2021, Columbia will now require community members to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter various indoor spaces that include but are not limited to entertainment, dining, and fitness spaces.

In an email sent today to the Columbia Community, Executive Vice President of the University Gerald Rosberg and University COVID Director Donna Lynne announced that Columbia will require proof of vaccination in order to enter various indoor settings.

These updates are in accordance with the Emergency Executive Order 228 issued by the New York City Office of the Mayor on August 25, 2021. The Order established the “Key to NYC” program, requiring COVID-19 vaccination for those who enter and work in certain indoor entertainment spaces, including Indoor Entertainment and Recreational Settings, Indoor Food Services, and Indoor Gyms and Fitness Settings. Though the order was issued on August 25, it is set to take effect today on September 13, 2021. 

Following the executive order, Columbia will now similarly required proof of vaccination for access to spaces including Miller Theatre, Lenfest Center for the Arts, and Dodge Physical Fitness Center. The full list is included in the email below.

On September 8, prior to the announcement from Columbia, Barnard announced requirements for proof of vaccination in an email from the Chair of the Barnard Vaccine Working Group, Andrea Stagg, specifically for the Barnard Fitness Center and Barnard Dance Studios.

According to the wording of Columbia and Barnard’s email, with the exception of Entertainment and Recreation spaces, all other listed spaces will require proof of vaccination in addition to the Green Pass. It was not stated whether students who have been granted medical or religious exemptions to the vaccine will still be able to access these spaces. Bwog is currently in communication with the University to gain additional clarity. 

The full text of the two emails are available below.

Email sent by Executive Vice President Gerald Rosberg to the Columbia community on Monday, September 13 at 5:12 pm EDT:

Dear Columbia Community Member,

As you may know, New York City has recently announced an Executive Order establishing the “Key to NYC program” that requires COVID-19 vaccination for employees and patrons of certain indoor entertainment, recreation and arts venues, indoor food services, and indoor gyms and fitness settings. Under this mandate, Columbia is required to check proof of vaccination (and identification) in order for you to enter these settings. The same will be true throughout New York City. 

Please note that the University is now required to ensure that you have shown proof of your vaccination record to enter indoor spaces like the following illustrative examples (but this is not an all-inclusive list):

  • Entertainment and Recreation (compliance of those individuals teaching or attending lecture classes in these venues will be checked only via the CU Green Pass system)

§  Miller Theatre

§  Lenfest Center for the Arts

§  Schapiro Black Box Theatre

§  Wallach Art Gallery

§  LeRoy Neiman Gallery

  • Food Services (upon resumption of indoor dining — please note that you can still participate in the current grab-and-go arrangements without proof of vaccination) 

§  John Jay Dining Hall

§  JJ’s Place

§  Faculty House

§  CUIMC Faculty Club

§  Café 212

§  Joe Coffee locations on campus

§  Nous Espresso Bar

§  Brownie’s Café

§  Uris Deli

  • Gyms and Fitness

§  Dodge Physical Fitness Center

§  Baker Athletics Complex

§  50 Haven Athletics Complex

The good news is with a fully vaccinated campus, it should be a relatively straightforward process to comply with these new rules.  You may notice new signs in these settings, and you will receive more information about the required steps in each location. Acceptable proof of vaccination for purposes of Key to NYC includes any of the following listed below (a photo or photocopy of the listed documentation is acceptable):

  • CDC Vaccination Card 
  • NYC or other official immunization record from within or outside the US where your vaccine was administered
  • NYS Excelsior Pass or Excelsior Pass Plus
  • NYC COVID Safe Pass 

Please remember that in addition to proof of vaccination, individuals will be required to show their green pass, have their Columbia ID card, and wear a mask throughout their visit.  

For additional information regarding the mandate, please visit Key to NYC Guidance


Donna Lynne

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, CUIMC

University COVID Director

Gerry Rosberg

Senior Executive Vice President 

Email sent by Chair of the Barnard Vaccine Working Group to the Barnard community on Wednesday, September 8 at 6:46 pm EDT:

Dear Student,

I am writing with an update about showing your proof of vaccination for certain circumstances on campus; this is in addition to the Open Communicator upload that you did for approval with the College’s requirement.

NYC Emergency Executive Order 228 and related orders, also known as Key to NYC, requires members of indoor fitness centers, including the Barnard Fitness Center (BFC) and dance studios, including Barnard Dance Studios to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO.

With the Key to NYC being applicable to BFC and Barnard Dance Studios, all students in PE and Dance courses must also show proof of vaccination and will need to present one of the following proofs of vaccination:

CDC Vaccination Card, or copy/photo of card
NYC Vaccination Record, or other immunization record from within or outside the US.
NYC COVID Safe App: Android | iOS
Excelsior Pass (Excelsior Pass Plus)

Please remember that in addition to your proof of vaccination, students will be required to show their Coverified green pass, have their Barnard ID card, and wear a mask throughout their visit, including during their workout or class. Students should not attend classes if they are feeling sick.

For students who cannot show proof of vaccination, please work with your Academic Adviser or Class Dean to seek an alternative.

To learn more about EEO-228, please visit:

Questions about Barnard’s vaccination policies and procedures can be addressed to

Best wishes for the start of the academic year,

Andrea Stagg

Chair, Barnard Vaccine Working Group
Deputy General Counsel & Director of Government Relations and Compliance

columbias-campus-birds-eye-view via Bwog Archives