This is Bwog’s weekly Roundup of how COVID-19 is progressing in the Columbia community.

At Columbia

This week, there were 9240 tests conducted with 503 tests coming back positive for a 5.44% positivity rate. 1378 faculty and staff members were tested with 70 tests coming back positive. 5126 students at the Morningside, Manhattanville, and Lamont-Doherty campuses were tested, with 288 tests coming back for a 5.62% positivity rate.

This puts Columbia at the current alert level of “low risk (yellow)” which means non-academic gatherings have capacity limits and “other gatherings” are restricted. 

Columbia has not released data on how many students are in isolation and quarantine.

*Notes on the graph: Bwog calculated these positivity rates using the posted amount of positive and total tests in all students for a given week. Columbia does not differentiate graduate and undergraduate students in its count, so graduate students will be counted in the positivity rates from week to week. Numbers may change from week to week as Columbia continues to update their data.

At Barnard

This week, there were 844 tests conducted with 18 tests coming back positive for a 2.18% positivity rate. Residential students had a positivity rate of 8.58%, non-residential students had a positivity rate of 6.08%, and staff had a positivity rate of 4.77%. 1 person is in isolation. 

Since August 8, 2020, Barnard has conducted 132,020 tests with 516 being positive for a 0.39% positivity rate.

Note that Barnard’s total tests conducted number is much lower than usual, which may be artificially lowering the positivity rate.

*Notes on the graph: Bwog calculated these positivity rates using the posted amount of positive and total tests in all students, residential and non-residential for a given week. For example,for all students in the week of September 20, 6 tests came back positive out of 2,740 tests. Barnard does not report a positivity rate for all students so Bwog did an internal calculation. Numbers may change from week to week as Barnard continues to update their data. Check the week of Sep 13-19’s roundup for more details on how Barnard calculates their positivity rate


NYC residents 18 and older are all eligible for booster shots as New York health officials consider living in the city a “high risk” situation.

In New York City, there is a daily average of 133,544 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 7,806,586 residents received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 6,820,223 have completed their vaccine series. If you need help finding a vaccine appointment, try this link, this link, or your local pharmacy. 

Currently, all residents 12 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine in New York. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has officially authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children between the ages of 5 to 11. All NYC adults are eligible for the COVID-19 Booster Shot.

New York City is continuing to open up but with vaccine caveats. Governor Hochul’s new mandate, which went into effect Monday, December 13, requires all indoor businesses to ask customers for proof of full vaccination or require masks at all times. NYC Mayor de Blasio has announced, without specific authorization from City Council, that private-sector employees will be required to be vaccinated, starting December 27th. This is estimated to affect around 184,000 businesses and further guidelines for these businesses will be released on December 15, less than 2 weeks before the compliance is required. With the vaccine approval for 5 to 11-year-olds, those children will now be required to show proof of one vaccination dose to enjoy indoor dining, fitness, entertainment and performance venues. Those aged 12 and older will be required to show proof of two vaccine doses. Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi has applauded New York’s vaccine policies, stating it will “save lives and help prevent unnecessary suffering.” With cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus being detected in NYC, Mayor de Blasio implemented the policy as a “preemptive strike” and Governor Hochul has declared a disaster state of emergency in anticipation. With Mayor de Blasio’s term coming to an end on December 31st, it will be on Mayor-elect Eric Adams to enforce the policy. 

All NYC city workers, excluding uniformed correction officers, are required to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 5 pm on October 29. There are currently around 46,000 unvaccinated city employees. Those who refuse the vaccine will be placed on unpaid leave until this requirement can be met. All NYPD, FDNY, and DSNY employees will be required to have at least one dose of the vaccine by November 1. Civilian Department of Correction officers will be subject to this mandate by December 1. 92% of City workers are vaccinated and those who wished to be exempt from the mandate had until November 2 to file for an exemption to avoid being placed on leave without pay during an appeals process. While around 2300 city workers received their first dose to avoid being noncompliant with the mandate, around 9000 City employees have opted to be placed on unpaid leave for failure to comply with the mandate.

As of August 17, through the Key to NYC campaign, all vaccine-eligible residents must show proof of at least one dose of an FDA emergency-use authorized COVID-19 vaccine to be able to enjoy indoor dining, indoor fitness, and entertainment spaces. To show proof of vaccination, New Yorkers can show a photo of their CDC vaccination card, the physical CDC vaccination card, NYC COVID Safe App, Excelsior Pass/ Excelsior Pass Plus, or have a photocopy of a different immunization record that includes your healthcare provider. 

Graphs via Flourish

Header Art by Ava Morouse