This is Bwog’s weekly roundup of how COVID-19 is progressing in the Columbia community.
This week, there were 8994 tests conducted, with 91 tests coming back positive for a 1.01% positivity rate. The positivity rate is down from last week’s positivity rate of 1.88%. 902 faculty and staff members were tested, with nine positive tests. Six thousand three hundred forty-two students at the Morningside, Manhattanville, and Lamont-Doherty campuses were tested, with 70 tests coming back positive for a 1.10% positivity rate.
This positivity rate puts Columbia at the current alert level of “low risk (yellow),” which means non-academic gatherings have capacity limits and “other gatherings” are restricted. Students must wear surgical masks where masks are required.
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 updates their data.
This week, there were 3579 tests conducted, with 15 tests coming back positive for a 0.38% positivity rate. The positivity rate is down from last week’s positivity rate of 0.70%. Residential students had a positivity rate of 0.55%, non-residential students had a positivity rate of 0.42%, faculty had a positivity rate of 0.34%, and staff had a positivity rate of 0.27%. Nine people have started isolation. Barnard has not released data on how many students are in quarantine.
Since August 8, 2020, Barnard has conducted 140,993 tests, with 580 coming back positive for a 0.41% 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 updates their data. Check the week of September 13-19’s roundup for more details on how Barnard calculates their positivity rate.
NYC residents 18 and older are 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 1916 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Currently, 7,929,379 residents have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 6,982,017 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 policy could be changing, as a New York State judge ruled on January 24 that the state’s mask mandate was unlawful and thus void. The judge stated that only the state legislature has the authority 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. New Jersey Governor Murphy has lifted the mask mandate in schools following Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s similar decision, leading Democratic leaders in Connecticut, Delaware, and Oregon to follow suit. This may signal the beginning of lawmakers’ treating COVID-19 as endemic.
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 policy 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. Mayor Adams has stuck with former Mayor de Blasio’s policy but extended the deadline to get vaccinated to February 11. 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, and entertainment/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 that they will “save lives and help prevent unnecessary suffering.”
As of August 17, through the Key to NYC campaign, all vaccine-eligible residents must show proof of a completed vaccination series 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