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

At Columbia

This week, there were 10,232 tests conducted with 286 tests coming back positive for a 2.80% positivity rate. The positivity rate is down from last week’s positivity rate of 5.44%. 950 faculty and staff members were tested with 31 tests coming back positive. 7108 students at the Morningside, Manhattanville, and Lamont-Doherty campuses were tested, with 203 tests coming back for a 2.86% 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 2010 tests conducted with 24 tests coming back positive for a 1.12% positivity rate. The positivity rate is down from last week’s positivity rate of 2.18%. Residential students had a positivity rate of 1.71%, non-residential students had a positivity rate of 1.88%, faculty had a positivity rate of 0.00%, and staff had a positivity rate of 1.84%. One person has started isolation. 

Since August 8th, 2020, Barnard has conducted 134,336 tests with 543 being positive for a 0.40% 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 all students in the week of September 20, six 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 8269 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 7,855,338 residents received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 6,884,555 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 five and older are eligible to receive the vaccine in New York after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has officially authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children between the ages of five 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. This could be changing as the New York State judge ruled on Monday, January 24, that the state’s mask mandate was unlawful and thus void, citing that is the power of the state legislature to enact mask mandates, not Governor Hochul and health officials. The state attorney general and the state Health Department both have plans to repeal this ruling, meaning the mask mandate will remain in place until an appellate court makes a decision.

Former NYC Mayor de Blasio has announced, without specific authorization from City Council, that private-sector employees will be required to be vaccinated, starting December 27. This is estimated to affect around 184,000 businesses and further guidelines for these businesses will be released on December 15, less than two weeks before the compliance is required. With the vaccine approval for five 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 “pre-emptive 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 31, it will be on Mayor-elect Eric Adams to enforce the policy. 

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