Campus Messages

Reminder: Campus Entry and Testing Procedures

September 3, 2021

Dear Student,

We are so excited to welcome you to campus! This message contains important reminders to help you prepare to enter campus buildings.

Remember, a Campus Card is required for entry to all campus-owned buildings (excluding residence halls). There are no exceptions to this, so please make sure you have your Campus Card. If you have questions regarding your Campus Card, please email columbiacentral@colum.edu.

Campus entry policy varies according to your individual situation:

If you have received all required doses of your COVID-19 vaccine and more than 14 days have lapsed since your last dose: Your Campus Card will allow you to enter all buildings on campus and no testing is required for entry.

If you have received all required doses of your COVID-19 vaccine and it is 14 or fewer days since your last dose: You must present both your Campus Card and an on-campus test that is no more than 2 days old to be admitted to campus-owned buildings (testing details below). You will be required to test until more than 14 days have lapsed since your last dose.

If you were granted a religious or medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination: you must have an on-campus test that is no more than 2 days old to be admitted to campus-owned buildings (testing details below).

If you were granted an online-only exemption: you cannot enter campus under any circumstance for the duration of the Fall 2021 semester.

If you received the first dose of your COVID-19 vaccination on or before August 24 but are not yet fully vaccinated (defined as all required doses +14 days)you may be admitted to campus-owned buildings beginning September 7 if you have an on-campus test that is no more than 2 days old (testing details below). Remember, if you have a two-dose vaccine, you must submit your completed COVID-19 vaccination card to MedProctor as soon as you receive your second dose. You will be required to test until more than 14 days have lapsed since the last required dose of your vaccine.

If you received the first does of your COVID-19 vaccination on or after August 25 and are not yet fully vaccinated (defined as all required doses +14 days): you cannot enter campus-owned buildings until the second week of classes. Beginning the second week of classes, you may be admitted to campus-owned buildings if you have an on-campus test that is no more than 2 days old (testing details below). Remember, if you have a two dose vaccine, you must submit your completed COVID-19 vaccination card to MedProctor as soon as you receive your second dose. You will be required to test until more than 14 days have lapsed since the last required dose of your vaccine. Make sure to reach out to your instructors to ensure that you do not fall behind in your courses.

COVID-19 Testing Procedures

An appointment is required for on-campus testing, so it is important that you plan in advance. Call 844-766-3775 to make your testing appointments. If you are required to test for campus building entry, your on-campus test must be no more than 2 days old on the day you are entering campus. For example, if you are entering campus on a Wednesday, your test must be from Tuesday or Wednesday of that week.

Please note: there is no on-campus testing available on Monday, September 6. This means that if you have class on Tuesday, September 7, you must have an on-campus testing appointment on Tuesday.

For reference, below are CareATC Hours for next week and regular hours going forward:

September 7 - 9
7:15 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday, September 10
8 a.m. 5 p.m.

Saturday, September 11
9 a.m. - Noon

Sunday, September 12 - CLOSED

Going forward (after Saturday, September 11):
Mondays - 7:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. - Noon
Sundays CLOSED

To participate in on-campus testing, you must download the NAVICA app. Once you download the NAVICAA app, you will set up a username and password for the app. Your on-campus COVID-19 test results will be provided on the app, and you will use the app to show your negative test result to the security guard along with your Campus Card for building entry.
 


Top 5 Topics about COVID-19 Protocols

September 3, 2021

Today, we answer the questions around the five topics we hear from the campus community the most when it comes to COVID-19 protocols. These are:

  • Social distancing
  • Unvaccinated people
  • Eating
  • Masking
  • Visitors

Will social distancing be enforced on campus?

No, because our medical consultants tell us that is not necessary given the precautions we have in place. Our experts, Dr. John Segreti from Rush University Medical Center and Dr. Emily Landon from the University of Chicago, tell us that the effectiveness of vaccination and masking allows for a relaxation of social distancing, especially because of our other COVID-19 measures (testing for the unvaccinatedreduced capacities, our air assessment work and contact tracing). Distancing is not required in either the State’s or the City’s current masking guidance.
 
The college has capped classroom and event-space capacities at 85 percent of the number of people allowed in normal times (capacities are lower than 85 percent in many instances). This was done so people could still socially distance if they choose especially unvaccinated individuals who should strive to socially distance when possible as an added precaution.

Should I be concerned that I will be in the same space as unvaccinated people?

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Our fall semester COVID-19 protocols were developed using public health guidance and in consultation with Rush University Medical Center and University of Chicago epidemiologists. As part of these protocols, 
unvaccinated people will be tested every other day they are campus, and will – like everyone else – be required to be masked at all times. This provides a very high level of safety, especially in the context of a campus that is nearly 97 percent vaccinated, as Columbia is (that figure translates to the fact that 98 percent of classes will have three unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals or fewer).

 
The experts emphatically told the college’s COVID-19 response team that the combination of masking and having a largely vaccinated campus is the most effective way to protect against COVID-19. Dr. Emily Landon from the University of Chicago told our COVID-19 response team that the combination of masking and vaccination reduces the risk to “infinitesimal.” Dr. John Segreti from Rush University Medical Center told us that the COVID-19 vaccine reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 8 fold, and that he estimates that adding masking brings that to 20 fold.
 
We should all be mindful that a small number of our community members cannot be vaccinated. Columbia does not tolerate any negative treatment, recrimination, or discrimination against the unvaccinated.

Can we eat and/or drink in class or at campus events?

Eating in classrooms is not allowed. Drinking in classrooms is allowed if a mask is only removed very briefly to ingest the liquid; the mask should be replaced immediately after. No food is allowed at events and meetings.

Can we eat and/or drink at our office desk?

Eating is only allowed in designated areas: private office spaces and designated eating areas. If you have an office, eat alone.
 
Eating a meal at one’s desk in shared work areas is not allowed. Drinking and snacking at your workstation is permitted if you remain masked when you are not actively eating or drinking. Full meals should be consumed separately in a designated eating space.

What additional guidance does the college offer regarding eating on campus?

  • Distancing is strongly recommended when dining in designated eating spaces in the presence of others.
  • Maintain six feet distance from individuals or groups seated in the same space. 
  • Limit the time spent eating with other people.
  • Refrain from sharing food and drinking from a shared coffee pot.
  • Clean the table or desk before and after eating. 
  • Sanitize your hands immediately before and after using shared appliances such as microwaves and refrigerators. 
  • Avoid contact between your water bottles and shared water dispensers. 

The locations for designated eating spaces on campus can be found here.

Will the college require certain types of masks, and will the college provide masks to students and employees? Can we have class or meetings outside unmasked?

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The college is not mandating specific masks, but gaiters or masks with vents or any other type of openings are strictly not allowed. It is important – and a sign of respect and care toward others – to ensure you wear a mask that fits you properly. The mask should cover your mouth and nose at all times – if the masks frequently slides off your nose, you should find a better-fitting kind of mask to wear on campus. Per CDC, it is recommended to wear a mask that has a nose pinch so it fits snuggly on your nose, and does not have gaps where it comes in contact with your cheeks.

 
The college will not provide masks for students and employees who forget them, except that a limited supply of masks will be available at security for faculty who are without a mask and have an imminent class to teach. Masks can be purchased at the bookstore, ShopColumbia, or beginning September 7, at a vending machine located at the south end of the Student Center lobby.
 
Students who may need assistance with purchasing masks can also have access to some masks (limited supply) through the ColumbiaCares program where students can get clothing and food items, and now masks.
 
Taking masks off is allowed when class or a meeting is held outdoors, but only if the participants in the class or meeting are socially distanced (6 feet apart).

How do we handle visitors?

The college welcomes all visitors (including unregistered students) to engage with the campus community. Masks are required indoors at Columbia College Chicago regardless of your vaccination status.

Student facing visitors (lecturers, artists, models, etc.) should show their host proof of vaccination or test before the start of their session. One-time approved campus visitors (coming to meetings, tours, etc.) do not need to test or show proof of vaccination. 
 
Some events may have additional specific requirements or restrictions. Any questions may be directed to the appropriate Dean or AVP. If necessary, the Dean or AVP can seek additional guidance from their leadership and the Incident Assessment Task Force (IATF).

Contractors issued college campus ID cards are subject to vaccination and testing requirements. Other contractors may have specific requirements or restrictions.  Any questions may be directed to the appropriate Dean or AVP.  If necessary, the Dean or AVP can seek additional guidance from their leadership and the IATF. 

For legal and privacy reasons, Columbia cannot maintain medical information about non-students and non-employees. This includes not having emails where third parties disclose their vaccination status to a person affiliated with Columbia. 

Campus Events
The same aforementioned guidance will be in place for all college events with no limit on capacity. Any non-Columbia visitor attending a college event must follow all college guidelines and protocols.

Private, non-Columbia events hosted on campus, which do not involve any Columbia students or employees, are not subject to COVID-19 vaccination, masking and testing protocols, however, visitors are required to follow city and state guidance.

All outside events held on campus where Columbia students or employees are present must strictly adhere to Columbia COVID-19 protocols. 
If you're part of a Columbia class at an off-site location, you're still required to comply with the college's COVID-19 safety protocols.
 

To learn more about the college's Fall 2021 Return to Campus Plan, visit the Back, Together Columbia website

Fall 2021
  • Update: Vaccination Status of Employees and Students - August 31

    With the fall semester less than a week away, we are writing to provide an update regarding the vaccination status of students and employees.

    As a campus, we are nearly 97 percent vaccinated. Please be reminded the college’s masking mandate remains in place. This comes in addition to other precautions, which include regular testing for unvaccinated people, continued reduced capacities in classrooms and event spaces, an air assessment study, and contact tracing.

    On Monday, 153 students’ class schedules were cancelled due to the lack of evidence of vaccination. Some students whose registration was cancelled have since contacted the college to demonstrate vaccination. Those students (whose first dose was administered prior to 8/30) will be allowed to re-register, so we expect the number of 153 to decrease.

    Of the students who will have in-person courses this fall, nearly 98 percent of students will be fully or partially vaccinated; 94 percent already are fully vaccinated. About 200 students will start the semester with one dose -- per advice from our medical experts students can only start classes once they reach the two-week period past their first dose, and they will have to test until they are fully vaccinated and show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test no more than 2 days old to enter campus buildings.

    More than 90 percent of employees who will be on campus are vaccinated. Unvaccinated employees must test regularly and display a negative COVID-19 test no more than 2 days old to enter campus buildings. The college continues to encourage all employees who are able to vaccinate to do so.

    Two percent of the student body – 139 students as of Monday -- will be unvaccinated due to a college-approved medical or religious exemption from COVID-19 vaccination.

    The high level of vaccination on campus reflects our collective commitment to health and safety in order to re-open campus more fully, offering students an enriching experience with in-person interaction and collaboration.

    We wish everyone a safe and productive start of the fall semester.

Summer 2021
  • Update: Student Vaccination Status Upload Requirement - August 25, 2021

    We are writing to inform you that students who have not uploaded their vaccination card by Sunday, August 29 will have their classes dropped on Monday, August 30. They will not be able to re-register until they show evidence of vaccination.
     
    Students who have not yet begun the vaccination process are advised to do so and should be aware of three important conditions:   

    1. The first dose MUST occur no later than August 29; at which time a student must receive either a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson.  
    2. Students who receive a first vaccine dose between the 25th and 29th will only be able to begin classes on September 13 and will miss the first week of the semester.  
    3. Any student starting the semester with only one dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will need to produce a negative test that is no more than two days old to enter campus buildings. Only tests conducted on campus are acceptable to fulfill this requirement. Students will need to keep testing until they reach two weeks after their second dose. 

    Students who received a first dose no later than August 24 will be starting the semester normally on September 7 but will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test that is no more than two days old to enter campus buildings.

    Students with questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccination policy can be referred to columbiacentral@colum.edu.   

    Thank you for your continued help in keeping our campus community healthy and safe. We look forward to a successful start to the semester. 

  • Final push for student vaccination and vaccination card uploads - August 19, 2021

    We are writing to update you on our final student vaccination push ahead of the start of the fall semester. As of today, 82 percent of students have uploaded evidence of full vaccination. Another three percent have uploaded evidence of their first dose. Nearly 96 percent of residence life students have uploaded a vaccination card. We are reaching out personally to all students who have not yet uploaded their vaccination cards. 

    In recent weeks and especially in recent days, the college has heard from some students who have just started the vaccination cycle, or plan on doing this in the coming days, and will only have one dose when the semester starts. The college has put in place an option to help these students who are making a good-faith effort to be vaccinated, all the while maintaining strong health precautions. This protocol was developed in close coordination with our epidemiology experts from Rush University Medical Center. 

    Data shows that the first dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are comparable to the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, but that is only the case if one waits at least two weeks after the dose is received. August 24 is two weeks before the start of the semester which begins on September 7. In order to access campus buildings, these students will need to show evidence of a negative COVID test that is no more than two days old until they are fully vaccinated, which is defined by the CDC as two weeks after their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or two weeks after the single dose of Johnson & Johnson. All members of the campus community will continue to wear masks as recommended by the CDC, IDPH, and CDPH. 

    In order to satisfy the college’s vaccine requirement and start in-person fall semester classes the week of September 7, students who are not yet vaccinated must do one of two things NO LATER THAN TUESDAY AUGUST 24:  

    OPTION 1: Get a “one dose and done” Johnson and Johnson COVID shot no later than August 24.  

    This shot is available on campus and from health providers across the country. Students who do this will not need to be tested for COVID when the semester starts.  

    OR  

    OPTION 2: Get a first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine no later than August 24.   

    THIS IS NOT AN EXEMPTION FROM GETTING BOTH DOSES.
    Students who choose this option will have to follow additional steps before they can attend classes without restrictions. Students with just one dose of Moderna or Pfizer will need to:  

    • Get tested regularly: To enter any campus building, these students will need to show evidence of a negative COVID test that is no more than two days old. Only COVID tests taken on campus at 618 S. Michigan will be accepted. Students will need to do this until they are two weeks past their second dose of the vaccine.
    • Get their second dose in timely fashion (three weeks after the first dose for Pfizer, and four weeks for Moderna) in order to finish the semester. The second dose is required to get the vaccine’s full efficacy and durability.  

    The Moderna vaccine is available on campus (in limited supply).  

    The only exception to the above is students who hold a college-approved vaccine exemption. Those students will need to produce a negative COVID test that is no more than two days old throughout the entire semester. 

    Thank you for your continued help in keeping our campus community healthy and safe. We look forward to a successful start to the semester. 

     

  • Help encourage students to upload their COVID-19 vaccination cards - August 16, 2021

    Columbia is requiring students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to be on campus this fall, except for a small number of students who were granted a Columbia-approved medical or religious exemption. We are writing to enlist your help by asking you, as you talk to or meet with students, to remind them of the requirement and the need to upload their vaccination card.

    With a little more than three weeks to go before the start of the semester, nearly 85 percent of pall enrolled students have uploaded evidence of COVID-19 vaccination (nearly 95 percent of residence life students have done so, with two weeks to go to the move-in date). We do need to drive further awareness among students of the need to upload their cards, and, if they are not vaccinated, to get vaccinated immediately.

    Please note Columbia will hold a vaccination event with the “one-dose-and-done” Johnson & Johnson vaccine on August 23 and 24, which will allow more students and employees to get vaccinated.

    The college is in the midst of multiple forms of outreach to students, from social media to personal phone calls, but we think the message will be helpful coming from staff as well (faculty also are being encouraged to reach out to students).

    Here are suggested talking points to be used when speaking with students:

    "COVID-19 vaccination is required for students. Students without a college-approved medical or religious exemption must upload evidence of vaccination. For information on the requirement and on how to upload your vaccination card, please go to https://www.colum.edu/immunization."

    If a student has a question regarding the COVID-19 vaccination policy or the process to submit their COVID-19 vaccination card, they can email columbiacentral@colum.edu

    Thank you for your help with our overall awareness campaign for students, and we look forward to a successful start to the semester.

  • Reminder: Masks Now Required on Campus Regardless of Vaccination Status - August 4, 2021

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    Columbia students, faculty and staff,
     
    Cook County, home to Columbia College Chicago, reached the CDC-defined "substantial" level of COVID-19 community transmission. Accordingly, based on guidance from both the CDC and State of Illinois, masks are now required indoors at Columbia College Chicago, which went into effect on July 30. This applies regardless of your vaccination status -- please disregard any signage you may see on campus allowing some individuals to be unmasked. 
     
    "Substantial" is defined by the CDC as between 50 and 99 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the previous week. Cook County is now at roughly 52 cases per 100,000. 
     
    The fall semester begins on September 7; we cannot predict how long Cook County and Chicago will stay at a "substantial" level of COVID-19 transmission, and therefore it is too soon to know what the impact of the new mask requirement may be on some aspects of in-person classroom instruction this fall. We will continue to analyze guidance and pandemic numbers, coordinate with local health officials, and announce any necessary changes to our fall semester plans.

    It is important to stress that we remain committed to a vibrant in-person experience at Columbia this fall, both inside and outside the classroom. A sizable majority of faculty, staff, and students have already verified their vaccination status, adding to our confidence and optimism that we can safely return this fall to the vibrant mix of in-person interactions that define the Columbia experience. 
     
    As a reminder, Columbia has put in place many precautions: requiring vaccination for students, requiring unvaccinated employees to be tested regularly, a system to track who is vaccinated, as well as continued lower classroom capacities. We are confident these measures will allow us to have a successful semester regardless of masking requirements.

    Please refer to colum.edu and @columbiachi social media handles for the most up-to-date information about masking requirements, vaccine status reporting, and ways to test on campus. 
     
    Thank you for your continued cooperation in our collective efforts to prioritize the health and well-being of our campus community.
     

  • Important update re: new testing requirements and vaccination rates - August 2, 2021

    Dear Columbia students, faculty, and staff,
     
    We are writing to announce additional steps we are taking to help protect our community from COVID-19 and to further encourage vaccination of Columbia employees and students.  These come on top of last week’s announcementthat masks are once again required indoors in shared spaces at Columbia, regardless of one’s vaccination status. 
     
    More frequent testing for unvaccinated individuals
    Beginning September 7 (the day the fall semester starts), unvaccinated individuals seeking entry to a college facility will have to show evidence of a negative test that is no more than two days old (versus the current requirement of three days). Anyone who is unvaccinated will be subject to this enhanced testing requirement, even if they have a college-approved vaccination exemption. Only tests conducted at the college’s on-campus facility in 618 S. Michigan Avenue will be acceptable. Evidence of a negative off-campus test will not be accepted for entry. 
     
    To accommodate a possible higher testing volume, the 618 S. Michigan facility will add staff and offer extended hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays).  These times may be modified based on usage.
     
    Vaccinated students and employees can still choose to receive elective “monitoring” testing at our on-campus location.  NOTE: As always, symptomatic employees should stay away from campus and get tested at a non-campus location.  Similarly, students who are experiencing symptoms should not enter any campus facility except the student health center at 916 S. Wabash Ave, 5th floor, where they can receive diagnostic COVID tests.
     
    The most important things you can do: get vaccinated, and report your vaccination status
    The spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant nationwide has introduced new uncertainty.  Even so, vaccination remains an extremely effective barrier against COVID-19: according to the CDC and chief White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, more than 97 percent of current COVID-related hospitalizations and more than 99 percent of current COVID deaths are occurring among unvaccinated people.
     
    We know that Columbia is not an island and that the pandemic around us is affecting those who work and study here.  Nonetheless, we are heartened that the college will benefit from a very high level of community vaccination this fall:

    • With staff preparing to fully report back to the office this week, more than 92 percent of full-time staff and administrators have uploaded evidence of full vaccination.
    • Ahead of reporting to campus in mid-August, 80 percent of full-time faculty have uploaded evidence of being vaccinated.  For part-time faculty, the current upload rate is 54 percent.
    • With five weeks to go before the beginning of the fall semester, nearly 70 percent of students have uploaded evidence of full vaccination.
    This high level of vaccination within our campus community is very promising, and we thank those who have already uploaded verification to our systems. These data only reflect uploaded vaccination status, and we believe the actual vaccination rates are even higher. That said, we need even more members of our community to join those who have already gotten vaccinated and uploaded evidence of this.  The higher our numbers, the better the chances for a fall semester experience that is as rich, lively, and fulfilling as possible.  After all, higher vaccination rates mean a healthier community and a reduced risk of disruption of in-person instruction and campus events.  This has always been the case but is especially true because of the Delta variant.
     
    We also anticipate that in the coming weeks, state and local public health authorities may issue new rules and guidance for institutions of higher education that will vary depending on a campus’s vaccination level.  The higher Columbia’s overall vaccination rate, and the better our ability to demonstrate this, the more likely it is that we will be allowed to engage in the types of in-person activities that are the hallmark of a Columbia education.  For example, if and when infection rates decline to a moderate or low level in Cook County, home to Chicago, we may once again be able to adopt different masking approaches based on an individual’s vaccination status, which in turn will support enhanced classroom and campus interactions.
     
    Finally, having an accurate picture of who is and is not vaccinated will greatly assist our efforts to plan for in-person class sections, manage residence hall room assignments, adequately staff the testing facility, and make sensible budgeting decisions.
     
    Recognizing that the pandemic remains a fast-changing public health emergency, we are closely monitoring developments associated with the Delta variant and related trends; analyzing federal, state, and local guidance as it evolves; and communicating with outside epidemiology experts and the office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.  We will continue to adapt our plans as necessary to help advance the health of our community and the quality of the student experience.  We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus over the coming weeks.
  • Masks Now Required on Campus Regardless of Vaccination Status - July 30, 2021

     

    Columbia students, faculty and staff,
     
    Cook County, home to Columbia College Chicago, reached the CDC-defined "substantial" level of COVID-19 community transmission. Accordingly, based on guidance from both the CDC and State of Illinois, masks will now be required indoors at Columbia College Chicago, starting today, Friday, July 30. This applies regardless of your vaccination status -- please disregard any signage you may see on campus allowing some individuals to be unmasked. 
     
    "Substantial" is defined by the CDC as between 50 and 99 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the previous week. Cook County is now at roughly 52 cases per 100,000. 
     
    There are five weeks to go before the fall semester begins; we cannot predict how long Cook County and Chicago will stay at a "substantial" level of COVID-19 transmission, and therefore it is too soon to know what the impact of the new mask requirement may be on some aspects of in-person classroom instruction this fall. We will continue to analyze guidance and pandemic numbers, coordinate with local health officials, and announce any necessary changes to our fall semester plans.

    It is important to stress that we remain committed to a vibrant in-person experience at Columbia this fall, both inside and outside the classroom. A sizable majority of faculty, staff, and students have already verified their vaccination status, adding to our confidence and optimism that we can safely return this fall to the vibrant mix of in-person interactions that define the Columbia experience. 
     
    As a reminder, Columbia has put in place many precautions: requiring vaccination for students, requiring unvaccinated employees to be tested regularly, a system to track who is vaccinated, as well as continued lower classroom capacities. We are confident these measures will allow us to have a successful semester regardless of masking requirements.

    Please refer to colum.edu and @columbiachi social media handles for the most up-to-date information about masking requirements, vaccine status reporting, and ways to test on campus. 
     
    Thank you for your continued cooperation in our collective efforts to prioritize the health and well-being of our campus community.

  • 90 Day Testing Exception for Unvaccinated Individuals - July 26, 2021

    As a reminder, unvaccinated individuals are required to comply with the College's COVID-19 testing requirement (displaying a negative COVID-19 test from CareATC no more than 3 days old while on campus).

    If you are unvaccinated and recently tested positive for COVID-19, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chicago Department of Public Health, individuals who have had COVID-19 may test positive for a duration of 90 days even though they are no longer sick. If an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 and been cleared to return to campus by the College, they are not required to be tested for 90 days.

    Students

    • An unvaccinated student who has tested positive in the 90 days prior to their arrival on campus, and has informed the college of their positive test, will not be required to display a negative COVID-19 test within the designated timeframe* granted for their 90-day testing exception.
    • An unvaccinated student who has tested positive in the 90 days prior to their arrival on campus but did not report their positive COVID-19 test result to the College must provide medical evidence to receive an exception from the testing requirement. COVID-19 test results should be sent to deanofstudents@colum.edu.
    Employees
    • An unvaccinated employee who has tested positive in the 90 days prior to their arrival to campus, and has informed the College of their positive test, will not be required to display a negative COVID-19 test within the designated timeframe* granted for their 90-day testing exception.
    • An unvaccinated employee who has tested positive in the 90 days prior to their arrival to campus but did not inform the College of the positive test, must provide medical evidence to receive an exception from the testing requirement. COVID-19 test results should be submitted directly to Human Resources at humanresources@colum.edu.
    *90 days is counted from the date of first symptoms, or the date of a positive test if the person was asymptomatic. This applies to people who have remained and remain asymptomatic since their recovery. People experiencing new symptoms should seek medical attention. 
     
    It is recommended by the CDC that Individuals who have had COVID-19 receive the vaccination to protect them from potentially being reinfected with the virus. Those who have had COVID-19 can become vaccinated after completing quarantine. An exception to this recommendation is those who have received monoclonal antibodies. Those individuals must wait 90 days after recovering from COVID-19 to receive the vaccine.
     
    Note: The College’s testing requirement is for individuals who are unvaccinated. If a vaccinated individual experiences a breakthrough infection and tests positive for COVID-19, stay home and report your case to securitycommand@colum.edu. Students should also notify Student Relations at studentrelations@colum.edu. Employees and student workers should notify their supervisor that they will be absent. 
     
    For a full list of FAQs, please visit the Back Together, Columbia website. If you have any questions, please contact covid19info@colum.edu
  • Upload your COVID-19 vaccination card for a chance to win a scholarship! - July 19, 2021

    All students with an uploaded COVID-19 vaccination card in MedProctor by July 30 at noon will be entered into a drawing to win one of 10 scholarships, each worth $2,000. As a reminder, Columbia is requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the Fall 2021 semester.

    To qualify:

    • You need at least one dose of the vaccine. If you are getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and only have your first dose and you win the scholarship, the funds will only be disbursed to your student account once you demonstrated that you have received the second dose.
    • You must upload your COVID-19 vaccination card to MedProctor no later than July 30, 2021, at noon CST.

    Winners will be selected and notified during the week of August 1. The winners will be awarded a non-renewable, annual scholarship of $2,000 ($1,000 per semester) for the 2021-22 academic year. The scholarship can only be applied to tuition. Please be aware that being selected for this scholarship may result in adjustments to your existing financial aid package.

    If you have questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccination requirement or the process to upload your records to MedProctor, please contact Columbia Central at columbiacentral@colum.edu.

    Please note: Students with an approved religious or medical exemption on file by July 30 at noon will be included in the drawing. Exemption requests submitted after Wednesday, July 21 are not guaranteed to be approved in time to be eligible for the drawing.

    As a reminder, you will need to be fully vaccinated by the beginning of the Fall semester (or by August 27 if you live in the residence halls). View key dates related to vaccination on the Back Together, Columbia page.

  • Successful Vaccination Card Upload and Information Security - July 15, 2021

    Dear Employee:
     
    We look forward to reuniting next week and want to remind you of a few items below related to vaccination that should be checked off your “to-do list”. Reviewing and completing these items as soon as possible can help you make a smoother transition back to campus. If you have already uploaded your vaccination card but want to double check to make sure it uploaded successfully, click here.
     
    We have also received inquiries regarding Medikeeper’s ability to keep personal information secure. MediKeeper is a premier health information management company retained by the College because it is a secure and industry certified system used to verify an employee’s vaccination status. The information management company has earned Certified status for information security by the Health Information Trust (HITRUST) Alliance which is “the most widely-adopted security framework in the U.S. healthcare industry as it meets key healthcare regulations and requirements for protecting and securing sensitive private healthcare information.” To learn more about the security of the MediKeeper wellness portal visit MediKeeper’s website.


    Upload your vaccination card
    If you are fully vaccinated but have not yet reported your status, log in to COVID Navigator and upload a copy of your vaccination record. You can check to see if your card was uploaded successfully here

    Note: It will take 24 hours before your vaccination status has been processed and for your card to be activated. If your card is not activated, you will not be permitted to enter campus.

    Student employees can find instructions for submitting their records on the Immunization website.

    Note: It will take 5 business days before your vaccination status has been processed and for your card to be activated. If your card is not activated, you will not be permitted to enter campus.

    If you are partially vaccinated (received one of two doses) - Log in to COVID Navigator and upload a copy of only the front of your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card reflecting the date of your first vaccine. If you upload a copy of the front and back of the card you will need to delete a photo the next time you log in to update your card with the second vaccine information. Click Save and Finish Later, your vaccination status will be reflected as Incomplete until you receive your second dose.

    Note: You must comply with the College’s testing requirement for unvaccinated individuals prior to your return to campus the week of July 19 and you will be required to comply with the guidelines for on-site testing every three days, until two weeks past the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, and two weeks past the J&J dose. Information for compliance with the College’s testing, including how to use the Navica app can be found here.

    Upon receiving the second dose, log in again and upload the updated copy of the vaccination record card reflecting the date of your second vaccine. Your status will reflect Vaccinated.

    Note: It will take 24 hours before your vaccination status has been processed and for your card to be activated. If your card is not activated, you will not be permitted to enter campus.
  • Vaccination Opportunities On Campus Beginning Today - July 12, 2021
    As Columbia College Chicago continues to promote the health and safety of all members of our community, vaccination appointments are available beginning today through Sunday, September 5, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 618 S. Michigan.

    Please register in advance for an appointment through our VAXQ system at www.colum.edu/vaccine
     
    To receive the vaccination, please print and bring a completed and signed consent form and MyColumbia ID (or a government issued state identification). The consent form will be sent via email with the appointment confirmation.
     
    There will be two vaccine options: 
    • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Vaccine: a single—one and you’re done—vaccination. 
    • Moderna Vaccine: one dose of the vaccination will be given on this date. You will be required to take a second dose of the vaccine four weeks later. The Moderna vaccine is only available for those who will be able to return to CareATC on campus for a second dose. 

    As a reminder, the COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory for all students who are returning to Columbia in the fall. Please visit the Back Together, Columbia website for more details.

  • FALL '21: RETURN TO CAMPUS PLAN - July 9, 2021

    At Columbia, we have approached the challenges of COVID-19 in a way only creatives can—with innovative and caring solutions. The campus community spent more than a year finding new ways to learn, connect, and engage from a distance, all the while craving more in-person exchanges, collaboration and support.

    Now, with effective vaccines, broader access to testing, and a city and a state that are fully reopened, the college is welcoming staff back to campus beginning July 19, followed by most faculty in August and students this fall.   

    The Back Together, Columbia” Reopening Plan outlines all of the College’s protocols and guidelines for students and employees, designed to foster a greater sense of community while keeping each other’s health and safety a priority. 

    This plan is informed by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago, and consultations with epidemiology experts from Rush University and the University of Chicago, our on-campus health professionals, as well as leadership of the faculty senate, the part-time faculty union, and the staff union. 

    The new guidelines and protocols are effective July 19 and through the fall 2021 semester. Note, the requirement that everyone remain masked in classrooms remains in place for the summer term.

    We meet with outside COVID-19 experts weekly and continue to monitor the COVID-19 landscape, including variants; we stand ready to modify reopening plans as called for by the health situation. 

    Highlights of the plan include:

    • Masks required for unvaccinated people and optional for those who are vaccinated
    • Regular testing required for unvaccinated individuals
    • Required evidence of vaccination for students and employees – vaccination is required for students and strongly encouraged for employees (On July 8, 2021, the CDC announced that preliminary data indicates unvaccinated people account for 99.5 percent of deaths from COVID)
    • Continued capacity limits in instructional spaces

    In an effort to streamline content and provide quick access to important information, the College has created a new reopening plan site.

    KEY DATES AND DEADLINES

    ​​​​​​​JULY 9
    Deadline for employees to upload their vaccination cards to COVID Navigator. Employees without evidence of vaccination in the system will be subject to mandatory masking and testing.

    JULY 15
    Deadline for students to update the college regarding their vaccination status.

    BEGINNING JULY 19
    Staff begin returning to campus.

    AUGUST 13 & AUGUST 27
    Resident Hall Students

    All students living in campus housing must be fully vaccinated and have uploaded evidence of vaccination by August 27. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the final dose; this means you need to get your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine by August 13, or your dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson no later than August 13.

    AUGUST 24 & SEPTEMBER 7
    All students not living in campus housing
    You need to be fully vaccinated by September 7: Being fully vaccinated means you are two weeks past your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or your single dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That means you need to receive your last dose of vaccine no later than August 24. To allow for processing time and to ensure non-resident hall students' vaccination status is correctly reflected in our system and that they are able to access campus facilities, non-resident hall students must upload the vaccination card no later than August 24. You do not need to be fully vaccinated (last dose + two weeks) by August 24, but you need to have your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or your single dose of J&J by August 24, and upload your vaccination card no later than that date.

    NOTE: International students without COVID vaccine access in their home countries will be allowed to arrive unvaccinated but will be required to begin the vaccination process and will be subject to masking and testing requirements until they are fully vaccinated.
     
    For more details on how to comply with deadlines for each key date, visit the new reopening plan site.

  • Updated message about Student COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting - June 25, 2021

    Dear Student:

    This message is to clarify information regarding COVID-19 vaccination reporting for students. As you know, all students are required to be fully vaccinated by September 7, which is the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester, or by their residence hall move-in date.

    The College is requiring students to upload their vaccination status to MedProctor no later than July 15. By that date, we would like to know your vaccination status as it currently stands.
     
    What is your COVID-19 Vaccination Status?

    • Fully vaccinated. (Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after having received their second vaccine dose.)
    • Partially vaccinated.

    If you are fully or partially vaccinated, capture an image of your official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card and upload it to your MedProctor account. Those who are partially vaccinated will need to upload another image of your vaccination card after receiving your second dose.
     
    Meeting the Vaccination Requirement Fall 2021
    Use the following chart as a guide to determine the final date you can take your first or single dose of the vaccination to begin in-person classes. Students in the residence halls will receive a follow-up communication providing details regarding vaccination requirements for move-in August 27 – September 5.

     COVID-19 Vaccination
     
     
    Start of In-person Instruction
    September 7, 2021
      1st Dose Moderna 7/27/2021
     1st Dose Pfizer 8/3/2021
     Johnson & Johnson (single dose) 8/24/2021

    Students with a medical or religious exemption will be subject to testing requirements for the entire semester, as described below.

    International students who did not arrive fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine will be required to begin a vaccination course and be tested regularly until they are fully vaccinated. Additional guidance for international students is below.

    Other unvaccinated students will not be allowed to physically go to class in person beginning September 7.

    If you would like to schedule an appointment for vaccination at Columbia’s Vaccination Site, located at 618 S. Michigan Ave., please visit VAXQ. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccination requirement and off-campus vaccination resources, please visit the college's Vaccination information website.

    If you need assistance using MedProctor, email help@medproctor.com from your official colum.edu email account. 

    If you are an international student, or a student requesting a medical or religious exemption, please follow the guidance below. 

    Guidance for Students Requesting Medical Exemptions 
    If you have a medical condition that prevents you from receiving any vaccines, you may be granted a medical exemption. If you are granted a medical exemption, you will be required to test for COVID-19 a minimum of every 3 days when on campus. 

    To request a medical exemption, you must submit a note from a licensed medical doctor explaining the nature and duration of the medical condition and identifying the specific vaccines that you cannot receive. Your doctor’s note must be uploaded to your MedProctor account. Students can find instructions for submitting their records via MedProctor on the Immunization website

    Guidance for Students Requesting Religious Exemptions
    If you have a religious belief that prevents you from receiving any vaccines, you may be granted a religious exemption. If you are granted a religious exemption, you will be required to test for COVID-19 a minimum of every 3 days when on campus. To request a religious exemption, you must complete and sign our vaccination exemption request form detailing your objection to immunization on religious grounds. The form must state the specific religious belief that conflicts with the immunization. You can download the vaccination exemption request form by logging into your MedProctor.com account. Your completed form must be uploaded to your MedProctor account. Students can find instructions for submitting their records via MedProctor on the Immunization website.
     
    Vaccination Guidance for International Students
    Vaccination prior to arrival is strongly encouraged. Columbia will accept the vaccines listed below with emergency use authorization by the FDA or the World Health Organization (WHO). To provide the College with evidence of vaccination, please upload your completed COVID-19 vaccination card to MedProctor.

    U.S. Vaccines with FDA EUA

    • Pfizer-BioNTech
    • Moderna
    • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

    Following the CDC’s guidance, upon arrival to the U.S, international students who are unable to fully vaccinate must: 

    • Quarantine immediately for a full 7 days after travel
    • Test 3-5 days after travel  
      • Even if you test negative, you must quarantine for the full 7 days.
      • Without testing, students must quarantine for 10 days after travel.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms

    International student residents who are not fully vaccinated will quarantine at the University Center campus housing and will not be able to move into their assigned residence hall until the quarantine and testing requirements are fulfilled. These students should plan to begin quarantine at the University Center between August 27 – August 31 to complete the mandatory 7-day quarantine requirement (or 10 days without testing) before the start of the semester September 7. Students will not be able to move into the residence hall prior to August 27.

    Unvaccinated international students will be required to test for COVID-19 a minimum of every three days when on campus until they are fully vaccinated. International students will have until the end of the 6th week of instruction at the latest to become fully vaccinated. Students can schedule their vaccination at Columbia’s vaccination site online at VAXQ.

  • Important Update About Student Vaccination Requirements - June 15, 2021

    As previously announced, Columbia College Chicago is requiring all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 effective in the 2021 fall semester. This is because vaccines are the most effective way to curb infections and will allow deeper engagement and collaboration in the classroom and for other campus activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines fully vaccinated as two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine or the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine has been administered.
     
    The College is now requiring students to be fully vaccinated BEFORE the start of the semester. This is due to:

    • Wide vaccine availability throughout the United States, where supply is plentiful and, in many places, exceeds demand.
    • New CDC guidance further stressing the effectiveness of vaccines and allowing for more in-person instruction and activities for vaccinated individuals. 

    Students planning to live in the residence halls will need to be fully vaccinated prior to moving in into the dorms, unless they fall into one of the three categories below. 

    There will be only three categories of students who will be allowed to come to campus and to begin attending class unvaccinated:

    • Students with a medical condition that a medical professional has said precludes them from being able to receive the vaccine
    • Students with a college-approved religious exemption to vaccinations
    • International students who did not have access to a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved vaccine in their home country, or were unable to receive a necessary second dose in a timely manner cycle in their country due to vaccination rules and supply

    Students with a medical or religious exemption will be subject to testing requirements for the entire semester, as described below.

    International students who did not arrive having been vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine will be required to comply with the college’s testing requirements until they are fully vaccinated and begin and/or finish a vaccination cycle upon arrival. Additional guidance for international students is below.

    Other unvaccinated students will not be allowed to physically go to class in person beginning September 7.

    Students who vaccinate off campus are required to upload their vaccination records to Med Proctor no later than July 15. Students who vaccinate on Columbia’s campus will not need to upload proof of vaccination.

    If you would like to schedule an appointment for vaccination at Columbia’s Vaccination Site, located at 618 S. Michigan Ave., please visit VAXQ. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccination requirement and off-campus vaccination resources, please visit the college's Vaccination information website.

    If you are an international student, or a student requesting a medical or religious exemption, please follow the guidance below. 

    Guidance for Students Requesting Medical Exemptions 

    If you have a medical condition that prevents you from receiving any vaccines, you may be granted a medical exemption. If you are granted a medical exemption, you will be required to test for COVID-19 a minimum of every 3 days when on campus. 

    To request a medical exemption, you must submit a note from a licensed medical doctor explaining the nature and duration of the medical condition and identifying the specific vaccines that you cannot receive. Your doctor’s note must be uploaded to your MedProctor account. Students can find instructions for submitting their records via MedProctor on the Immunization website

    Guidance for Students Requesting Religious Exemptions

    If you have a religious belief that prevents you from receiving any vaccines, you may be granted a religious exemption. If you are granted a religious exemption, you will be required to test for COVID-19 a minimum of every 3 days when on campus. To request a religious exemption, you must complete and sign our vaccination exemption request form detailing your objection to immunization on religious grounds. The form must state the specific religious belief that conflicts with the immunization. You can download the vaccination exemption request form by logging into your MedProctor.com account. Your completed form must be uploaded to your MedProctor account. Students can find instructions for submitting their records via MedProctor on the Immunization website.

    Vaccination Guidance for International Students

    Vaccination prior to arrival is strongly encouraged. Columbia will accept the vaccines listed below with emergency use authorization by the FDA or the World Health Organization (WHO). To provide the College with evidence of vaccination, please upload your completed COVID-19 vaccination card to MedProctor.

    U.S. Vaccines with FDA EUA

    •    Pfizer-BioNTech

    •    Moderna

    •    Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

    Following the CDC’s guidance, upon arrival to the U.S., international students who are unable to fully vaccinate must: 

    • Quarantine immediately for a full 7 days after travel
    • Test 3-5 days after travel  
      • Even if you test negative, you must quarantine for the full 7 days.
      • Without testing, students must quarantine for 10 days after travel.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not
    • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms

    International student residents who are not fully vaccinated will quarantine at the University Center campus housing and will not be able to move into their assigned residence hall until the quarantine and testing requirements are fulfilled. These students should plan to begin quarantine at the University Center between August 27 – August 31 to complete the mandatory 7-day quarantine requirement (or 10 days without testing) before the start of the semester September 7. Students will not be able to move into the residence hall prior to August 27.

    Unvaccinated international students will be required to test for COVID-19 a minimum of every three days when on campus until they are fully vaccinated. International students will have until the end of the 6th week of instruction at the latest to become fully vaccinated. Students can schedule their vaccination at Columbia’s vaccination site please visit VAXQ.

  • Opportunity For Vaccination Before Returning to Campus

    June 15, 2021

    As Columbia College Chicago continues to promote the health and safety of all members of our community, vaccination appointments will be available at 618 S. Michigan on Monday, June 21 and Tuesday, June 22, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    Columbia College students, faculty, staff, contractors, as well as qualified family members (18 years of age and older) of staff and faculty insured by Columbia, will be offered the vaccine. Please register in advance for an appointment through our VAXQ system at www.colum.edu/vaccine
     
    To receive the vaccination, please print and bring a completed and signed consent form and MyColumbia ID (or a government issued state identification). The consent form will be sent via email with the appointment confirmation.
     
    There will be two vaccine options: 

    • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Vaccine: a single—one and you’re done—vaccination. 
    • Moderna Vaccine: one dose of the vaccination will be given on this date. You will be required to take a second dose of the vaccine four weeks later. The Moderna vaccine is only available for those who will be able to return to CareATC on campus for a second dose. 

    As a reminder, unvaccinated employees will be required to be tested prior to their initial return the week of July 19. The COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory for all students who are returning to Columbia in the fall. Students are required to vaccinate before the start of the semester. Please read the following communication for more details.

  • COVID-19 Vaccination App Now Available

    COVID-19 Vaccination App Now Available

    June 4, 2021

    As previously announced in Dr. Kim’s May 19 Return to Campus Update, to promote the health of all members of our community regardless of vaccination status, staff and faculty who are unvaccinated will be required to be tested for COVID-19 every three days they are on campus. This requirement will go into effect July 19 for all employees, including faculty who are teaching summer session classes.
     
    To facilitate the college’s ability to manage employee testing requirements and vaccination status, Human Resources has partnered with MediKeeper to implement a COVID Navigator app. The app allows employees to confidentially upload and provide the college with verification of their vaccination status.
     
    What You Need to Do:

    • If you are fully vaccinated
      • Log in to COVID Navigator to complete the vaccination questionnaire and upload a copy of your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card by July 9, 2021.
      • You will not be required to test upon your return to campus as of the date you upload your vaccination card.
    • If you are partially vaccinated (received one of two doses)
      • Log in to COVID Navigator to complete the vaccination questionnaire and upload a copy of only the front of your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card reflecting the date of your first vaccine. If you upload a copy of the front and back of the card you will need to delete a photo the next time you log in to update your card with the second vaccine information. Click Save and Finish Later, your vaccination status will be reflected as Incomplete until you receive your second dose.
      • You will be required to comply with on-site testing every three days, until two weeks past the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, and two weeks past the J&J dose.
      • Upon receiving the second dose, log in again and upload the updated copy of the vaccination record card reflecting the date of your second vaccine. Your status will reflect Vaccinated.
    • If you do not intend to get the COVID-19 vaccine
      • You must comply with the college’s testing requirement prior to your return to campus the week of July 19 and every three days thereafter while you are on campus.

    About the COVID Navigator App
     
    Key benefits of the app include:

    • Mobile and desktop web access from anywhere
    • Uses the college’s secure SSO login to access the app
    • Simple step-by-step instructions on how to enter vaccination information and upload a photo of the vaccination card
    • Provides a “vaccinated” badge
    • FAQs to keep you updated and informed of COVID-19 resources

    Here is a high-level overview of how the app works:

    • Log in to the COVID Navigator app using the college’s secure Single Sign-On
    • Enter your vaccination information and upload a photo of the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card by following the easy step-by-step instructions.
    • If the document image is not clear you may be contacted by Human Resources and asked to upload another copy of the card.
    • Once you finish uploading the photo of your card, the app will reflect a “vaccinated” status badge.
    • For employees who have only received the first dosage of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, a second vaccine record upload will be required.  Employees will receive a reminder from the COVID Navigator prior to the scheduled second vaccination date or 28 days after the date of the first dosage, whichever comes first. 
    • For detailed instructions on how to use the app, review the attached User Guide.

    Frequently Asked Questions
     
    How do I input my vaccine information?
    To input or edit vaccination information, click on the button within the Vaccinated Status section of the COVID Navigator app home screen. You will be asked to provide information about which vaccine you received, the date(s) of injection, and a photo of your vaccination card. If you cannot fully complete the vaccination information, you can click Save & Finish Later. Once all of the necessary vaccination information is filled out, click Sign & Submit. You must upload a photo of your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
     
    Why does the app ask for my date of birth?
    The app needs to identify employees to confirm your identity.  While the most common identifier is an employee identification number, many employees do not know theirs so date of birth was used for your convenience.
     
    Is my information secure?
    Yes, the college has implemented the COVID Navigator app using our Single Sign On (SSO) to ensure the utmost security available. Only human resources will have access to this information.
     
    How do I access the COVID Navigator App?
    To access the app, click here from your desktop, mobile device, or visit the Human Resources website. You will use your Columbia College Chicago login and password to sign in. You
    do not have to download an app.
     
    Do I need a company code or group code to access the app?
    No, all you need is the link provided in the announcement and in this document above.
     
    What does my Vaccination Status mean?

    • Vaccinated: If your vaccination status displays as Vaccinated, this means that your submission of your vaccination information was successful and your vaccination is being recognized by your employer as of the date you uploaded your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
    • Pending Approval: If your vaccination status displays as Pending Approval, this means that your submission of your vaccination information has been sent to Human Resources and is awaiting review. Once your vaccination information is reviewed, your status will be updated.
    • Denied: If your vaccination status displays as Denied, this means that your submission of your vaccination information was denied by Human Resources. You will be contacted and informed if there was an issue with the clarity of the photo and may need to submit new vaccination information by clicking “Add new vaccination” on your home screen.
    • Incomplete: If your vaccination status displays as Incomplete, this means that your vaccination information is not fully complete. You will see this status if you receive a two-dose vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) and have only received one of the two at the time you upload a photo of your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. To finish providing your information, click “Provide Missing Information” on the home page.
    • Empty: If you do not see a vaccination status display on your home page, this means that you have not provided any vaccination information. If you would like to start filling out information regarding a vaccination, click on “Add new vaccination” on your home screen.

    When does the “Vaccinated” badge appear?
    The Vaccinated status badge will appear once you upload information for a full vaccination.  For one-dose vaccines the badge will appear after entering the one dose and for the two-dose vaccines, the badge will appear after both doses have been submitted.  If you have only received one dose of a two-dose vaccine, complete the vaccination questionnaire and click “Save and Finish Later” and your vaccination status will show as “Incomplete”. Once you receive the second dose, log in to the app, add the second dose to complete your vaccination information and click “Submit” to receive the “Vaccinated”badge.
     
    What photo should I upload with my vaccination information?
    When providing information about your vaccination, upload a photo of the front of your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Only the front of the card has the medical information for the vaccine you have received, and the dates of injection listed on it. If you upload the front and back of your card with the first of a two-dose vaccine, upon receiving the second dose, you will need to delete a photo as there is a two-photo maximum allowed in the app.
     
    Who should I contact if I have questions about the app?
    Email hrbenefits@colum.edu for questions about the app.
     
    Who should I contact if I have questions about the testing requirements?
    Email humanresources@colum.edu for questions about the college’s testing requirements.

Spring 2021
  • Employee Return to Campus Update - May 19, 2021

    We want to congratulate all faculty and staff for the successful completion of the academic year under trying conditions, which was accomplished thanks to everyone’s hard work and care for one another.

    As COVID-19 cases recede, vaccinations increase, and public officials take steps to reopen our state and our city, the college is finalizing plans to bring staff and faculty back to campus ahead of the fall semester.

    Our plans to more fully reopen campus will be guided by the same principle that has been at the heart of our operations throughout the pandemic: to deliver as much in-person instruction and collaboration as possible, while promoting safety.

    Please note that until updated detailed fall semester COVID measures are announced in coming weeks, the same precautions that were in place for the Spring 2021 semester remain in place. This includes the requirement that all students, faculty, and staff wear a face covering while on campus, which remains in effect.

    We are aware that the CDC, the State of Illinois, and the City of Chicago have allowed for the relaxing of masking requirements for vaccinated people in certain settings, and have allowed organizations to develop their own approaches. We will continue to monitor guidance and consult with medical experts, and will release updated campus COVID precautions ahead of the campus reopening more fully as outlined below.

    All members of the Columbia community continue to be required to report COVID illness or close contact to securitycommand@colum.edu for the purpose of contact tracing.

    Timing of return to campus
    Staff not currently working on campus will begin a phased return to campus the week of July 19 based on the following timetable:

    • The week of July 19, all staff will be required to return for one day, selected in consultation with their manager.
    • The week of July 26, all staff will be required to return for two days, selected in consultation with their manager.
    • On August 2, all staff will be returning to campus based on their regular fall work schedule, which will be determined by managers in consultation with employees. While we expect to build flexibility into schedules in light of COVID-19 and other considerations, employees will be expected to be working in person on campus for the preponderance of the week, and all work schedules will require a manager’s approval. More guidance will be shared with staff and managers in coming weeks.

    The return-to-campus requirements above will be modified for employees with approved paid time off in any of the above weeks.

    Faculty not teaching over the summer will return as scheduled on August 16 with the same requirements outlined below.

    Testing requirement for unvaccinated employees
    As a reminder, to promote the health of all members of our community regardless of vaccination status, staff and faculty who are unvaccinated will be required to be tested for COVID-19 each week that they are on campus. This requirement will go into effect July 19 for staff and for faculty who are teaching summer session classes. Students will be expected to continue following current student testing and safety protocols through the conclusion of summer session. 
     
    Unvaccinated employees will be required to be tested prior to their initial return the week of July 19.

    The college is implementing a system through which employees will be able to upload evidence of vaccination, which will then be reflected in our entry systems and be used to notify employees without evidence of vaccination of their need to get tested. The portal through which employees will be able to upload evidence of vaccination is expected to be in place by the end of June.

    Updated campus COVID measures
    We continue to monitor federal, state, and local guidance, and to consult with epidemiologists at Rush University Medical Center and the University of Chicago. We also are in regular contact with the Chicago Department of Public Health.

    A college team is working to adapt the COVID measures that were in effect for the 2020-21 academic year, based on evolving science and guidance, incorporating what we learned while operating in the presence of COVID over the last 14 months, and in light of our vaccination requirement for students and our expectation that most staff and faculty will be vaccinated – in a survey earlier this year, 90 percent of employees said they were vaccinated or were planning to get vaccinated.

    More details about COVID measures will be announced in coming weeks. The government guidance has been rapidly evolving, and the college will work with managers in coming weeks to refine and further communicate reopening plans, and to answer employees’ questions pertaining to reopening campus.

    Thank you for your continued hard work in serving our students through these challenging but increasingly more hopeful times.


    Sincerely,

    Kwang-Wu Kim
    President and CEO

  • Get Your Vaccination at a Pop-up on 5/11 or 5/12 - May 10, 2021

    There will be two Vaccination Pop-ups this week where CareATC will be vaccinating members of the Columbia College Chicago campus community: 

    • Tuesday, May 11 from 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. at The Arc, 37 W. Van Buren Street
    • Wednesday, May 12 from 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. at the UC, 525 S. State Street 

    Walk-ins are available, but you can also register in advance through our VAXQ system at www.colum.edu/vaccine
     
    A Columbia College Chicago ID, or a government issued state identification, and your Oasis ID number are required to receive the vaccination. 
     
    The two vaccine options are: 

    • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Vaccine: a single—one and you’re done—vaccination. 

    • Moderna Vaccine: one dose of the vaccination will be given at the Pop-up. You will be required to take a second dose of the vaccine four weeks later. The Moderna vaccine is only available for those who will be able to return to CareATC on campus for a second dose. 

    As a reminder, the COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory for all students who are returning to Columbia in the fall. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to take the vaccine. 

  • Required COVID-19 vaccination records - May 5, 2021
    Dear Student: 
     
    As previously announced, Columbia College Chicago is requiring all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 effective in the 2021 fall semester. Students who vaccinate on Columbia’s campus will not need to provide proof of vaccination records. Students who vaccinate off campus are required to upload their records to MedProctor.  
     
    MedProctor is now open for uploading COVID-19 vaccination records. To upload your records, visit MedProctor.

    Students are encouraged to capture an image of their official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card and upload it to their MedProctor account as soon as possible.  

    For assistance using MedProctor, students can email help@medproctor.com from their official colum.edu email account. 

    Vaccination is not required for anyone to finish the Spring 2021 semester or for the summer semester. 

    Those wishing to schedule an appointment at Columbia’s vaccination site through our partner, CareATC, please visit VAXQ. You will be asked to enter necessary information and a preference as to the time of day for your vaccination. When doses are available, you will receive an email and text with an assigned appointment day and time. If you have a conflict and cannot make that appointment, there will be a number to call for you to get an alternate appointment.

    Students can also receive their vaccinations at locations other than Columbia.

    For more information on the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, please visit the college's Vaccination information website.

    To inquire about eligible exemptions, please email us at ColumbiaCentral@colum.edu.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.  

    Sincerely, 

    Office of the Registrar and Columbia Central 

  • May 7 Vaccination Pop-up at The Dwight Lofts - May 4, 2021

    There will be a Vaccination Pop-up at the The Dwight Lofts, Friday, May 7 between 9 a.m.– 4 p.m where CareATC will be vaccinating members of the Columbia College Chicago campus community. The Dwight is located at 642 S. Clark St. Walk-ins are available, but you can also register in advance through our VAXQ system at www.colum.edu/vaccine.

    A Columbia College Chicago ID, or a government issued state identification and your Oasis ID number is required to receive the vaccination.

    There will be two vaccine options:

    • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Vaccine: a single—one and you’re done—vaccination.
    • Moderna Vaccine: one dose of the vaccination will be given at the Pop-up. You will be required to take a second dose of the vaccine three weeks later. The Moderna vaccine is only available for those who will be able to return to CareATC on campus for a second dose the week of June 1.

    As a reminder, the COVID-19 vaccine is mandatory for all students who are returning to Columbia in the fall. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to take the vaccine.

  • Columbia to Use New Abbott Lower Nasal Swab Test - April 30, 2021

    Columbia to Use New Abbott Lower Nasal Swab Test
    Mandatory Testing for Re-entry to Campus is Suspended for the Summer


    Columbia College Chicago is now using Abbott’s BinaxNow rapid antigen test to perform COVID-19 testing at its Student Health Center and COVID-19 testing sites.
     
    BinaxNow is a lower nasal swab test considered to be less intrusive than the nasopharyngeal swab previously used by the College. The test that is administered by a medical expert on campus with results available to students, employees, and visitors in 15 minutes or less.
     
    The College is suspending its spring semester requirement which mandated all campus community members to test upon their first visit back to campus. Effective May 15, faculty, staff and students who are coming back to campus for the first time, will not need to test.

    Testing is required for campus visitors. However, those coming to campus to receive their vaccine are not required to take the COVID-19 test prior to receiving vaccination. As a reminder, COVID-19 vaccine appointments on campus are now available to all employees and students of Columbia, regardless of whether they live in Chicago or elsewhere. To register for an appointment, please use the VAXQ system.

     

  • Fall 2021 Study Abroad Update - April 29, 2021
    Dear Columbia College Chicago students,


    Due to continued uncertainty around many aspects of international travel, we have made the difficult decision to extend our suspension of international travel for exchange programs and approved study abroad provider programs through Fall 2021. This continued suspension is recommended by members of the college’s Incident Assessment Task Force and based on continuing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Department of State, and other national and international authorities. This suspension does not apply to the programs in Art and Materials Conservation and European Devised Performance Practice, both of which include international partnerships as curricular requirements. We are working directly with the chairs and faculty in those programs and will finalize their travel decisions separately.

    We continue to monitor COVID-19 related developments across the globe and are hopeful that we will be able to resume college-sponsored international travel and study abroad programming in January 2022.

    Most sincerely,

    Marcella David
    Senior Vice President and Provost

    David Comp, PhD
    Assistant Provost for Global Education

  • One-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine now available at Columbia - April 26, 2021

    Columbia College Chicago will be receiving doses of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine, giving some members of the Columbia community the opportunity to get fully vaccinated before the end of the semester, as Johnson & Johnson requires only one dose. Appointments are now available. If you are not already registered through our VAXQ system, please register at www.colum.edu/vaccine to be eligible to receive an appointment.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the continued use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 25, with new information about possible adverse effects. More information can be found here.

    The Moderna vaccine, which requires four weeks in between the two required shots, will continue to also be offered on campus.

    While Columbia is requiring students to be vaccinated for the fall semester, Columbia is not requiring anyone to get a specific vaccine. Domestic students will need to be able to demonstrate ahead of the fall semester that they received a vaccine approved by the FDA (currently, there are three: Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer).

  • Columbia COVID vaccine appointments open to all students and employees - April 22, 2021
    COVID-19 vaccine appointments on the Columbia College Chicago campus are now available to all employees and students of Columbia, regardless of whether they live in Chicago or elsewhere.
     
    Students enrolled in the Spring 2021 semester, as well as current employees (including part-time faculty teaching in Spring 2021 and/or scheduled to teach in Fall 2021) are now eligible, regardless of where they live.
     
    To register for an appointment, please use the VAXQ system.
  • Moderna COVID vaccine available starting April 22 at Columbia - April 21, 2021

    The City of Chicago has generously supplied Columbia College Chicago with several hundred doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
     
    Because these doses come from City supplies, they are reserved for Columbia students and employees who currently reside in Chicago. This means someone must live within city limits (house, apartment or residence hall) at the time of their first dose. Dorm residents are considered City of Chicago residents. A student or an employee who leaves Chicago for the summer is still eligible, as long as they get their first dose before they stop residing in the city.
     
    However, in order to receive the first dose, you must stipulate you are able to return to campus for your second dose – this is to avoid doses going to waste, and to avoid individuals becoming unable to receive their second dose due to supply issues or local rules where they spend the summer.
     
    The Moderna vaccine requires 28 days between doses, so your second dose will need to be four weeks after your first.
     
    The college is working on securing State of Illinois doses that do not come with the Chicago residency requirement.
     
    Vaccinations will begin Thursday, April 22, 2021. If you are not already registered through our VAXQ system, please register at www.colum.edu/vaccine to be eligible to receive an appointment.
     
    We also will be welcoming walk-ins, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 618 S. Michigan Avenue, 1st floor. Because vaccination is not guaranteed on a walk-in basis, we still recommend using the VAXQ system to have a guaranteed vaccination slot.
     
    Please visit the City of Chicago website for more information on vaccination and vaccine safety.

  • College Vaccination Requirements - April 19, 2021

    Columbia to become COVID vaccine site, require student vaccination for the Fall 2021 semester, which begins Tuesday, September 7, 2021

    Students who live in the residence halls will be required to be vaccinated before they move in for the Fall semester.

     
    Columbia College Chicago will require Fall 2021 students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and the college expects to start offering vaccinations on campus over the next two weeks. The college anticipates its initial batch of doses to be the Pfizer vaccine. Future doses may be Moderna or Pfizer. Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is currently suspended by federal and local health authorities.
     
    Vaccination for faculty and staff will not be required, but will be strongly encouraged.
     
    Following formal approval as a vaccination site by the State of Illinois last week, the college is working with both the Chicago Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Public Health on receiving doses, some of which we have been told could arrive as early as the week of April 19.
     
    Dose availability will be limited on campus; the college will receive fewer doses than it has students and employees. It is strongly encouraged that anyone who currently has access to the vaccine or has an existing appointment elsewhere, proceed with getting the vaccine through a non-campus provider.
     
    In order to receive the vaccine on campus, you will need to sign up to be notified of vaccine appointments via VAXQ.

    See below for more information on the VAXQ process.
     
    The categories of individuals who can sign up include:

    • Students currently enrolled in the Spring 2021 semester
    • Full-time and part-time faculty who are currently teaching in the Spring 2021 semester or scheduled to teach in Summer 2021 or Fall 2021 semesters
    • Staff 

    In the coming weeks we expect to expand availability to students enrolled in the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 semesters.
               
    Columbia expects to receive vaccines that must be administered in two doses. Employees and students must be able to receive both doses on campus. If you plan on leaving Chicago or the residence halls, you must be able to come back to campus to receive your second dose.
     
    Be advised that in many parts of Illinois and the country, you will not be able to receive a second dose from a provider if you did not get your first dose from that same provider.

    Columbia College, per City order, cannot give second doses to individuals who received their first dose through another provider.

    Any student who arrives not vaccinated will still be able to attend class, but will be required to both begin the vaccination process and test a minimum of once a week when on campus until the vaccination process is complete.
     
    With some exceptions for international students who are unable to receive the vaccine before arriving on campus, no student can move into the residence halls until they have completed the full vaccination cycle, which is two weeks after having received the second vaccine dose.
     
    All employees who are not vaccinated will be required to test at minimum, once a week for every week they are on campus during the fall semester. Employees such as Teaching Artists working with the Center for Creative Arts Partnership will continue to comply with CPS testing and vaccination guidelines. 
     
    Information on how to upload vaccination verification for employees who have received their vaccination from an off-campus site will be announced in coming weeks. Columbia is now accepting off-campus COVID-19 vaccination records from students via MedProctor and can find instructions for submitting their records on the Immunization website.
     
    International students already vaccinated in another country with a vaccine not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the only three vaccines approved by the USFDA are Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson), will not be required to be re-vaccinated, but vaccination will be made available to them. The college’s health experts at Rush University Medical Center have advised the college that it is safe for a person vaccinated with another vaccine to be re-vaccinated with one of the existing USFDA-approved vaccines.
     
    International students who arrive without any vaccination from another country will be required to begin a vaccination course upon arrival to campus.
     
    Note that, beginning Monday, April 19 all Illinois residents, 16 years of age and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as the state and city enter Phase 2.
     
    Vaccination is not required for anyone to finish the Spring 2021 semester or for the summer semester.
     
    When you sign up for vaccination at Columbia via VAXQ, you will be asked to enter necessary information and a preference as to the time of day for your vaccination. When doses are available, you will receive an email and text with an assigned appointment day and time. If you have a conflict and cannot make that appointment, there will be a number to call for you to get an alternate appointment.
     
    The college will be under strict rules to distribute vaccine doses, and failure to distribute doses before they spoil will mean the college may not be able to continue as a vaccination site. We therefore request everyone’s cooperation in only signing up for appointments you can keep and in notifying us via the VAXQ system if you cannot make your appointment so doses can still be used efficiently and be made accessible to those who need one.
     
    Anyone who has been vaccinated will still need to follow the college’s COVID-19 guidelines as outlined in the Together, Columbia site which includes mask wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand washing and/or sanitizing.
     
    If you live in Chicago, you can sign up for Chi COVID Coach to receive information on when and how you can get vaccinated, besides at Columbia. If you live in a community that was greatly impacted by COVID-19, you can schedule an appointment through the City of Chicago at 312-746-4835. For more information on vaccinations in Chicago, visit www.chicago.gov/COVIDvax.

    Illinoisans who reside outside of the City of Chicago can schedule an appointment through the Illinois Department of Public Health’s new Vaccine Appointment Call Center. The number is 833-621-1284. For more details on locations, visit the state’s vaccination location website.

    The vaccine is expected to be available nationally by early May. Out-of-state students who desire to take the vaccine – and are unable to access it in Illinois before they leave– are advised to check with their home jurisdictions.
     
    Thank you for your continued cooperation as we work to promote the health of the campus community. We look forward to a successful completion to the spring semester and even more successful semesters ahead.
     
    Please direct any questions you may have regarding this announcement to COVID19info@colum.edu.

    Ron Sodini
    Associate Vice President of Security
    Co-Chair, Incident Assessment Task Force

    Laurent Pernot
    Chief of Staff
    Co-Chair, Incident Assessment Task Force

  • Illinois College Students Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine Today; Chicago-based Students Eligible Next Week - April 13, 2021

    Beginning April 12, Columbia College students who are 16 and over and live in the state of Illinois are eligible* for the COVID-19 vaccine. Next week, all Columbia students who live in the City of Chicago (and 16 and over) will be eligible for vaccination when the city enters Phase 2 on Monday, April 19.

    If you live in Chicago, you can sign up for Chi COVID Coach to receive information on when and how you can get vaccinated. If you live in a community that was greatly impacted by COVID-19, you can schedule an appointment through the City of Chicago at 312-746-4835. For more information on vaccinations in Chicago, visit www.chicago.gov/COVIDvax.

    Illinoisans who reside outside of the City of Chicago can schedule an appointment through the Illinois Department of Public Health’s new Vaccine Appointment Call Center. The number is 833-621-1284. For more details on locations, visit the state’s vaccination location website.

    *Am I eligible for the vaccine if my home state is not Illinois?

    Students who are interested in the vaccine can present their student ID along with their home state identification, which will be required for vaccination at any site.

    The vaccine is expected to be available nationally by early May. Out-of-state students who desire to take the vaccine – and are unable to access it in Illinois before the end of the semester – are advised to check their home state.

  • Campus Update for Faculty and Staff - April 2, 2021

    Dear faculty and staff, 

    This message is to address the request made by some faculty and staff who have been fully remote this spring semester to come back to work on campus—at least on a partial basis—even if they have been designated as working fully remotely.

    Columbia is committed to accommodating these requests with continued safety measures and mitigations in place. This decision is based on the fact that, while we are mindful there is a current increase in cases in Chicago and the region, COVID numbers remain well below where they were when we revised campus occupancy levels in the late fall and winter, and because many higher education employees are now vaccinated or in the process of being vaccinated.

    Effective immediately, faculty and staff currently designated to work from home who wish to resume working from their office space on campus, may return to campus after consultation with their chair or manager. 

    Returning to campus this spring for faculty and staff who are not already spending time on campus this semester is strictly voluntary.

    Employees currently designated to work on campus, as well as those designated to come to campus as needed, should continue to do so in accordance with their current, established work schedule. 

    The College is planning our return to campus ahead of the fall semester, for which more than 75% of the courses are being planned as in person or with in-person components. We will have more to announce about planning for the fall semester in coming weeks, which will continue to be informed by science and public guidance. 

    Strict adherence to existing social distancing and other guidelines implemented by the College is expected. If you are an employee who plans to return to campus:

    • Consult with your manager in advance to discuss your work schedule and desire to resume working on-campus, prior to returning to campus. 
    • You will be required to comply with the College’s requirement of Mandatory testing for everyone entering campus for the first time during the Spring semester.
    • Comply with ongoing testing requirements that may be in place in your home department.
    • Familiarize yourself with the College’s safety protocols and practicesfor the Spring semester.
    • Ensure you complete the Daily Pre-Check before arriving on campus daily.
    • Review your current participation in the College’s Commuter Program to take advantage of pre-tax commuter benefits. You can log in to your WageWorks account before 11:59 p.m. (EST) on the 10th of each month to submit any changes. Changes made by the 10th of the month are effective the first day of the following month.
    • Departments have already been provided supplies for added disinfecting on top of regular cleanings by facilities staff. If additional PPE is required, make your 360 requests in advance.

    Free voluntary COVID-19 testing is available throughout the spring semester at two locations on campus. The testing sites are located at 618 S. Michigan Ave., 101F and 1312 S. Michigan Ave., 1st floor. To make an appointment, please call 844-766-3775. Based on availability, the schedulers will attempt to make your appointment at your preferred location.

    As a reminder, the state of Illinois and the City of Chicago recently announced that the COVID-19 vaccine is available to those who work higher education.

    If you live in Chicago, you can sign up for Chi COVID Coach to receive information on when and how you can get vaccinated. If you live in a community that was greatly impacted by COVID-19, you can schedule an appointment through the City of Chicago at 312-746-4835. For more information on vaccinations in Chicago, visit www.chicago.gov/COVIDvax.

    Illinoisans who reside outside of the City of Chicago can schedule an appointment through the Illinois Department of Public Health’s new Vaccine Appointment Call Center. The number is 833-621-1284. There are more than 900 vaccine distribution sites in Illinois. For more details on locations, Visit the state’s vaccination location website.

  • Save the Date: Presidential Address and Campus Forums - March 26, 2021

    Dear Students,

    President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim will be sharing his vision for the future of the institution and preview his latest position paper on the college's strategic direction over the next few years.

    State and local restrictions on the size of indoor public gatherings will prevent Dr. Kim from delivering the address in person, as would ordinarily be the case.  Instead, a video of his remarks will be uploaded to the president’s web page on April 7 for viewing at any time, and a link to it will be issued to faculty, staff, and students.

    Following the posting of the address, Dr. Kim will hold a series of interactive Zoom forums for faculty, staff and students. 

    The student forum is scheduled for:

    Friday, April 16
    1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

    Please hold this date and a separate registration link will be sent in a follow-up email, along with the President’s video address. 

    The subsequent release of the position paper on Friday, April 23 will mark the launch of a new strategic planning process at the college, to be led by Senior Vice President and Provost Marcella David.


    Dear Faculty,

    President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim will be sharing his vision for the future of the institution and preview his latest position paper on the college's strategic direction over the next few years.

    State and local restrictions on the size of indoor public gatherings will prevent Dr. Kim from delivering the address in person, as would ordinarily be the case. Instead, a video of his remarks will be uploaded to the president’s web page on April 7 for viewing at any time, and a link to it will be issued to faculty, staff, and students.

    Following the posting of the address, Dr. Kim will hold a series of interactive Zoom forums. Please hold one of the following dates. 

    Tuesday, April 13
    2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, April 14
    2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

    Thursday, April 15
    9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

    Registration links and the President’s video address will be sent in a follow-up communication.

    The subsequent release of the position paper on Friday, April 23 will mark the launch of a new strategic planning process at the college, to be led by Senior Vice President and Provost Marcella David.


    Dear Students,

    President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim will be sharing his vision for the future of the institution and preview his latest position paper on the college's strategic direction over the next few years.

    State and local restrictions on the size of indoor public gatherings will prevent Dr. Kim from delivering the address in person, as would ordinarily be the case.  Instead, a video of his remarks will be uploaded to the president’s web page on April 7 for viewing at any time, and a link to it will be issued to faculty, staff, and students.

    Following the posting of the address, Dr. Kim will hold a series of interactive Zoom forums for faculty, staff and students. 

    The student forum is scheduled for:

    Friday, April 16
    1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

    Please hold this date and a separate registration link will be sent in a follow-up email, along with the President’s video address. 

    The subsequent release of the position paper on Friday, April 23 will mark the launch of a new strategic planning process at the college, to be led by Senior Vice President and Provost Marcella David.

  • Update: Illinois Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to Higher Education Next Week - March 19, 2021 
    Beginning Monday, March 22, higher education employees in Illinois will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, however, this does not include residents of Chicago. Governor J.B. Pritzker made the announcement today to include higher education ahead of the April 12 date when all Illinoisans 16 and older outside of Chicago will be able to get the vaccine.
     
    Earlier this week the City of Chicago announced it will be opening phase 1C of its COVID-19 vaccination plan on Monday, March 29. This phase includes all Columbia College Chicago employees, graduate and student workers, who live in Chicago and Chicagoans age 16-64 with underlying medical conditions.
     
    If you live in Chicago, you can sign up for Chi COVID Coach to receive information on when and how you can get vaccinated. If you live in a community that was greatly impacted by COVID-19, you can schedule an appointment through the City of Chicago at 312-746-4835. For more information on vaccinations in Chicago, visit www.chicago.gov/COVIDvax.
     
    Illinoisans who reside outside of the City of Chicago can schedule an appointment through the Illinois Department of Public Health’s new Vaccine Appointment Call Center. The number is 833-621-1284.
  • Chicago Higher Education Employees are Eligible for the Vaccine March 29 - March 18, 2021

    The City of Chicago has announced it will be opening phase 1C of its COVID-19 vaccination plan on Monday, March 29. This announcement is a welcome step in broadening access to vaccinations for Columbia employees and students. On Monday, April 12, the State of Illinois is planning to expand eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine to all Illinois residents 16 and older except those who reside in Chicago.
     
    During the City of Chicago’s phase 1C, all Columbia College Chicago employees, including student workers, who live in Chicago and Chicagoans age 16-64 with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and lung disease will be eligible for the vaccination, however the City of Chicago will not include smokers in that category. Those who were eligible during the city’s phase 1a and 1b are still eligible to take the vaccine. During the State of Illinois’ phase 1C, all Illinois residents 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine, except those who reside in Chicago. To learn how the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois define underlying health conditions, please visit their websites listed in the resources below.
     
    The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects across the country and worldwide. Getting the vaccine may give you an added layer of protection against the virus and it may also protect your colleagues and your family. Recently the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) launched the Vaccine Appointment Call Center to help those who are having difficulty scheduling an appointment to receive the vaccine. The Vaccine Appointment Call Center phone number is 833-621-1284.
     
    If you live in Chicago, you can sign up for Chi COVID Coach to receive information on when and how you can get vaccinated. If you live in a community that was greatly impacted by COVID-19, you can schedule an appointment through the City of Chicago at 312-746-4835. For more information on vaccinations in Chicago, visit www.chicago.gov/COVIDvax.
     
    At this time, Columbia has not been designated as a vaccination site and is currently unable to offer vaccination to employees and those within the campus community who have underlying health conditions.
     
    As a reminder, those who are vaccinated and on campus must continue to follow current guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing their hands often.
     
    FAQs
     
    I don’t reside in Chicago, but I work in Chicago, am I eligible?
     
    The City of Chicago has announced that initially only higher education workers who reside in Chicago will be eligible, but that that could change in a couple months based on initial vaccination numbers and supply. Under the phase 1b+ in the state’s vaccination plan, employees with disabilities underlying health conditions already are eligible and will become eligible for vaccination by the City of Chicago Monday, March 29.
     
    I am a student worker, am I eligible?
     
    A student who also has a job at Columbia and lives in Chicago will be eligible for the vaccine starting Monday, March 29, because they are a higher education worker. Students with disabilities underlying health conditions already are eligible and will become eligible for vaccination by the City of Chicago Monday, March 29.
     
    When will higher education workers who don’t live in Chicago become eligible?
     
    All higher education workers who live in Illinois, but not Chicago, will be eligible for the vaccine beginning Monday, April 12.
     
    I am a student with an underlying condition, but I don’t live in Chicago. When will I be eligible for the vaccine?
     
    Students may already be eligible, under certain conditions. The State considers people with certain underlying conditions as part of Phase 1B+. That phase started on February 25. However, supply is limited. On March 29, the City will open up vaccination for people with underlying conditions who are ages 16 and up. On Monday, April 12, the State of Illinois is expanding eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine to all Illinois residents 16 and older except those who reside in Chicago.
     
    If I have a disability and I am eligible under the State’s Phase 1B+, can I get vaccinated anywhere?
     
    Not yet, as some sites in the city maybe not take appointments for people with disabilities until March 29. However, you can check the State’s vaccination portal to see where you might be able to get vaccinated.
     
    Will the campus be a vaccination site?
     
    The State of Illinois has told us we would be a vaccination site for Phase 1C (The State’s Phase 1C, not the City’s Phase 1c). However, the State also has told us they are not yet processing Phase 1C vaccination site applications. So, while we have secured the equipment and personnel, necessary, we must wait for a green light – and vaccine supply – from the State. There is also no indication we will become a site immediately upon the State declaring Phase 1C open.
     
    Why can’t the campus be a City vaccination site? I have read the city is supplying vaccine to some non-profits.
     
    The City has asked that higher education institutions go through the State’s process to be designated a site. While the City has access to a federal supply in addition to what it receives form the state and has shared it with some community organizations and used it for mass vaccination sites like the United Center for Phase 1B, that supply is very limited, and the city has told us it is not able to use that supply for colleges and universities at this time.
     
    Am I guaranteed an appointment if I meet the criteria for a given phase?
     
    Remember that supply is limited, and appointments can be scarce.
     
    What are the resources I can use to make appointments?

    IDPH Vaccine Appointment Call
    Center
    833-621-1284 https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location
     
     
    City of Chicago
     
    312-746-4835
     
    www.chicago.gov/COVIDvax
  • Be Vigilant - Stay Safe - March 12, 2021

    The semester is underway, and as a campus community we have made significant strides in prioritizing health and safety at the college during these challenging times. We have remained vigilant by practicing mask wearing, social distancing, and good hygiene, and we also implemented testing protocols to ensure a safe return and minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on campus.   

    While there is new CDC guidance on interaction among vaccinated individuals, current campus rules still apply with regards to mask wearing and social distancing. For example, vaccinated individuals must still be masked amongst one another, even in a private space. Also, even if you are vaccinated and have tested negative you are still required to wear a mask on campus at all times. Please continue to follow these important precautions:  

    • Wear a face mask on campus, in public or shared spaces, and when possible, wear double masks for optimal protection. Masks should fit snugly over your nose, mouth, and chin, allowing you to see and breathe easily. 

    • Practice social distancing of at least six feet when around other people.  

    • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. There are hand sanitizing stations installed throughout campus.  

    • Adhere to guest policy in residence halls. Only guests from within your building will be permitted - up to a total of six people (residents and guests) in the unit. Guests from outside your building will not be permitted in the residence halls for the spring semester. 

    • Comply with city and state guidelines regarding gatherings, and do not host events with large crowds. Even in small groups, it is vital to abide by safety protocols as the virus is transmissible in any size gathering. 

    • Schedule a free COVID testing appointment on campus when necessary.  

    • Notify the college if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or were recently in close contact with an infected person. 

    We appreciate your continued effort and care in keeping our community safe.  

  • COVID-19 Campus Update - March 5, 2021

    Dear members of the Columbia community, 

    We are writing to update you on the COVID-19 situation within the Columbia community. While incidence of COVID on campus remains low, we have seen a slight uptick in cases at the college. The moderate increase is not a cause for alarm, but an important reminder to remain cautious and continue adhering to all recommended COVID precautions – masking and social distancing in particular. We also remind everyone that voluntary testing is available on campus (appointments can be made at 1-844-766-3775).

    COVID numbers are decreasing overall the last few weeks nationally and locally, and some members of our community and their loved ones are getting vaccinated. These are hopeful developments, but we must stay vigilant.

    The latest positivity rate of 2 percent at Columbia is still below that of the City of Chicago, which is itself at the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago. This semester, we saw very few cases until the middle of February. Since then, however, there has been a moderate but noticeable increase in cases, and in instances where people positive for COVID-19 made others sick.

    The last week of February saw 14 on-campus cases (5 of those cases involved people whose only on-campus presence was to get tested). For context, there were nearly 2,000 people on campus that week, so prevalence is still low.

    There have been no instances of in-class transmission, and the on-campus measures remain a strong barrier against COVID. But there has been some transmission in the residence halls and in off-campus residences when people gathered in small groups without taking precautions.

    The small clusters we have seen have remained just that, small. That is thanks in large part to everyone’s cooperation and to the college’s contact tracing efforts, quarantine rules and testing.

    In the overwhelming majority of cases, people who have become sick have continued to act responsibly and with consideration for those around them. They have continued to report symptoms, to get tested, to take active part in contact tracing, and to respect quarantine rules. This is essential to our effort. We are monitoring trends carefully and might resume mandatory testing in some residence halls or departments if the situation calls for it.

    We are relieved to report that the very large share of those who got sick over the last year did not have a severe form of the illness. That said, regrettably, some members of our community have been severely affected, and our thoughts are with them and all those who have been impacted.

    On behalf of our entire community, and of everyone involved in COVID response at Columbia, we thank you for your ongoing support and thoughtfulness. We wish everyone a healthy and productive end of the semester, as we look forward to a more active and more personally connected fall semester. 

    Laurent Pernot
    Chief of Staff
    Co-chair, Incident Assessment Task Force

    Ron Sodini
    Associate Vice President, Safety and Security
    Co-chair, Incident Assessment Task Force

  • New hours at COVID Testing Site - February 24, 2021
    Beginning Monday, March 1, the COVID Testing site located at 1312 S. Michigan Avenue, 1st floor, will be open Monday – Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
     
    Testing for COVID-19 at 618 S. Michigan Avenue is Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Free COVID-19 testing is available at the College’s testing sites for Columbia students, employees, independent contractors and special guests/lecturers at the College. Testing is by appointment only at 844-766-3775. Based on availability, the schedulers will attempt to make your appointment at your preferred location.
  • CDC’s Updated Guidance on Mask Wearing - February 11, 2021

    New guidance on mask wearing was released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with recommendations that focus on the quality of masks and their fit. 

    According to the CDC, when worn correctly, the mask should not have any gaps so that respiratory droplets cannot leak in or out around the edges. For optimal protection, masks should fit snugly over your nose, mouth, and chin allowing you to see and breathe easily.

    The CDC also recommends wearing cloth masks with multiple layers of fabric or doubling masks with a disposable mask underneath and the second cloth mask that fits snugly pushing the edges of the inner mask against your face. The CDC noted these changes should be adhered to in addition to following other safety protocols such as social distancing and proper hygiene.

    If you are visiting campus for class or use of facilities, please follow the updated CDC guidance for proper mask wearing. For more details on the best types of masks for layering and how to wear them together, please visit the CDC’s website.  

    CDC Tips for Mask Wearing 

    • Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face.
    • Pick a mask with layers to keep your respiratory droplets in and others’ out.
    • Choose a mask with a Nose Wire to fit closer to your face.
    • Check that it fits snugly over your nose, mouth, and chin.
    • Add layers of material to your mask and make sure you can breathe easily. 
  • Update to COVID-19 Testing Requirements - February 10, 2021

    Dear students,

    This message is to inform you that as of February 15, the college will no longer accept third party test results. Any students who need to demonstrate they are negative for COVID-19 before returning to campus for in-person instruction will need to use the testing facility on campus as outlined in Columbia’s Spring Return to Campus Testing Requirements. Note: If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, you qualify for a testing exemption. Visit the website for more information.

    COVID-19 test documents submitted prior to February 15 are acceptable and no further action is necessary.

    Free COVID-19 testing is available by appointment only. To make an appointment, please call 844-766-3775 (the phone line is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.). Based on availability, the schedulers will attempt to make your appointment at your preferred location.

    Locations:
    • 618 S. Michigan Ave., 101F
    • 1312 S. Michigan Ave., 1st floor
    Hours of Operation:
    • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    Student Health Center testing for symptomatic students seen by Student Health Center personnel will continue to take place at 916 S. Wabash Ave. Note: There is no walk-in testing. All testing requires either an appointment or a referral from the Student Health Center.

    Any other questions can be directed to deanofstudents@colum.edu.

    Kind regards,

    John Pelrine
    Dean of Students

  • CDC Expands the Definition of Close Contact - February 2, 2021

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has further defined what constitutes a close contact as it relates to COVID-19. Previously, close contact was considered being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a period of 24 hours. 

    Close contact has now been expanded to include those who have:

    • provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
    • had direct physical contact (hugged or kissed) with a person infected with the virus. 
    • shared eating or drinking utensils with a person infected with the virus.
    • been near an infected person who sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

    While wearing masks remains one of the best ways to protect ourselves and others, the close contact guidelines still apply even if both parties are masked. Individuals sharing a dwelling are also considered close contacts by the College.

    Additionally, per the CDC, an infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. However, if you were in contact with an individual prior to the noted 2-day window, you are not considered a close contact.

    How will I know if I am a close contact at Columbia?

    If an individual reports to the College they have tested positive for COVID-19, contact tracers will work with the person who tested positive to identify their potential close contacts. The potential close contact is then interviewed by a contact tracer to determine if they meet the criteria for close contact (as stated above) during the positive case’s infectious period. If it is determined the individual is a close contact, they will be asked to quarantine for 10 days after the last exposure without a test, and 7 days after receiving a negative test result (test must not occur before the fifth day of quarantining).

    How will I know about COVID-19 cases on campus?

    The College maintains a COVID-19 reporting dashboard reflecting the total number of positive tests and total number of active cases and close contacts on campus. In addition to posting data daily, the College sends emails directly to close contacts of individuals who test positive for COVID-19. 

    If you think you have been a close contact, on campus or elsewhere, please notify securitycommand@colum.edu

  • COVID-19 Testing Available this Week - February 1, 2021

    Free COVID-19 testing is available by appointment only at the College's testing sites this week.   

      

     The hours of operations this week are:

    Monday – Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Thursday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.



    The testing sites are located at 618 S. Michigan Ave., 101F and 1312 S. Michigan Ave., 1st floor.

    To make an appointment, please call 844-766-3775 (phone line is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.). Based on availability, the schedulers will attempt to make your appointment at your preferred location.

    Testing for Symptomatic Students

    Students who are symptomatic should call the Student Health Center at 312-369-6830 for assistance. After screening by phone or telehealth visit, COVID-19 testing will be available by appointment for symptomatic students at 916 S. Wabash Ave, 5th floor. The Student Health Center offers COVID-19 testing to students who meet the criteria. Please visit the Student Health Center website for more information. 

    Who can be tested?

    Testing is limited to one test per week and is reserved for asymptomatic individuals who fall into one of the following categories:

    • Students living in the residence halls
    • Employees working on campus for at least part of the week
    • Students taking in-person and/or hybrid classes
    • Students and employees coming to campus for other reasons

    For additional information about the College’s testing requirements, visit the Spring Testing Requirements website.

     

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Update - January 29, 2021

    We are writing to update you about COVID vaccination options for members of the Columbia community. We remain committed to providing our community with as much information and resources as possible. As such, the college is still working with government officials on setting up vaccinations at Columbia. As we wrote last week, there is no certainty about when the vaccine will be available on campus. 

    As you may have read in the media, and as government officials have confirmed to us, there is not enough vaccine to meet all the current demand.

    Members of the Columbia community who meet the criteria for the current phase should explore community and healthcare system-based options for vaccination, as some of those entities likely will be supplied with doses before it becomes available to midsize employers like Columbia.

    Here are some options for vaccination shared with us by government entities:

    While it appears vaccination in our city and state is not a matter of if but when, it is important to stay vigilant about COVID precautions, including social distancing and mask-wearing.

    We will share information as it is made available to us. Thank you for your patience and for everything you continue to do to promote health on our campus.

    Ron Sodini
    Associate Vice President of Security
    Co-Chair, Incident Assessment Task Force
    ​​​​​​​
    Laurent Pernot
    Chief of Staff
    Co-Chair, Incident Assessment Task Force

     

  • Free COVID Testing Tomorrow 9 a.m.–4 p.m. - January 29, 2021

    The COVID Testing site will be open tomorrow, Saturday, January 30 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 618 S. Michigan Ave., Room 101F. Testing is free and by appointment only, but you must schedule your appointment TODAY for COVID testing tomorrow. The COVID testing appointment phone line is not open on the weekends (phone line is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.). Schedule an appointment today by calling 844-766-3775

    As a reminder, the College is requiring everyone to test before the start of in-person instruction.

    • Students are required to test no more than 5 days before returning to campus. (more)
    • Residential students must test 72 hours prior to their return to campus. (more)
    • Employees are required to test within the week of their return. (more)

    Free COVID-19 testing is available at the College’s testing sites Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. The new site is located at 1312 S. Michigan Ave., 1st floor, and the other testing center is located at 618 S. Michigan Ave., 101F. 

    Both testing centers are free and available Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. by appointment only at 844-766-3775. Based on availability, the schedulers will attempt to make your appointment at your preferred location.

  • New COVID-19 Testing Site Available to Students and Employees on Campus - January 28, 2021

    The College has opened a second COVID-19 testing site on campus and expands Columbia’s ability to meet the increased demand for testing while making it convenient to access for students and employees who work closer to the south end of campus.
     
    The new site is located at 1312 S. Michigan Ave., 1st floor, and the other testing center is located 618 S. Michigan Ave., 101F. Both testing centers are free and available Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. by appointment only at 844-766-3775. Based on availability, the schedulers will attempt to make your appointment at your preferred location.
     
    Testing at the Student Health Center for symptomatic students will continue to take place at 916 S. Wabash Ave. by appointment only at 312-369-6830. For employees with symptoms, testing is available via health care providers, or at public health sites and some commercial locations like CVS, which do not require health insurance. Please check with these providers. 
     
    The College recently announced mandatory testing for everyone ahead of the start of in-person instruction and is currently evaluating whether mandatory testing should be instituted for certain departments, programs or courses. Optional voluntary testing will be available throughout the spring semester, as it was available in the fall semester.

    To find information about testing locations, and Voluntary Testing, please visit the website. If you have any questions, please contact covid19info@colum.edu.  

  • COVID-19 Vaccinations - January 21, 2021

    (Announcement sent to faculty and staff)

    Hello,
     
    As the State of Illinois’ and the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 immunization plans come into sharper focus, we are writing to update you about plans to vaccinate members of the Columbia community.
     
    Our goal is to provide vaccines to our employees and students who wish to receive them, adhering to the priority groups designated by government health officials. Getting the vaccine is voluntary. More information about the vaccine is available here.
     
    The college will be a vaccination site for its employees and, when the time comes, students. There is no cost to members of the Columbia community to receive the vaccine. Vaccinations will be handled by our partner CareATC. The college will not be able to procure doses directly; we will receive doses from the State and/or City. There is no obligation to get vaccinated at Columbia. Employees who want to be vaccinated elsewhere can do so.
     
    We will be communicating with employees eligible for the vaccine under each phase. The college will be sending a confidential survey to help determine how much vaccine to apply for and help guide our planning for vaccination efforts on campus. The step of taking a survey is a recommendation of both health officials and our partners at Rush University Medical Center.
     
    Phasing of employee vaccinations
     
    Vaccinations are currently in what officials call Phase 1A, reserved for health care personnel and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Immunizations of employees in Columbia’s Student Health Center have begun.
     
    Phase 1B is getting started next week. Per the State and City, Phase 1B includes our security personnel and all employees age 65 and over. We have had several meetings with health officials, and they have no projected dates for when these immunizations will take place.
     
    While the federal government released guidelines under which “education” was included in Phase 1B, it was left to state and local officials to define who was included. The State of Illinois and City of Chicago decided to include K-12 education in Phase 1B. Higher education is included in Phase 1C, which we have been told would likely begin later this spring or this summer.
     
    Because we have faculty and staff working in person with students now, we have renewed our requests made in 2020 that they be included in Phase 1B, a step that several states, including some of our neighbors, already have taken.
     
    Phasing of student vaccinations
     
    Under the City’s and State’s plan, students with health conditions making them more susceptible to COVID-19 will be eligible for the vaccine in Phase 1C. Other students will be eligible under phase 2. There is no available information as to when these phases will begin.
     
    Requirements for two-step vaccination
     
    Two doses of the vaccine will be required. It is likely that the Moderna vaccine will be used, which requires two doses, 28 days apart. If you choose to get vaccinated through the college, you must take both doses on campus. You cannot finish the process with another provider, and the college will not be administering second round vaccines to anyone who received their first dose via another provider. 
     
    Persons wanting to get immunized on campus should plan on being able to access campus for both doses. If a person will not be in the Chicago area 28 days after their first dose, they should not begin the immunization process at Columbia, and should instead make plans to be vaccinated in a locale where they will be available for both doses. This may apply to some employees and students if we receive doses to administer close to the end of the semester, and may apply to students and employees who may leave the Chicago area less than 28 days after they would receive their first dose. We will share more information on this as it becomes available.
     
    Vaccination planning survey
     
    You will be receiving a separate email containing a brief survey which is designed to determine the percentage of Columbia employees interested in receiving the vaccine on campus. Students will be surveyed at a later date. The email will be sent from the office of Institutional Effectiveness with the subject line, “COVID-19 Vaccination Survey.”

    Ron Sodini
    Associate Vice President of Security
    Co-Chair, Incident Assessment Task Force

    Laurent Pernot
    Chief of Staff
    Co-Chair, Incident Assessment Task Force

    ADDENDUM
     
    Below is an overview of phases provided by the City of Chicago, which is identical to the State’s phasing plan. 
     
    NOTE: Both the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois are defining “education” under Phase 1B as K-12 employees; higher education employees who are not 65 years old or more, and those not involved in security, are not included in Phase B. They are instead included in Phase 1C. Students with underlying conditions are included in Phase 1C. Other students are in Phase 2.

    Vaccine Phases

     

  • Important Campus Card information - January 21, 2021

    Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

    To ensure a safe community for everyone, we wish to remind you that a Campus Card is required to enter any Columbia owned building. If you have not received a Campus Card yet or you have lost your Campus Card, please read the instructions below to obtain a card.

    Campus Card distribution is currently open through February 5, 2021, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Campus Card distribution is located on the Wabash side of 33 E. Ida B. Wells Drive.

    No appointment is required during Campus Card distribution. We strongly encourage you to ensure you have a Campus Card while Campus Card distribution is open. After February 5, an advance appointment will be required to obtain a Campus Card and appointment times will be limited to maintain social distancing in the Campus Card Office.

    • If you are a new student, faculty member, or employeeYou should have received an email with the subject line “About Your Campus Card.” Use the link in the email to upload your Campus Card photo for review. You will be able to stop by Campus Card distribution one business day after you receive an email that your photo was approved. If you did not receive the “About Your Campus Card” email, please reach out to Columbia Central at columbiacentral@colum.edu.
    • If you were previously issued a Campus Card and misplaced itYou must pay the $25 replacement fee located under “What if I need to replace my card?” on the Campus Card webpage. Once you have paid your replacement fee, bring your payment receipt to Campus Card distribution to receive a new Campus Card.

    Please be aware that visiting Campus Card distribution requires you to comply with Columbia’s COVID-19 testing requirements.

    If you have any questions regarding your Campus Card, please contact Columbia Central at columbiacentral@colum.edu.

     

  • Revised Chicago Emergency Travel Order and Campus Testing Policy - January 21, 2021

    The City of Chicago has revised its Emergency Travel order related to anyone coming into Chicago from designated states with a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19. Under the city’s new system, a state will be placed in two color categories—Orange or Yellow—based on the status of outbreak in the state.

    Effective January 15, 2021, anyone arriving in Chicago from a state designated as Orange will be required to:

    • Test negative for COVID no longer than 72 hours BEFORE your arrival in Chicago; OR 
    • Test negative for COVID no longer than 72 hours AFTER your arrival in Chicago and quarantine while you wait to test and for the test result; OR
    • Quarantine for ten (10) days after your arrival in Chicago.

    This does not apply to individuals who live in states designated as Orange and regularly commute to Chicago for work or school. Students traveling from an Orange state will not be allowed to quarantine in their campus residence.
     
    The College’s testing site is located at 618 S. Michigan Ave. To make an appointment for testing, call 844-766-3775. 
     
    If you are not being tested at the College, you will need to provide your negative test result. Students can upload their negative test results to their MedProctor account and employees can submit their COVID-19 test results directly to Human Resources at humanresources@colum.edu.  
     
    Employees who are planning to travel should consult with their supervisors and HR to make necessary arrangements for returning to work and complete the College’s travel form prior to travel.

    The College’s Daily Pre-Check has been updated to reflect the City of Chicago’s latest modification to its Travel Order. Please be aware of the change to the Daily Pre-Check question upon entry to campus.

  • Student Forums with President Kwang-Wu Kim - January 15, 2021

    President Kwang-Wu Kim will host additional Zoom forums for students for the spring semester. The discussion will focus on plans related to hybrid instruction, updated COVID-19 testing and reporting guidance, and other topics. 

    Meeting capacity is limited, so to ensure that as many different voices as possible are heard in these conversations, we ask that individuals register for only one session. During registration, you will be given the opportunity to submit a question in advance of the conversation.
     
    Forum dates, times, and registration links are listed below:

  • Faculty and Staff Forums with President Kwang-Wu Kim - January 15, 2021

    President Kwang-Wu Kim will host additional Zoom forums for faculty and staff for the spring semester. The discussion will focus on plans related to hybrid instruction, updated COVID-19 testing and reporting guidance, and other topics. 
     
    Meeting capacity is limited, so to ensure that as many different voices as possible are heard in these conversations, we ask that individual staff and faculty members register for only one session. During registration, you will be given the opportunity to submit a question in advance of the conversation.
     
    Forum dates, times, and registration links are listed below:

  • REMINDER: All Students - New Return to Campus Testing Requirements - January 11, 2021

    Dear students, 

    Below are important announcements pertaining to COVID-19 testing, including some testing requirements on campus in January. 

    The College will implement testing as follows (see details further below): 

    Additional requirements apply if you are one of the following:

    Students not living in residence halls who arrive in Chicago from “orange” and “red” states: 

    • Mandatory testing and/or quarantine for students returning to Chicago from states designated as “orange” or “red” as required by the City of Chicago’s interim guidance for college students. 

    Residence Hall Students (details to follow in a separate email): 

    • All students returning to the residence halls will need to upload a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to the residence halls and will need to have quarantined for 10 days prior to return.
    • NOTE: Regardless of travel or symptoms, ALL residents who are currently in the dorms must get tested by 5:00 p.m., January 11.

    If you were not on campus in the fall, you will also need to do the COVID-19 training:  

    Individuals who are coming to campus for the first time this academic year must also complete the mandatory Together, Columbia training, quiz, and attestation before you are allowed to enter campus. Information on meeting this requirement can be found here. Individuals who did the training, quiz, and attestation in the summer and fall do not need to do it again. Note everyone who visits campus will need to complete the Daily Pre-check every time they visit campus. 

    Testing Everyone Returning to Campus 

    To continue promoting health and safety on campus, the College will require everyone with a presence on campus to be tested for COVID-19 after the holiday break and ahead of the beginning of in-person instruction.

    All students with in-person classes, all students in the residence halls, and all students who plan on visiting campus for another reason will need to be tested. 

    The CareStart rapid test by Access Bio will now be used for testing, which gives results within 30 minutes. Positive COVID tests will be confirmed with a PCR test, per CDC guidance and our consultation with COVID-19 experts at Rush University Medical Center and University of Chicago. 

    Depending on the timing of a person’s arrival and date of first class, a person may require two tests. Failure to comply with this safety requirement will make individuals subject to discipline. 

    All Student Testing 

    All students who plan to be on campus during the semester, regardless of where they live, and regardless of when they returned to Chicago, must produce a negative test prior to their first in-person class or campus visit of the semester. 

    All students with an in-person class or who plan on being on campus for other reasons must be tested no more than 5 days prior to their first in-person class or their visit to campus for another reason during the semester. 

    Students can satisfy this requirement in one of two ways: 

    • Upload a negative test to MedProctor that show a negative result for a test taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of their first class. The test must be uploaded before the class takes place. PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Antibody tests are not acceptable. Instructions on how to upload your negative test results can be found here or; 
    • Get tested on campus no more than 5 days before their first time on campus for the semester (that is, no more than 5 days before a student’s first in-person class of the semester, or, if they do not have an in-person class but plan on using campus facilities, no more than 5 before their visit to campus. For appointments, call 844-766-3775. 

    Students’ IDs will remain on (and therefore allow access to campus), but students with a record of being on campus without having complied with the testing requirement will be in violation and subject to discipline. 

    Students should plan ahead and make appointments; while the college will increase testing capacity, appointments will be on a first-come, first served basis. There are no walk-ins allowed. 

    Depending on your date of return, students coming from “orange” and “red” states, and students moving back to the dorms (regardless of where they come from) may need to be tested twice: once upon initial arrival and once prior to the beginning of class.  

    However, those students returning from a “red” or “orange” state may be able to satisfy the requirements by getting tested only once if the date of their required return test (either an uploaded test or a test on campus) is no more than 5 days before their first in-person class or visit on campus. See below for information on the City of Chicago’s requirements for students arriving from “orange” and “red” states. 

    Students moving back to Chicago from “orange” and “red” states but not living in residence halls must comply with the City of Chicago’s guidance for return.
     
    For those coming from “red” states as designated by City of Chicago’s Travel Order, the City’s requirements are:

    EITHER:

    • Quarantine for 10 days prior to coming to Chicago with a method of documenting adherence [the college will do this by students certifying compliance via the daily pre-check] and provide documentation of a negative diagnostic test (i.e., antibody tests not acceptable) taken within 72 hours prior to or, if the Illinois Higher Education institution (IHE) can provide or arrange for testing, within 72 hours after arrival to Chicago/campus [see below]. If test results are pending on arrival in Chicago, the student must quarantine until they can show documentation of their test result;

     
    OR

    • Quarantine for 10-days after arrival to Chicago.

     
    For those coming from “orange” states as designated by City of Chicago’s Travel Order, the City’s requirements are:
     
    EITHER:

    • Quarantine for 10-days after arrival to Chicago/campus.

    OR

    • Provide documentation of a pre-arrival negative diagnostic test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, or if IHEs can provide or arrange for testing, within 72 hours after arrival on campus. If tests results are pending on arrival in Chicago, the student must quarantine until they can show documentation of their negative test result.

     
    Students can satisfy the testing requirements above in one of two ways:

    • Upload a negative test to MedProctor that shows a negative result for a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to returning to Chicago. The test must be uploaded before you return. PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Antibody tests are not acceptable. Instructions on how to upload your negative test results can be found below.


    OR 

    • Get tested on campus no later than 72 hours after return to Chicago. The test is free and conducted by appointment only at 844-766-3775. Students not living in residence halls who arrive in Chicago without having uploaded a negative test must quarantine until they get their on-campus test and the result of the test. Their test should be all they do outside their dwelling during that quarantine period; they should respect all precautions (wear a face covering, exercise social distancing) while traveling to campus for their test.

    If you have had COVID-19 previously: 90-day testing dispensation for people who previously had COVID-19 

    Per the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health, individuals who have had COVID-19 may test positive again for 90 days even though they are no longer sick. If an individual has been cleared to return from COVID by the college, they are not required to be tested for 90 days. If a student or employee reported their prior COVID case to the college, they do not need to take any step, and they will not be found in violation of the testing rule if they last had COVID in the 90 days prior to their testing requirement. Someone who did not report their COVID case to the college must provide medical evidence to receive dispensation from the testing requirement for 90 days after they were sick. The 90 days is counted from the date of first symptoms, or the date of a positive test if the person was asymptomatic. This dispensation only applies to people who have remained and remain asymptomatic since their recovery. People experiencing new symptoms should seek medical attention. 

    Possible Additional testing in some academic departments 

    The college is currently evaluating whether mandatory testing should be instituted for certain departments, programs or courses. Information about any changes to testing regimens in departments will be announced in January. 
     

    To find information about testing locationsDaily Pre-check, voluntary testing, and how to upload test results to MedProctor, please visit the website

    If you have any questions, please contact covid19info@colum.edu.  

  • REMINDER: Employees - New Return to Campus Testing Requirements - January 11, 2021

    Dear faculty and staff, 

    Below are important announcements pertaining to COVID-19 testing, including some testing requirements on campus in January. 

    The College will implement testing as follows (see details further below): 

    Employees who traveled to an “orange” and/or “red” state for any reason over the break: 

    If you were not on campus in the fall, you will also need to do the COVID-19 training: 

    Individuals who are coming to campus for the first time this academic year must also complete the mandatory Together, Columbia training, quiz, and attestation before you are allowed to enter campus. Information on meeting this requirement can be found here. Individuals who did the training, quiz, and attestation in the summer and fall do not need to do it again. Note everyone who visits campus will need to complete the Daily Pre-check every time they visit campus. 

    Testing Everyone Returning to Campus 

    To continue promoting health and safety on campus, the College will require everyone with a presence on campus to be tested for COVID-19 after the holiday break and ahead of the beginning of in-person instruction. 

    All employees and contractors with any on-campus presence, all students with in-person classes, all students in the residence halls, and all students and employees who plan on visiting campus for another reason will need to be tested. 

    The CareStart rapid test by Access Bio will now be used for testing, which gives results within 30 minutes. Positive COVID tests will be confirmed with a PCR test, per CDC guidance and our consultation with COVID-19 experts at Rush University Medical Center and University of Chicago. 

    Depending on the timing of a person’s arrival and date of first class, a person may require two tests. Failure to comply with this safety requirement will make individuals subject to discipline. 

    Employee Testing 

    All employees will have to be tested the week during which they return to campus. While a negative test is not required prior to returning to campus, employees must get tested during the work week in which they return (e.g., someone returning Monday, January 4 must get tested by end of day on Friday, January 8, and someone returning Friday, January 8 must get tested on Friday, January 8 or before). 

    Employees may get tested on campus (by appointment at 844-766-3775). While IDs will stay “green” and employees will be allowed access to campus without having been tested first, the college will check records weekly to ensure employees have complied with the above requirements.  

    Contractor Testing 
    Third-party employees with regular on-campus presence will also be required to test by January 15. This applies, for instance, to contracted employees in IT, security, and facilities services. Contracted employees who need to be tested will be contacted by the relevant department. 

    If you have had COVID-19 previously: 90-day testing dispensation for people who previously had COVID-19 

    Per the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health, individuals who have had COVID-19 may test positive again for 90 days even though they are no longer sick. If an individual has been cleared to return from COVID by the college, they are not required to be tested for 90 days. If a student or employee reported their prior COVID case to the college, they do not need to take any step, and they will not be found in violation of the testing rule if they last had COVID in the 90 days prior to their testing requirement. Someone who did not report their COVID case to the college must provide medical evidence to receive dispensation from the testing requirement for 90 days after they were sick. The 90 days is counted from the date of first symptoms, or the date of a positive test if the person was asymptomatic. This dispensation only applies to people who have remained and remain asymptomatic since their recovery. People experiencing new symptoms should seek medical attention.

    Reporting Travel 

    All employee travel should be reported even if the employee’s destination is not currently listed as restricted on the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order. To access the college's travel form, log in to MyC Self-Service and select "Time Reporting" then "Travel."  

    Possible Additional testing in some academic departments 

    The college is currently evaluating whether mandatory testing should be instituted for certain departments, programs or courses. Information about any changes to testing regimens in departments will be announced in January. 

    What about Students?

    • All students will be required to produce a negative test no more than 5 days prior to their first in-person class. 
    • Students in the residence halls will be require to provide a negative test prior to moving back in after the break. 
    • Students staying in the residence halls over the break will be required to be tested in early January. 
    • Students not living on campus who return form "orange" and "red" states will be required to quarantine and/or produce a negative test upon return to Chicago, per the city's order.


    To find information about testing locationsDaily Pre-check, and Voluntary Testing, please visit the website.  

    If you have any questions, please contact covid19info@colum.edu.

  • REMINDER: Residence Hall Students - January 4, 2021

    Dear Residence Hall Students:  

    Below are important announcements pertaining to COVID-19 testing, which are specific to students living in Columbia's residence halls.

    In addition to the previous message you received regarding testing everyone returning to campus and all student testing, below are additional requirements for students living in residence halls. 

    Additional requirements for students living in residence halls:  

    • All students returning to the residence halls will need to upload a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to the residence halls and will need to have quarantined for 10 days prior to return.
    • Students staying in the residence halls over the break will need to be tested in early January. 

    Residence Hall students moving out for winter break must upload negative test before return. 

    All residence hall students who leave their student residence for the winter break will be required to upload a negative test to their MedProctor account prior to returning. The negative test should be dated no more than three days prior to the student’s return. PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Antibody tests are not acceptable. 

    Students with extenuating circumstances preventing them from taking the diagnostic test before arriving in Chicago should contact the Dean of Students Office at deanofstudents@colum.edu

    Please note: Residence Hall IDs will be turned off and will only be turned back on once the test upload requirement has been fulfilled. Students who were not able to upload a negative test to MedProctor must physically bring in proof of their negative test in order to move back in. 

    Students can satisfy the testing requirements above in one of two ways: 

    • Upload a negative test to MedProctor that shows a negative result for a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to returning to Chicago. The test must be uploaded before you return. PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Antibody tests are not acceptable. Instructions on how to upload your negative test results can be found here

    OR 

    • Get tested on campus no later than 72 hours after return to Chicago. The test is free and conducted by appointment only at 844-766-3775. Students not living in residence halls who arrive in Chicago without having uploaded a negative test must quarantine until they get their on-campus test and the result of the test. Their test should be all they do outside their dwelling during that quarantine period; they should respect all precautions (wear a face covering, exercise social distancing) while traveling to campus for their test. 

    Students who remain in their campus residence over the break will test on campus the first week of January. 

    Residential students who remain in their rooms over the winter break are required to test on campus between January 6 and January 8. The test is free and conducted by appointment only at 844-766-3775.  

    If you have had COVID-19 previously: 90-day testing dispensation for people who previously had COVID-19 

    Per the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health, individuals who have had COVID-19 may test positive again for 90 days even though they are no longer sick.  

    If an individual has been cleared to return from COVID by the college, they are not required to be tested for 90 days.  

    If a student or employee reported their prior COVID case to the college, they do not need to take any step, and they will not be found in violation of the testing rule if they last had COVID in the 90 days prior to their testing requirement.  

    Someone who did not report their COVID case to the college must provide medical evidence to receive dispensation from the testing requirement for 90 days after they were sick. 90 days is counted from the date of the first symptoms, or the date of a positive test if the person was asymptomatic. This dispensation only applies to people who have remained and remain asymptomatic since their recovery. People experiencing new symptoms should seek medical attention. 

     

    To find information about testing locationsDaily Pre-check, voluntary testing, and how to upload test results to MedProctor, please visit the website

    If you have any questions, please contact covid19info@colum.edu.   

  • REMINDER: All Students - New Return to Campus Testing Requirements - January 4, 2021

    Dear students, 

    Below are important announcements pertaining to COVID-19 testing, including some testing requirements on campus in January. 

    The College will implement testing as follows (see details further below): 

    Additional requirements apply if you are one of the following: 

    Students not living in residence halls who arrive in Chicago from “orange” and “red” states: 

    • Mandatory testing and/or quarantine for students returning to Chicago from states designated as “orange” or “red” as required by the City of Chicago’s interim guidance for college students. 

    Residence Hall Students (details to follow in a separate email): 

    • All students returning to the residence halls will need to upload a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to the residence halls and will need to have quarantined for 10 days prior to return.
    • Students staying in the residence halls over the break will need to be tested in early January. 

    If you were not on campus in the fall, you will also need to do the COVID-19 training:  

    Individuals who are coming to campus for the first time this academic year must also complete the mandatory Together, Columbia training, quiz, and attestation before you are allowed to enter campus. Information on meeting this requirement can be found here. Individuals who did the training, quiz, and attestation in the summer and fall do not need to do it again. Note everyone who visits campus will need to complete the Daily Pre-check every time they visit campus. 

    Testing Everyone Returning to Campus 

    To continue promoting health and safety on campus, the College will require everyone with a presence on campus to be tested for COVID-19 after the holiday break and ahead of the beginning of in-person instruction.

    All students with in-person classes, all students in the residence halls, and all students who plan on visiting campus for another reason will need to be tested. 

    The CareStart rapid test by Access Bio will now be used for testing, which gives results within 30 minutes. Positive COVID tests will be confirmed with a PCR test, per CDC guidance and our consultation with COVID-19 experts at Rush University Medical Center and University of Chicago. 

    Depending on the timing of a person’s arrival and date of first class, a person may require two tests. Failure to comply with this safety requirement will make individuals subject to discipline. 

    All Student Testing 

    All students who plan to be on campus during the semester, regardless of where they live, and regardless of when they returned to Chicago, must produce a negative test prior to their first in-person class or campus visit of the semester. 

    All students with an in-person class or who plan on being on campus for other reasons must be tested no more than 5 days prior to their first in-person class or their visit to campus for another reason during the semester. 

    Students can satisfy this requirement in one of two ways: 

    • Upload a negative test to MedProctor that show a negative result for a test taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of their first class. The test must be uploaded before the class takes place. PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Antibody tests are not acceptable. Instructions on how to upload your negative test results can be found here or; 
    • Get tested on campus no more than 5 days before their first time on campus for the semester (that is, no more than 5 days before a student’s first in-person class of the semester, or, if they do not have an in-person class but plan on using campus facilities, no more than 5 before their visit to campus. For appointments, call 844-766-3775. 

    Students’ IDs will remain on (and therefore allow access to campus), but students with a record of being on campus without having complied with the testing requirement will be in violation and subject to discipline. 

    Students should plan ahead and make appointments; while the college will increase testing capacity, appointments will be on a first-come, first served basis. There are no walk-ins allowed. 

    Depending on your date of return, students coming from “orange” and “red” states, and students moving back to the dorms (regardless of where they come from) may need to be tested twice: once upon initial arrival and once prior to the beginning of class.  

    However, those students returning from a “red” or “orange” state may be able to satisfy the requirements by getting tested only once if the date of their required return test (either an uploaded test or a test on campus) is no more than 5 days before their first in-person class or visit on campus. See below for information on the City of Chicago’s requirements for students arriving from “orange” and “red” states. 

    Students moving back to Chicago from “orange” and “red” states but not living in residence halls must comply with the City of Chicago’s guidance for return.
     
    For those coming from “red” states as designated by City of Chicago’s Travel Order, the City’s requirements are:

    EITHER:

    • Quarantine for 10 days prior to coming to Chicago with a method of documenting adherence [the college will do this by students certifying compliance via the daily pre-check] and provide documentation of a negative diagnostic test (i.e., antibody tests not acceptable) taken within 72 hours prior to or, if the Illinois Higher Education institution (IHE) can provide or arrange for testing, within 72 hours after arrival to Chicago/campus [see below]. If test results are pending on arrival in Chicago, the student must quarantine until they can show documentation of their test result;

     
    OR

    • Quarantine for 10-days after arrival to Chicago.

     
    For those coming from “orange” states as designated by City of Chicago’s Travel Order, the City’s requirements are:
     
    EITHER:

    • Quarantine for 10-days after arrival to Chicago/campus.

    OR

    • Provide documentation of a pre-arrival negative diagnostic test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, or if IHEs can provide or arrange for testing, within 72 hours after arrival on campus. If tests results are pending on arrival in Chicago, the student must quarantine until they can show documentation of their negative test result.

     
    Students can satisfy the testing requirements above in one of two ways:

    • Upload a negative test to MedProctor that shows a negative result for a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to returning to Chicago. The test must be uploaded before you return. PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Antibody tests are not acceptable. Instructions on how to upload your negative test results can be found below.


    OR 

    • Get tested on campus no later than 72 hours after return to Chicago. The test is free and conducted by appointment only at 844-766-3775. Students not living in residence halls who arrive in Chicago without having uploaded a negative test must quarantine until they get their on-campus test and the result of the test. Their test should be all they do outside their dwelling during that quarantine period; they should respect all precautions (wear a face covering, exercise social distancing) while traveling to campus for their test.

    If you have had COVID-19 previously: 90-day testing dispensation for people who previously had COVID-19 

    Per the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health, individuals who have had COVID-19 may test positive again for 90 days even though they are no longer sick. If an individual has been cleared to return from COVID by the college, they are not required to be tested for 90 days. If a student or employee reported their prior COVID case to the college, they do not need to take any step, and they will not be found in violation of the testing rule if they last had COVID in the 90 days prior to their testing requirement. Someone who did not report their COVID case to the college must provide medical evidence to receive dispensation from the testing requirement for 90 days after they were sick. The 90 days is counted from the date of first symptoms, or the date of a positive test if the person was asymptomatic. This dispensation only applies to people who have remained and remain asymptomatic since their recovery. People experiencing new symptoms should seek medical attention. 

    Possible Additional testing in some academic departments 

    The college is currently evaluating whether mandatory testing should be instituted for certain departments, programs or courses. Information about any changes to testing regimens in departments will be announced in January. 
     

    To find information about testing locationsDaily Pre-check, voluntary testing, and how to upload test results to MedProctor, please visit the website

    If you have any questions, please contact covid19info@colum.edu.   

  • REMINDER: Employees - New Return to Campus Testing Requirements - January 4, 2021

    Dear faculty and staff, 

    Below are important announcements pertaining to COVID-19 testing, including some testing requirements on campus this month. 

    The College will implement testing as follows (see details further below): 

    Employees who traveled to an “orange” and/or “red” state for any reason over the break: 

    If you were not on campus in the fall, you will also need to do the COVID-19 training: 

    Individuals who are coming to campus for the first time this academic year must also complete the mandatory Together, Columbia training, quiz, and attestation before you are allowed to enter campus. Information on meeting this requirement can be found here. Individuals who did the training, quiz, and attestation in the summer and fall do not need to do it again. Note everyone who visits campus will need to complete the Daily Pre-check every time they visit campus. 

    Testing Everyone Returning to Campus 

    To continue promoting health and safety on campus, the College will require everyone with a presence on campus to be tested for COVID-19 after the holiday break and ahead of the beginning of in-person instruction. 

    All employees and contractors with any on-campus presence, all students with in-person classes, all students in the residence halls, and all students and employees who plan on visiting campus for another reason will need to be tested. 

    The CareStart rapid test by Access Bio will now be used for testing, which gives results within 30 minutes. Positive COVID tests will be confirmed with a PCR test, per CDC guidance and our consultation with COVID-19 experts at Rush University Medical Center and University of Chicago. 

    Depending on the timing of a person’s arrival and date of first class, a person may require two tests. Failure to comply with this safety requirement will make individuals subject to discipline. 

    Employee Testing 

    All employees will have to be tested the week during which they return to campus. While a negative test is not required prior to returning to campus, employees must get tested during the work week in which they return (e.g., someone returning Monday, January 4 must get tested by end of day on Friday, January 8, and someone returning Friday, January 8 must get tested on Friday, January 8 or before). 

    Employees may get tested on campus (by appointment at 844-766-3775). While IDs will stay “green” and employees will be allowed access to campus without having been tested first, the college will check records weekly to ensure employees have complied with the above requirements.  

    Contractor Testing 
    Third-party employees with regular on-campus presence will also be required to test by January 15. This applies, for instance, to contracted employees in IT, security, and facilities services. Contracted employees who need to be tested will be contacted by the relevant department. 

    If you have had COVID-19 previously: 90-day testing dispensation for people who previously had COVID-19 

    Per the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health, individuals who have had COVID-19 may test positive again for 90 days even though they are no longer sick. If an individual has been cleared to return from COVID by the college, they are not required to be tested for 90 days. If a student or employee reported their prior COVID case to the college, they do not need to take any step, and they will not be found in violation of the testing rule if they last had COVID in the 90 days prior to their testing requirement. Someone who did not report their COVID case to the college must provide medical evidence to receive dispensation from the testing requirement for 90 days after they were sick. The 90 days is counted from the date of first symptoms, or the date of a positive test if the person was asymptomatic. This dispensation only applies to people who have remained and remain asymptomatic since their recovery. People experiencing new symptoms should seek medical attention.

    Reporting Travel 

    All employee travel should be reported even if the employee’s destination is not currently listed as restricted on the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order. To access the college's travel form, log in to MyC Self-Service and select "Time Reporting" then "Travel."  

    Possible Additional testing in some academic departments 

    The college is currently evaluating whether mandatory testing should be instituted for certain departments, programs or courses. Information about any changes to testing regimens in departments will be announced in January. 

    What about Students?

    • All students will be required to produce a negative test no more than 5 days prior to their first in-person class. 
    • Students in the residence halls will be require to provide a negative test prior to moving back in after the break. 
    • Students staying in the residence halls over the break will be required to be tested in early January. 
    • Students not living on campus who return form "orange" and "red" states will be required to quarantine and/or produce a negative test upon return to Chicago, per the city's order.


    To find information about testing locationsDaily Pre-check, and Voluntary Testing, please visit the website.  

    If you have any questions, please contact covid19info@colum.edu.  

Fall 2020
  • Residence Hall Students: New Return to Campus Testing Requirements - December 23, 2020

    Dear Residence Hall Students:  

    Below are important announcements pertaining to COVID-19 testing, which are specific to students living in Columbia's residence halls.

    In addition to the previous message you received regarding testing everyone returning to campus and all student testing, below are additional requirements for students living in residence halls. 

    Additional requirements for students living in residence halls:  

    • All students returning to the residence halls will need to upload a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to the residence halls and will need to have quarantined for 10 days prior to return.
    • Students staying in the residence halls over the break will need to be tested in early January. 

    Residence Hall students moving out for winter break must upload negative test before return. 

    All residence hall students who leave their student residence for the winter break will be required to upload a negative test to their MedProctor account prior to returning. The negative test should be dated no more than three days prior to the student’s return. PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Antibody tests are not acceptable. 

    Students with extenuating circumstances preventing them from taking the diagnostic test before arriving in Chicago should contact the Dean of Students Office at deanofstudents@colum.edu

    Please note: Residence Hall IDs will be turned off and will only be turned back on once the test upload requirement has been fulfilled. Students who were not able to upload a negative test to MedProctor must physically bring in proof of their negative test in order to move back in. 

    Students can satisfy the testing requirements above in one of two ways: 

    • Upload a negative test to MedProctor that shows a negative result for a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to returning to Chicago. The test must be uploaded before you return. PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Antibody tests are not acceptable. Instructions on how to upload your negative test results can be found here

    OR 

    • Get tested on campus no later than 72 hours after return to Chicago. The test is free and conducted by appointment only at 844-766-3775. Students not living in residence halls who arrive in Chicago without having uploaded a negative test must quarantine until they get their on-campus test and the result of the test. Their test should be all they do outside their dwelling during that quarantine period; they should respect all precautions (wear a face covering, exercise social distancing) while traveling to campus for their test. 

    Students who remain in their campus residence over the break will test on campus the first week of January. 

    Residential students who remain in their rooms over the winter break are required to test on campus between January 6 and January 8. The test is free and conducted by appointment only at 844-766-3775.  

    If you have had COVID-19 previously: 90-day testing dispensation for people who previously had COVID-19 

    Per the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health, individuals who have had COVID-19 will test positive again for 90 days even though they are no longer sick.  

    If an individual has been cleared to return from COVID by the college, they are not required to be tested for 90 days.  

    If a student or employee reported their prior COVID case to the college, they do not need to take any step, and they will not be found in violation of the testing rule if they last had COVID in the 90 days prior to their testing requirement.  

    Someone who did not report their COVID case to the college must provide medical evidence to receive dispensation from the testing requirement for 90 days after they were sick. 90 days is counted from the date of the first symptoms, or the date of a positive test if the person was asymptomatic. This dispensation only applies to people who have remained and remain asymptomatic since their recovery. People experiencing new symptoms should seek medical attention. 

     

    To find information about testing locationsDaily Pre-check, voluntary testing, and how to upload test results to MedProctor, please visit the website

    If you have any questions, please contact covid19info@colum.edu.   

  • All Students: New Return to Campus Testing Requirements - December 23, 2020

    Dear students, 

    Below are important announcements pertaining to COVID-19 testing, including some testing requirements on campus in January. 

    The College will implement testing as follows (see details further below): 

    Additional requirements apply if you are one of the following: 

    Students not living in residence halls who arrive in Chicago from “orange” and “red” states: 

    • Mandatory testing and/or quarantine for students returning to Chicago from states designated as “orange” or “red” as required by the City of Chicago’s interim guidance for college students. 

    Residence Hall Students (details to follow in a separate email): 

    • All students returning to the residence halls will need to upload a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to the residence halls and will need to have quarantined for 10 days prior to return.
    • Students staying in the residence halls over the break will need to be tested in early January. 

    If you were not on campus in the fall, you will also need to do the COVID-19 training:  

    Individuals who are coming to campus for the first time this academic year must also complete the mandatory Together, Columbia training, quiz, and attestation before you are allowed to enter campus. Information on meeting this requirement can be found here. Individuals who did the training, quiz, and attestation in the summer and fall do not need to do it again. Note everyone who visits campus will need to complete the Daily Pre-check every time they visit campus. 

    Testing Everyone Returning to Campus 

    To continue promoting health and safety on campus, the College will require everyone with a presence on campus to be tested for COVID-19 after the holiday break and ahead of the beginning of in-person instruction.

    All students with in-person classes, all students in the residence halls, and all students who plan on visiting campus for another reason will need to be tested. 

    The CareStart rapid test by Access Bio will now be used for testing, which gives results within 30 minutes. Positive COVID tests will be confirmed with a PCR test, per CDC guidance and our consultation with COVID-19 experts at Rush University Medical Center and University of Chicago. 

    Depending on the timing of a person’s arrival and date of first class, a person may require two tests. Failure to comply with this safety requirement will make individuals subject to discipline. 

    All Student Testing 

    All students who plan to be on campus during the semester, regardless of where they live, and regardless of when they returned to Chicago, must produce a negative test prior to their first in-person class or campus visit of the semester. 

    All students with an in-person class or who plan on being on campus for other reasons must be tested no more than 5 days prior to their first in-person class or their visit to campus for another reason during the semester. 

    Students can satisfy this requirement in one of two ways: 

    • Upload a negative test to MedProctor that show a negative result for a test taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of their first class. The test must be uploaded before the class takes place. PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Antibody tests are not acceptable. Instructions on how to upload your negative test results can be found here or; 
    • Get tested on campus no more than 5 days before their first time on campus for the semester (that is, no more than 5 days before a student’s first in-person class of the semester, or, if they do not have an in-person class but plan on using campus facilities, no more than 5 before their visit to campus. For appointments, call 844-766-3775. 

    Students’ IDs will remain on (and therefore allow access to campus), but students with a record of being on campus without having complied with the testing requirement will be in violation and subject to discipline. 

    Students should plan ahead and make appointments; while the college will increase testing capacity, appointments will be on a first-come, first served basis. There are no walk-ins allowed. 

    Depending on your date of return, students coming from “orange” and “red” states, and students moving back to the dorms (regardless of where they come from) may need to be tested twice: once upon initial arrival and once prior to the beginning of class.  

    However, those students returning from a “red” or “orange” state may be able to satisfy the requirements by getting tested only once if the date of their required return test (either an uploaded test or a test on campus) is no more than 5 days before their first in-person class or visit on campus. See below for information on the City of Chicago’s requirements for students arriving from “orange” and “red” states. 

    Students moving back to Chicago from “orange” and “red” states but not living in residence halls must comply with the City of Chicago’s guidance for return.
     
    For those coming from “red” states as designated by City of Chicago’s Travel Order, the City’s requirements are:

    EITHER:

    • Quarantine for 10 days prior to coming to Chicago with a method of documenting adherence [the college will do this by students certifying compliance via the daily pre-check] and provide documentation of a negative diagnostic test (i.e., antibody tests not acceptable) taken within 72 hours prior to or, if the Illinois Higher Education institution (IHE) can provide or arrange for testing, within 72 hours after arrival to Chicago/campus [see below]. If test results are pending on arrival in Chicago, the student must quarantine until they can show documentation of their test result;

     
    OR

    • Quarantine for 10-days after arrival to Chicago.

     
    For those coming from “orange” states as designated by City of Chicago’s Travel Order, the City’s requirements are:
     
    EITHER:

    • Quarantine for 10-days after arrival to Chicago/campus.

    OR

    • Provide documentation of a pre-arrival negative diagnostic test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, or if IHEs can provide or arrange for testing, within 72 hours after arrival on campus. If tests results are pending on arrival in Chicago, the student must quarantine until they can show documentation of their negative test result.

     
    Students can satisfy the testing requirements above in one of two ways:

    • Upload a negative test to MedProctor that shows a negative result for a test taken no more than 72 hours prior to returning to Chicago. The test must be uploaded before you return. PCR and antigen tests are acceptable. Antibody tests are not acceptable. Instructions on how to upload your negative test results can be found below.


    OR 

    • Get tested on campus no later than 72 hours after return to Chicago. The test is free and conducted by appointment only at 844-766-3775. Students not living in residence halls who arrive in Chicago without having uploaded a negative test must quarantine until they get their on-campus test and the result of the test. Their test should be all they do outside their dwelling during that quarantine period; they should respect all precautions (wear a face covering, exercise social distancing) while traveling to campus for their test.

    If you have had COVID-19 previously: 90-day testing dispensation for people who previously had COVID-19 

    Per the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health, individuals who have had COVID-19 will test positive again for 90 days even though they are no longer sick. If an individual has been cleared to return from COVID by the college, they are not required to be tested for 90 days. If a student or employee reported their prior COVID case to the college, they do not need to take any step, and they will not be found in violation of the testing rule if they last had COVID in the 90 days prior to their testing requirement. Someone who did not report their COVID case to the college must provide medical evidence to receive dispensation from the testing requirement for 90 days after they were sick. The 90 days is counted from the date of first symptoms, or the date of a positive test if the person was asymptomatic. This dispensation only applies to people who have remained and remain asymptomatic since their recovery. People experiencing new symptoms should seek medical attention. 

    Possible Additional testing in some academic departments 

    The college is currently evaluating whether mandatory testing should be instituted for certain departments, programs or courses. Information about any changes to testing regimens in departments will be announced in January. 
     

    To find information about testing locationsDaily Pre-check, voluntary testing, and how to upload test results to MedProctor, please visit the website

    If you have any questions, please contact covid19info@colum.edu.  

  • Employees: New Return to Campus Testing Requirements - December 23, 2020

    Dear faculty and staff, 

    Below are important announcements pertaining to COVID-19 testing, including some testing requirements on campus in January. 

    The College will implement testing as follows (see details further below): 

    Employees who traveled to an “orange” and/or “red” state for any reason over the break: 

    If you were not on campus in the fall, you will also need to do the COVID-19 training: 

    Individuals who are coming to campus for the first time this academic year must also complete the mandatory Together, Columbia training, quiz, and attestation before you are allowed to enter campus. Information on meeting this requirement can be found here. Individuals who did the training, quiz, and attestation in the summer and fall do not need to do it again. Note everyone who visits campus will need to complete the Daily Pre-check every time they visit campus. 

    Testing Everyone Returning to Campus 

    To continue promoting health and safety on campus, the College will require everyone with a presence on campus to be tested for COVID-19 after the holiday break and ahead of the beginning of in-person instruction. 

    All employees and contractors with any on-campus presence, all students with in-person classes, all students in the residence halls, and all students and employees who plan on visiting campus for another reason will need to be tested. 

    The CareStart rapid test by Access Bio will now be used for testing, which gives results within 30 minutes. Positive COVID tests will be confirmed with a PCR test, per CDC guidance and our consultation with COVID-19 experts at Rush University Medical Center and University of Chicago. 

    Depending on the timing of a person’s arrival and date of first class, a person may require two tests. Failure to comply with this safety requirement will make individuals subject to discipline. 

    Employee/Contractor Testing 

    All employees will have to be tested the week during which they return to campus. While a negative test is not required prior to returning to campus, employees must get tested during the work week in which they return (e.g., someone returning Monday, January 4 must get tested by end of day on Friday, January 8, and someone returning Friday, January 8 must get tested on Friday, January 8 or before). 

    Employees may get tested on campus (by appointment at 844-766-3775). While IDs will stay “green” and employees will be allowed access to campus without having been tested first, the college will check records weekly to ensure employees have complied with the above requirements.  

    Third-party employees with regular on-campus presence will also be required to be tested. This applies, for instance, to contracted employees in IT, security, and facilities services. Contracted employees who need to be tested will be contacted by the relevant department. 

    If you have had COVID-19 previously: 90-day testing dispensation for people who previously had COVID-19 

    Per the CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health, individuals who have had COVID-19 will test positive again for 90 days even though they are no longer sick. If an individual has been cleared to return from COVID by the college, they are not required to be tested for 90 days. If a student or employee reported their prior COVID case to the college, they do not need to take any step, and they will not be found in violation of the testing rule if they last had COVID in the 90 days prior to their testing requirement. Someone who did not report their COVID case to the college must provide medical evidence to receive dispensation from the testing requirement for 90 days after they were sick. The 90 days is counted from the date of first symptoms, or the date of a positive test if the person was asymptomatic. This dispensation only applies to people who have remained and remain asymptomatic since their recovery. People experiencing new symptoms should seek medical attention.

    Reporting Travel 

    All employee travel should be reported even if the employee’s destination is not currently listed as restricted on the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order. To access the college's travel form, log in to MyC Self-Service and select "Time Reporting" then "Travel."  

    Possible Additional testing in some academic departments 

    The college is currently evaluating whether mandatory testing should be instituted for certain departments, programs or courses. Information about any changes to testing regimens in departments will be announced in January. 

    What about Students?

    • All students will be required to produce a negative test no more than 5 days prior to their first in-person class. 
    • Students in the residence halls will be require to provide a negative test prior to moving back in after the break. 
    • Students staying in the residence halls over the break will be required to be tested in early January. 
    • Students not living on campus who return form "orange" and "red" states will be required to quarantine and/or produce a negative test upon return to Chicago, per the city's order.


    To find information about testing locationsDaily Pre-check, and Voluntary Testing, please visit the website.  

    If you have any questions, please contact covid19info@colum.edu.  

  • End of Fall Semester and Looking Ahead

    December 11, 2020

    As we near the end of the fall semester, I am writing with my thanks and appreciation for your individual and collective fortitude in these challenging times. This year, finishing the semester feels like a particularly notable collective accomplishment. While we started the term with solid plans and protocols in place, we could not know whether external and internal circumstances might upend our best efforts. Thanks in large part to everyone’s commitment to our mutual safety, we have been able to minimize the negative impact of COVID-19 on Columbia.

    This of course did not happen without many adjustments along the way. Inevitably, some members of the community did become ill; the college remains committed to supporting them to the best of our ability and to continue doing everything possible to limit COVID-19 in our midst and maximize the safety of our campus environments. Although COVID-19 remains a fact of life and some community spread a chronic hazard, I am proud that the college did not witness the needless and large-scale risk-taking that made headlines at other institutions. That is more important than any precaution that we might put in place, and it stems from the respect for one another and the thoughtfulness that are hallmarks of the individuals who work, study, and reside here.

    Having said that, we realize that the current way of doing things is not what comes naturally to us, and in most instances is not the best way to deliver our academic programs or co-curricular offerings. Our goal is to gradually and safely restore as much as possible of the quintessential Columbia experience in every facet of campus life. We realize that COVID-19 will be a fact of everyday existence in our country, city, and campus for some time yet. But we are looking ahead to 2021, confident that we will soon have additional means of managing the coronavirus and that we will be able to make careful strides toward a resumption of familiar activities and routines. In particular, the apparently successful development and impending rollout of vaccines for COVID-19 gives us reason to hope that some expanded in-person activities, events, and (perhaps) performances can resume, on a modest scale, as early as the latter part of this coming spring semester - pending, of course, appropriate government approval and guidance and an improvement in the general public health situation.

    In the interim, in January the college plans to implement a new rapid COVID-19 test that will help us identify and isolate cases even more quickly than we did this semester. The new test can be more easily deployed in programs and courses whose classroom activities carry more risk of exposure and cannot be contemplated without a rapid, same-day test. This will allow us to expand certain in-person course offerings and experiences beyond what was possible in the fall semester. We will have more information to share about this as the spring semester nears.

    At the same time, and notwithstanding our hopes for the gradual resumption of smaller-scale activities, it seems clear at this point that the local and national health situation will still not be conducive to holding large in-person events this spring. Therefore, I must regretfully announce that we will not hold in-person Commencement exercises in May. We have the advantage this year of a longer time frame in which to design and execute a more complete virtual ceremony than we were able to offer in May 2020. A campus team is already planning such a virtual Commencement, in our usual multi-ceremony format, and with special ceremonies dedicated to the class of 2020 as well as 2021 graduates. Again, we will have more to say about this as our plans develop.

    As we plan for spring and fall semester, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community and to build on everything we have learned to date about how to work through COVID-19. Looking ahead to the fall, we plan to capitalize on the availability and distribution of the vaccine to offer an in-person fall 2021 class schedule on a par with pre-COVID offerings. Of course, this will be predicated on immunizations proceeding as forecast by experts, on the circulation of the vaccine having the hoped-for impact on case numbers, and on the subsequent lifting of current social distancing guidelines. We should all expect that regardless of the success of vaccines, some COVID precautions will remain in place in the fall and even beyond.

    Of course, we will be ready to adjust our plans as needed to take into account the public health situation and the complications that it creates for you and your families. We will continue to coordinate with public health agencies, consult with our experts at Rush University Medical Center and the University of Chicago, and closely monitor developments at Columbia and externally.

    Once again, I offer you my thanks and my hopes that you are well. Here’s to a rest-filled holiday season and to a new year full of renewed hope and possibility. Please stay safe.

    Sincerely,

    Kwang-Wu Kim
    President and CEO

  • Students returning to campus: How to upload your negative COVID test

    December 4, 2020

    If you are a student who is planning to return to campus next week from a city-designated COVID Orange or Red state, you will be required to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago.

    This mandate, issued for higher education institutions by the City of Chicago, is effective immediately. It comes in addition to the existing Columbia requirement that everyone coming back to campus from an Orange and Red state must have completed a two week quarantine prior to returning.

    Students who are returning to campus next week should upload their negative COVID-19 test results to their secure Med Proctor account by following the instructions below.

    If there are extenuating circumstances preventing you from taking the diagnostic test before arriving in Chicago, please contact the Dean of Students Office at deanofstudents@colum.edu.

    All members of the community who travel to a restricted state will be expected to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine before returning to campus. All employee travel should be reported even if the employee’s destination is not currently listed as restricted on the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order. To access the college's travel form, log in to MyC Self-Service and select "Time Reporting" then "Travel." 

    Instructions for Uploading test results to MedProctor

    Visit https://secure.medproctor.com.

    If you’ve already registered with MedProctor to upload your required immunization documents:

    1. Log in with your existing username and password. Your username is your colum.edu email address (do not use your ID number, use the email assigned to you based on your name. For example, jdoe1@colum.edu, not 123456@colum.edu).
    2. Upload an image of your test results to MedProctor using the “Covid 19 Lab Results” option in the drop-down menu.

    If you haven’t used MedProctor before and need to register:

    1. Click “register” and create an account in MedProctor using your colum.edu email address (do not use your ID number, use the email assigned to you based on your name. For example, jdoe1@colum.edu, not 123456@colum.edu).
    2. Complete your MedProctor profile.
    3. Upload an image of your test results to MedProctor using the “Covid 19 Lab Results” option in the drop-down menu.

    If you have difficulty using MedProctor:
    You may contact MedProctor between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday:

  • New City Of Chicago Requirements For Campus Residents Returning From Restricted States

    December 2, 2020

    Based on new guidance issued for higher education institutions by the City of Chicago, all students returning from a city-designated COVID Orange or Red state are now required to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago. This comes in addition to the existing requirement that everyone coming back to Columbia from an Orange and Red state must quarantine for two weeks prior to coming to campus.

    The College is putting in place a process to comply with the new City of Chicago documentation requirement. We will communicate further details explaining how students will need to submit test results to the college. If you are unable to take a diagnostic test before arriving in Chicago, please contact the Dean of Students Office at deanofstudents@colum.edu.

    All members of the community who travel to a restricted state will be expected to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine before returning to campus. All employee travel should be reported even if the employee’s destination is not currently listed as restricted on the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order. To access the college's travel form, log in to MyC Self-Service and select "Time Reporting" then "Travel." 

  • Update to City of Chicago Travel Order and Daily Pre-Check

    November 12, 2020

    The City of Chicago has revised its Emergency Travel order related to anyone coming into Chicago from designated states with a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19. However, Columbia will maintain its existing precautions requiring those who traveled to Chicago from such states, now defined as Red or Yellow states, to quarantine.

    Under the city’s new system, a state will be placed in one of three color categories— Yellow, Orange, or Red—based on the status of outbreak in the state and how it compares to Chicago’s data.

    Effective November 13, 2020, anyone arriving in Chicago from a state on the Red or Orange list will be required to quarantine for a 14-day period and must refrain from coming to campus. This does not apply to individuals who live in states designated as Red or Orange and regularly commute to Chicago for work or school.

    While the city’s Emergency Travel Order allows travelers from states designated as Orange to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result, Columbia will not. Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and security of our campus community, the College will be not be accepting a negative test result as an alternative means for entry to campus.

    Additionally, students traveling from a Red or Orange state will not be allowed to quarantine in their campus residence. Employees who are planning to travel should consult with their supervisors and HR to make necessary arrangements for returning to work and complete the College’s travel form prior to travel.

    The College’s Daily Pre-Check has been updated to reflect the City of Chicago’s latest modification to its Travel Order which goes into effect tomorrow. Please be aware of the change to the Daily Pre-Check question upon entry to campus.

  • Things You Need to Know About the Spring Semester

    November 2, 2020

    Dear Students:

    It’s time to start planning for spring semester! This message is about the upcoming registration process.

    • Take a look: the Spring 2021 course schedule is now available for everyone to view in MyColumbia.
    • Get ready: Registration opens for continuing students on November 9.
    • What’s in the mix: A blend of hybrid and remote instruction will continue; offering a mix of instructional modalities for students.
    • Timing matters:
      • All classes will be taught remotely the first week of the spring semester, January 25-30, and access to campus will be limited.
      • Campus will open for on-campus learning beginning February 1, the second week of the spring semester.
    • Not your typical ‘spring break’: Classes will be held during the week of March 29. Instead of a spring break week we are instituting “Making Week,” which will happen later in the semester. 
    • So what and when is Making Week? Making Week is a time for reading, study and creative work in preparation for end-of-semester critiques, productions, and performances, and it will happen May 3-8, before the final week of the semester. There will be no classes during Making Week, but all campus facilities will be open for independent student work.
    • When will the spring semester end? The last week of classes will continue to be May 10-15.

    More Details about Spring Semester Planning:
    Our planning for the spring is first and foremost informed by our expectations for the COVID-19 pandemic and the lessons learned from our own reopening planning. We anticipate that COVID-19 will continue to disrupt operations into the spring, and our course offerings will continue to prioritize on-campus learning in classes where campus access is either necessary to achieving learning outcomes or otherwise important to the learning experience. We will continue to offer a mix of courses and modalities that allows students to stay on track to program completion and graduation while adhering to our safety protocols.

    Adjustments to the Spring Calendar
    We expect that Chicago will continue to impose health restrictions on travel, including the requirement to quarantine if traveling from states of concern. Students living on campus will continue to need to meet Residence Hall protocols, and all students, faculty and staff will need to be in compliance with City health protocols to access campus.

    To facilitate full compliance with City health protocols, all classes will be taught remotely the first week of the spring semester, January 25-30, and access to campus will be limited. Campus will open for on-campus learning beginning February 1, the second week of the spring semester.

    We are also adjusting the spring schedule by eliminating the mid-semester spring break week. Classes will be held as normal during the week of March 29. Instead, we are instituting “Making Week,” a time for reading, study and creative work in preparation for end-of semester critiques, productions, and performances. Making Week will happen May 3-8, before the final week of the semester. There will be no classes during Making Week, but all campus facilities will be open for independent student work. The last week of classes will continue to be May 10-15.

    The Spring Schedule
    The schedule that is being released today includes some classes that require in-person experiences and many that are fully remote. We will continue to offer courses with and without required on-campus elements:

    • FULLY REMOTE (“WEB”): No required in-person activities. You still have access to campus facilities, but you can complete all course activities without utilizing them. If synchronous, you should expect that your class holds required meetings ONLY at the times listed on the course schedule. Asynchronous classes allow you to work at your own schedule.
    • HYBRID/FACE-TO-FACE: Some of the learning outcomes of your course require you to meet in person – to complete activities that can’t be done remotely, to use specialized equipment or facilities, or to complete the course experiences designed by your instructor. If you sign up for a HYBRID or FACE-TO-FACE class, you should plan to be in Chicago and on campus on the days and times designated in your course syllabus.

    Please visit the Columbia Central website for more information on course modalities and how to read the course schedule.

    In multi-section courses, where it is pedagogically appropriate there are both remote and in-person courses offered. Students should choose class sessions based on the modality that best fits their needs and comfort levels. Requests for accommodations for health reasons should be addressed to the SSD office (SSD@colum.edu).

    I encourage you to explore the schedule in preparation for registration. If you have questions, please connect with academic advising or your faculty – we are here to help!


    Sincerely,

    Marcella David
    Senior Vice President and Provost


     

  • Election Day

    November 2, 2020

    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 is Election Day. The campaign, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption of familiar routines and personal interactions, has been polarizing and, for some, emotionally stressful. It is therefore especially important at this time for the members of the Columbia community to be mindful of their own physical and emotional well-being, as well as that of others.

    Columbia will offer the following support services and programs over the course of the upcoming week:
     
    Counseling and Emotional Support for Students
     
    Columbia also recognizes this year’s election is a stressful time emotionally. Members of Counseling Services and Student Relations are available to support you:

    • Counseling Services (312-369-8700) and Student Relations (312-369-8595) can be reached between 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday.

    When calling Counseling Services or Student Relations, please leave a message with your name, MyColumbia ID number, the best phone number at which to reach you, a brief description of the reason for your call, and your availability during business hours to receive a call back.
     
    College dialogues
     
    Columbia’s Student Relations, Counseling Services, and Student Diversity and Inclusion offices will host the following events on Zoom to facilitate healthy dialogue related to the election:
     
    Monday, November 2, 3:00-4:00p.m.: Election Self-Care and Coping

    The 2020 presidential election has been divisive and challenging for many. As you prepare for Election Night and beyond, we are here to support you. Join us for a discussion about how to develop a pre-election plan for self-care.
     
    Staying Grounded in the Midst of Election Distress and Uncertainty: A Coping Plan and Self-Care Group

    This group will help you to:

    • Reflect on current and upcoming anxieties
    • Anticipate what may come in the days and weeks ahead
    • Develop a plan for managing Election Day stress
    • Develop general self-care practices to help with anxieties 
    • Create practical, emotional, and supportive preparation practices

    Wednesday, November 4, 4:00-5:30 p.m.: Processing the Election 

    REPEATED Friday, November 6, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m.

    Campus safety
    There has been speculation that the election results could spur demonstrations, protests, and celebrations.  In this uncertain moment, Columbia affirms its mission as an institution that prepares students “who will communicate creatively and shape the public’s perceptions of issues and events and who will author the culture of their times.”
     
    Columbia’s Safety and Security team will closely monitor the campus and neighborhood environment prior to, on, and after Election Day in the event that some off-campus gatherings and demonstrations are not peaceful.  Security is adding extra personnel and is in communication with the City of Chicago’s emergency operations center regarding necessary coordination and response.
     
    Please consider utilizing these support services, and contacting Safety and Security should the need arise at securitycommand@colum.edu

    For questions related to COVID-19 health and safety, please visit the Together, Columbia website

  • Chicago Curfew and Campus Building Hours

    October 23, 2020

    Due to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the city, the City of Chicago is reinstating its curfew on non-essential business in the city between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
     
    Based on the city's order no member of the Columbia campus community is allowed to enter a campus building after 10 p.m. To comply with the city’s order, campus community members are also encouraged to vacate campus buildings by 10 p.m. if possible, but can remain in a building until its regularly scheduled closing time if needed for work or classwork reasons.

  • COVID-19 Cases on Campus

    October 21, 2020

    We are writing to update you about some positive COVID-19 cases in the CTVA department that underscore the need for continued vigilance across campus on all our parts, and to update you on some additional measures that will be implemented by the college.
     
    Last week, an individual who participated in two different CTVA classes later became symptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19. They were in these classes during their infectious period. Our contact tracing process determined everyone was masked during those classes. Six individuals across these two classes were found through contact tracing interviews to have been close contacts of the positive case. This means that some participants, over the duration of the classes, spent more than 15 minutes in total closer than six feet of the person who was infectious. While we understand inadvertent contact closer than six feet can happen, this is the type of situation we must endeavor to avoid.
     
    The contact tracing team made all notifications, and close contacts went into quarantine. Per our regular process, the campus IDs belonging to those identified as close contacts have been turned off for the duration of their quarantine.
     
    Yesterday, we learned that one of these close contacts has tested positive for COVID-19, and it is possible the case stems from the exposure in one of the Cinema classes.
     
    This marks the first time we suspect a possible, positive on-campus transmission of the disease. This newest case will appear on the dashboard, but we wanted to make the possible connection to the earlier case in the department clear to everyone.
     
    The events of the past week have highlighted the need to remind ourselves of some important precautions and the need to introduce new ones:

    • Mask wearing is a critical component of our safety measures. No exceptions can be made to this, for any duration, in any instructional setting; this applies to both students and campus visitors.
    • Maintaining six-foot distancing is equally important. While there may be reasons to come closer than six-feet for practical or pedagogical reasons, such instances must be limited, and can never add up to more than 15 minutes. There must be a clear plan drafted in advance that is pre-approved by the department and the Office of the Provost for any class where there is an anticipated need for individuals to be closer than six feet (except when entering and exiting a room or incidental contact).
    • It is critical to note that the “15-minute within 6 feet” criterion in determining a close contact to a positive individual (where health authorities say the risk increases significantly) is a cumulative one. In other words, if someone is within 6 feet of someone else for a series of short or long intervals, they are still a potential close contact if those intervals add up to 15 minutes or more. Put another way: if, within a period of an hour or a few hours, you are within six feet of someone else for 2 minutes, then go apart, and are again within six feet for 8 minutes, then go apart, and then come within six feet of each other for 5 minutes, you will be considered a close contact if the other person is later determined to have been infectious. Importantly, you will be considered a close contact of a positive case even if you are wearing a mask.
    • While our enhanced air controls help us improve the safety of some spaces, they should not lull us into a false sense of security. Systems like Ultra-Violet Germicidal Irradiation are not intended to prevent contagion in a close-contact situation; the combination of masks and six-foot distancing are the best precautions for that.
    • Employees and students should always notify securitycommand@colum.edu if they are diagnosed or have been (or think they have been) a close contact of a positive case. This notification triggers contact tracing, the process in which you will help us to identify others who may have been exposed to you while you were on campus and may have been contagious. Please read more about who else you should notify and other rules pertaining to notification here.

    In addition, given this service is available to the college and that it is now becoming industry standard in such settings as film locations, we are, starting this week, requiring that all film production participants get tested once a week as a condition of continued participation in class production projects.

    The college is reviewing other classes where this requirement may also be instituted.

    Please note that testing never constitutes a sufficient precaution on its own, and that six-foot distancing and mask-wearing remain the most important barriers against COVID spread.

    Since the beginning of the semester, we have experienced relatively few on-campus positive cases of COVID-19. There have been 12 on-campus cases since August 24. Six have come in the past week. This comes in the context of growing infection numbers in Chicago, the region and the rest of the country. It is our belief that, with continued adherence with safety precautions and the ongoing consideration for each other that characterizes Columbia, we can successfully complete the fall semester.

    Thank you for your continued efforts and care.

    Sincerely,

    Marcella David
    Senior Vice President and Provost

    Laurent Pernot
    Chief of Staff, Co-Chair Incident Assessment Task Force

  • Update: Planning for Thanksgiving and the End of the Fall 2020 Semester

    October 20, 2020

    We are at the halfway mark to what is so far a successful fall semester. As the weeks have progressed, students have been able to use our campus to learn and create. With faculty guidance, they have participated in in-person study of dance techniques, come together as music ensembles, learned how to use specialized film and television production equipment and facilities, and accessed studio spaces necessary for creative learning. In short, our students are making important progress towards achieving course learning outcomes.
     
    As the City of Chicago continues to adapt to increased cases and positivity rates, and as our number of cases on campus remains low, we are optimistic that, if we remain vigilant and adhere to our safety protocols, we will continue to be able to offer on-campus instruction for some number of the remaining weeks of the semester. At the same time, the national conditions and the City’s Emergency Travel Order create challenges related to the Thanksgiving holiday, which will bring people together in groups and may involve travel.
     
    Because of these complications, and particularly the complications associated with the Emergency Travel Order, the College has determined that, with some exceptions noted below, instruction will be fully remote in weeks 13-15 (Nov. 30-Dec. 19). The residence halls will remain open, and residents should expect to receive specific information in the upcoming week. Academic facilities will also remain open, subject to the current safety protocols, throughout the end of the semester and into the new year. More information about facility hours in weeks 13-15 will be forthcoming.
     
    In a small number of courses listed here, we have determined that fully remote instruction will prevent successful delivery of course learning outcomes. In these few courses in cinema, dance, photography, television and theatre, in-person activities will be required in weeks 13-15, and all students who do not otherwise have an accommodation on file will be expected to participate. 
     
    However, anyone traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday will be expected to adhere to the city’s quarantine rules. Before returning from a restricted state, students living in the residence halls will need to quarantine, either at home or elsewhere in Chicago, as was required at the start of fall semester. All members of the community who travel to a restricted state will be expected to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine before returning to campus.
     
    Students who are registered for courses requiring in-person activities in weeks 13-15 are strongly encouraged to make plans for Thanksgiving that will make an interruption to studies less likely: avoid travel, continue to practice social distancing, and avoid group celebrations. Students in those classes will receive information directly from their department and faculty about the expectations for the remainder of the semester, and from the Registrar about the circumstances under which an incomplete may be available for students unable to complete required classwork.
     
    In the coming two weeks students will receive information about registration for spring semester, as we continue to plan creatively in response to the ongoing challenge.

    Sincerely,

    Marcella David
    Senior Vice President and Provost

  • Starting Today COVID-19 Testing Available Monday-Friday

    October 16, 2020

    Beginning today, the college is expanding availability of COVID-19 testing on campus to Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. through the end of the semester.

    Testing is available on a voluntary basis to employees and students on campus who are symptoms-free but would like to be tested for COVID-19. If you are asymptomatic, on-campus testing is available by appointment only. Employees and students should call CareATC at 844-766-3775 to make an appointment. The testing site is located on the first floor of 618 S. Michigan.

    Testing is limited to one test per week and is reserved for asymptomatic individuals who fall into one of the following categories:

    • Students living in the residence halls
    • Employees working on campus for at least part of the week
    • Students taking in-person and/or hybrid classes
    • Students and employees coming to campus for other reasons

    This testing service is not intended for the following situations:

    • Students and employees who experience COVID-19 symptoms
    • Students and employees who have been informed they were the close contact of someone with COVID-19

    If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms:
    Employees or students with COVID-19 symptoms should stay home, self-isolate, and seek medical attention.

    Students with symptoms should contact the Student Health Center at 312-369-6830. Students must call to schedule an appointment; no drop-ins are allowed. The Student Health Center is equipped to provide testing to students with COVID-19 symptoms if determined advisable after a consultation with Student Health Center medical staff.

    For employees with symptoms, testing is available via health care providers, or at public health sites and some commercial locations like CVS, which do not require health insurance. Please check with these providers.

  • Update on the Fall Semester instruction

    October 7, 2020

    Dear students, 

    I want to start this message by thanking all of our students and faculty who have helped make the first few weeks of our fall semester re-opening safe and successful, by showing it is possible to learn and engage in creative practice while maintaining safety protocols. I speak for the entire campus leadership when I say thank you, and it is so good to be back together.

    As you may know from campus updates and local news, some on-campus learning has been postponed, first by the delayed installation of some safety equipment, and as the College and the part-time faculty union continued to negotiate some aspects of in-person instruction protocols. I am happy to report the College and our part-time faculty colleagues jointly reached an approach to continuing in-person instruction because we appreciate that our ability to be on campus together is invaluable to effective learning and, in many of our classes, required to achieve course goals.

    The agreement developed with the part-time faculty union allows some of those faculty scheduled to teach on campus this fall to request to change their courses to WEB-only format. This applies to a limited number of courses; we agreed that courses for which shifting away to WEB would be difficult or impossible to deliver key experiences and learning outcomes must remain in person. As a result, we anticipate that, with the union’s approval of our fall safety planning, most remaining classes will begin or continue on-campus instruction this week. The College will be in direct contact with any students in classes where modality is shifting to fully WEB later this week to notify you of the change. If you are notified about a change to fully WEB and have questions about how your class will proceed remotely, talk to your instructor. If you have questions about your revised course schedule, please reach out to college advising.

    Please stay tuned for further news, and please continue to stay safe.


    Sincerely,

    Marcella David
    Senior Vice President and Provost

     

  • Campus Facilities and In-Person Instruction Update

    September 25, 2020

    Here is an update on the announcement sent last week regarding the installation of the Ultra-Violet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) and air assessment in spaces scheduled to house certain activities that may create a higher potential COVID-19 risk than regular instruction.

    This extra precaution for certain higher-risk activities follows guidance of our COVID-19 experts from Rush University Medical Center and the University of Chicago, who recommend the best barriers against spread of the disease are enhanced cleanings and hygiene, reduced room capacities, six-foot distancing, and masks.

    Air Assessment
    The mechanical systems and HVAC expert retained by the college, RAM Mechanical Services Inc, has completed its air assessment. There were two components to RAM Mechanical’s analysis:

    Examination of 135 air handling units at Columbia
    These represent the totality of the HVAC units that serve all occupied (non-IT or non-mechanical spaces) spaces on campus. RAM experts inspected and surveyed all units to verify fresh air ductwork and volume dampers were present in each of the listed pieces of equipment. All dampers were verified to be functional and operational, and filters inspected to be properly installed and clean. In 1014 S. Michigan, one unit, which only serves part of the fourth floor and two instructional spaces, had a lower performance and was flagged for remediation. A second unit in the same building, which does not serve instructional spaces, also had a lower performance and will be remediated.

    Air assessment of spaces slated for higher-aerosol activities
    CDC guidance encourages organizations to review standards published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in assessing ventilation. ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2019 (“Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality”) establishes recommended thresholds, taking into account room size, occupancy, and planned activities.

    On the advice of our epidemiology and infection control experts from Rush University Medical Center and the University of Chicago, the college decided, as an added precaution, to conduct an additional air assessment for some campus spaces. This assessment focused largely on rooms that are home to activities that bring higher potential risk for COVID-19 spread.

    RAM Mechanical determined that all of the more than 70 instructional spaces examined exceed the ASHRAE standards, with the exception of the two rooms at 1014 S. Michigan noted above. These rooms are served by the same air handling unit and will be addressed.

    UVGI installation
    UVGI installation has been completed in the dance building (1306 S. Michigan), the theatre building (72 E. 11th), as well as the movement spaces at 916 S. Wabash. Installation is expected to be complete at the Media Production Center (1600 S. State) before the end of the weekend. UVGI installation has already begun in the music building (1014 S. Michigan) and will be followed by the lower level Audio Arts & Acoustics facilities at 33 E. Ida B. Wells. Because some spaces at 1104 S. Wabash, 618 S. Michigan, and 754 S. Wabash were only included in UVGI because of possible use for performances in future semesters, that work will take place last.

    The Provost and chairs will communicate shortly about next week’s course schedule.

    We appreciate everyone’s patience as we finalize these last elements of our COVID-19 safety plan and proceed with in-person instruction knowing these extra precautions have been implemented. For additional information, here is a copy of the Air Assessment report.

    Jerry Tarrer
    Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

    Ann P. Kalayil
    Associate Vice President Facilities and Construction

  • Campus Update 

    September 19, 2020

    The college announced some updates yesterday, regarding the installation of Ultra-Violet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) and the assessment of our HVAC systems in certain spaces. Below, is an FAQ regarding the precautions the College is taking with this effort.
     
    Why is the college doing an air assessment?
     
    A team of college personnel have been working all summer to implement safety protocols and other plans for returning to in-person instruction in the fall. We have followed the COVID guidance from the CDC, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Chicago Department of Public Health, having several consultations with the latter. In addition, the college engaged health care experts from Rush University Medical Center—including Dr. John Segreti, Rush’s head of epidemiology and infection control, and consulted with Dr. Emily Landon, chief epidemiologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center, who has informed both the State of Illinois and City of Chicago Departments of Public Health COVID-19 response, as well as numerous other institutions across the country, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other organizations.
     
    All of the experts were briefed on the College’s reopening plans, and the Rush group also did an in-person walk-through and personally assessed a variety of spaces.  
     
    These experts, who also met with faculty and staff leadership last week, have been clear that the most important things we should be doing—indeed, what they themselves are doing in their respective hospital and work spaces—is reducing density, physical distancing, mask-wearing, promoting good hygiene and sanitizing our spaces
     
    We also replaced our air filters with the highest-rated filters our systems could accommodate, as recommended by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. From the onset of the pandemic, Columbia’s Facilities team has proactively assessed our infrastructure across campus. A detailed chart of those efforts can be reviewed here
     
    Even though neither the state nor city public health guidance recommend air assessments or UVGI, we asked our experts about ventilation. Their consistent answer was that, while important, ventilation was not a proven barrier like masks, distancing, cleaning and reduced capacity, and that the college was going beyond what they would recommend in installing UVGI.
     
    That is because the epidemiologists at Rush and University of Chicago have stressed COVID-19 is overwhelmingly primarily spread at close distance, in real-time, through heavier droplets that come out of the mouths of people who are not wearing masks, and the droplets quickly fall to the ground within 3 to 6 feet of the sick person. The part-time faculty union raised the issue of aerosolized spread of COVID-19 and those concerns were shared with our experts who have advised us that the primary concern for transmission of the virus is via large respiratory droplets.
     
    The Rush and University of Chicago experts have repeatedly emphasized that, at Columbia, air considerations are an added precaution to our social distancing, mask, hygiene and sanitizing measures, and only recommended for those spaces where certain droplet-producing activities take place, like singing and playing wind instruments, dancing, and certain aspects of theater and CTVA.
     
    What is it the air assessment is looking at?
     
    The college retained mechanical experts at Ram Mechanical Inc. to verify there is sufficient fresh outside air being brought into our systems, which they have done. They also are looking at airflows and air replacement rates in spaces like music, dance, theater and CTVA. That assessment is ongoing. Rooms in those spaces won't be cleared for use for certain activities (high-exertion, high-projection activities like singing and dancing or performing stage combat) until a room has been assessed and meets standards.
     
    Why isn’t the ventilation in all spaces being assessed by the college?
     
    Our medical experts from Rush and University of Chicago’s medical centers have been explicit that classroom activities like sitting and speaking is not the cause for potential concern, especially because we have drastically reduced room capacities, put in place six-foot distancing protocols, and required masks. The concern associated with other activities is remote, especially because of the precautions already in place. But in spaces where certain activities take place, like singing and playing wind instruments, dancing, and certain aspects of theater and CTVA, we are taking additional measures out of an abundance of caution.
     
    Our experts focus on how COVID-19 is spread, and on the ways we have reduced room capacities, and implemented cleanings, social distancing and masks, which they say are the key to prevention. Based on their infectious disease experience generally and with COVID-19 specifically, they have concluded that the scientific evidence about aerosolization does not require additional measures.
     
    The Campus Reopening Task Force, which includes leaders from the faculty senate, staff union and part-time faculty union were briefed on this by the experts themselves last week. In addition to hearing from our medical experts, they heard the view of a ventilation expert presented by the part-time faculty union. Our path forward remains grounded in the opinion of our experts that the key steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are reducing density, physical distancing, mask-wearing, promoting good hygiene, and sanitizing our spaces, supplemented by special attention to spaces where high-exertion, high-projection creative activities take place.

     

  • Reminder of Campus Safety Procedures

    September 18, 2020

    Dear campus community,
     
    We are very excited to be opening for in-person instruction Monday, September 21. As a reminder, before entering campus buildings, you are required to complete the campus training, quiz, and attestation and the Daily Pre-Check.
     
    Training, Quiz, and Attestation
    To complete the training, quiz, and attestation:

    • Go to: https://training.knowbe4.com/login and log in using your credentials.
    • Navigate to the upper right corner and click on “My Training”.
    • You will need to click on the Attestation and Quiz by clicking review.
    • When you click on the Attestation, you will need to click Accept and Submit to complete the training.
    • When you have passed the quiz, you can close out the window.

    If you require any further assistance, email Technology Services at ts@colum.edu
     
    Daily Pre-Check
    Visit colum.edu/precheck or scan the code below to complete the screening on your mobile device.

     

    Face Coverings
    Columbia requires everyone on college property to wear a face covering, including at all times in classrooms, shared workspaces, or common areas. Persons without a face covering will not be allowed to enter campus buildings. Bandanas, neck gaiters, knitted masks, and exhalation vent masks are not permitted on campus.

    Have you received your two free masks?

    Columbia Face Covering Distribution
    916 S. Wabash, South Door


    Students: Please show your Campus Card to receive two free reusable face coverings from Columbia.

    Faculty and Staff: Two free reusable face coverings were mailed to your address on file with Columbia. If you did not receive your face coverings, you can stop by face covering distribution with your Campus Card to pick them up.

    For additional information about the campus reopening, visit colum.edu/reopening.


     

  • In-person Instruction and Additional Campus Updates

    September 18, 2020

    As everyone gears up for the beginning of in-person instruction next week, we are coming to you with an update on additional preparations by the college, and some temporary modifications to our re-opening plan – including where some classes are held and when in-person instruction starts for them – resulting from our ongoing commitment to place safety first and adhere to the guidance we have received from the Chicago and Illinois department of public health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
     
    The outside guidance we have received has been supplemented with ongoing consultations with a team of epidemiology and infection-control experts at Rush University Medical Center as well Dr. Emily Landon, executive medical director of infection prevention and control at the University of Chicago.
     
    The guidance continues to be that source controls (limited occupancy/social distancing, sanitation and masks) are the most effective barrier against the spread of COVID-19. These sources controls are the cornerstone of the college’s plans.
     
    As recommended by our health consultants, we have gone beyond local health guidance by conducting an air assessment of some campus spaces. We also committed to adding ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to HVAC systems in spaces where there is activity that is more likely to generate aerosolized particles of COVID-19. These aerosols are generated in greater quantities from activities like singing, playing musical instruments or exerting oneself as is the case in dance and some aspects of theater and film/TV production. Our ventilation assessment and enhancements are not yet complete and this will impact some classes next week as noted below.
     
    Air assessment
    We retained RAM Mechanical Services, a full-service mechanical contracting firm, to conduct an air assessment in those spaces where specialized instruction takes place that goes beyond a regular socially distanced, masked college classrooms where the main activity is sitting and speaking. This scope of the assessment was validated with the experts at Rush and University of Chicago.

    These spaces include music, theater and CTVA, with some photo spaces.
     
    The assessment is still ongoing. The team of outside air experts have been measuring what are called Cubic Feet per Minute per Square Foot (CFM/ft2), Air Changes per Hour (ACH), and Fresh Air Intake (FAI).

    • Fresh Air Intake measures how much outside air is brought into our systems and our spaces.
    • Cubic Feet per Minute per Square Foot (CFM/sq. ft.) measures how much air the HVAC system pushes into each space.
    • Air Changes per Hour (ACH) measures how long it takes for the air to be “recycled” in a room, indicating how long it takes to remove more than 99 percent of particles from a room.

    RAM Mechanical so far has confirmed that our systems are functioning as designed. In some instances, they have recommended adjustments to ensure operations meet our safety goals.  Their work on these spaces will be completed in the coming week.
     
    Ultra-Violet Germicidal Irradiation equipment
    Earlier this summer, the college announced that it would also install Installation of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation in ventilation ducts in these specialized spaces where high-projection, high-exertion activities, such as music, dance and theater, take place that might generate higher level of aerosols circulating.
     
    We also ordered some portable UVGI units as an added precaution in the event there may be a need for them.
     
    Even though such precautions go beyond the recommendations of local health authorities, the college committed to these systems out of an abundance of caution, even though masks and social distancing are known to be effective barriers.
     
    Due to both COVID-19 itself and increased demand for COVID-related equipment, production for the in-duct UVGI equipment was delayed. While behind schedule, the UVGI equipment is slated to arrive on campus late this week.
     
    Our vendor is slated to begin installing these as soon as they arrive. This does mean, however, that not all UVGI units will be installed by September 21 as planned.
     
    Impact of Delays
    Our ventilation assessment and UVGI installation project are meant to ensure maximum safety for certain types of creative learning activities that our experts have identified as more likely to generate high levels of aerosols.
     
    Accordingly, for classes where activities involve high-exertion, high-projection activities, if UVGI is not in place, we are adjusting the start of in-person instruction. This may mean delaying the start of in-person activities, changing the class location for next week, or adjusting the planned activities.
     
    The Office of the Provost and the Facilities and Operations team have reviewed the relatively small number of impacted courses with deans and department chairs. Department chairs will communicate directly with faculty teaching courses where adjustment is necessary, and faculty members will communicate with students about any schedule changes for week 3. For all other courses, on-campus activities will begin in campus buildings next week as planned.
     
    We realize this news comes late into your preparations. However, we are working diligently to complete this assessment for high-exertion and high-projection spaces.
     
    We very much look forward to seeing our campus come back to life with the creative pursuits and instruction that make Columbia such a wonderful institution, and thank everyone for your help as we continue to finetune our COVID precautions to help promote the health of our campus community.

    Jerry Tarrer
    Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

    Ann P. Kalayil
    Associate Vice President Facilities and Construction

     

  • Specialized Facilities Hours and Access

    September 17, 2020

    Beginning September 21, students will be able to access a wealth of academic facilities across campus, including labs, studios, equipment cages, maker spaces, and additional individual study spaces. In most cases, these facilities have implemented some new protocols in order to limit in-person traffic or better plan for social distancing and overall capacity limitations.

    You can find a list of specialized facility hours and protocols here. The links on this site provide more detailed information about the services available at each location.

  • 5 Questions for the Infection Control Experts from Rush University Medical Center
    September 11, 2020

    A team of epidemiology experts from Rush University Medical Center has been consulting with Columbia College Chicago on COVID-19 precautions as the college finalizes preparations for the reopening of campus and the resumption of in-person instruction on September 21.
     
    The Rush team is led by Dr. John Segreti, M.D., Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention. He is joined by Tiffany Wiksten, a Master of Nursing Practice, certified in Infection Control and Epidemiology and Manager of Infection Control and Prevention, and Alexandra Seguin, nurse epidemiologist.
     
    You have been briefed on Columbia’s COVID-19 plans and have walked much of the campus to see what’s planned in classrooms and offices. What are your impressions?
     
    Dr. Segreti: We were impressed with the college’s plans, which are very much in line with the guidance provided by local health officials as well as what we have found to be effective at Rush in controlling spread of the virus. We have also been impressed with how well the campus, and especially the classroom spaces, have been clearly marked to promote social distancing, mask wearing, and hand hygiene. The college has varied facilities, and the low planned occupancies will serve the community well. We did find instances in which departments were planning some activities in courses that we thought might be a cause for concern. Columbia responded by eliminating those activities and/or revising those plans to afford greater protection. While no one can fully eliminate the risk of COVID-19, we think Columbia has done a very good job positioning itself for the fall semester by emphasizing and requiring the most effective methods of control: mask wearing, physical distancing and reduced density, and proper hygiene.
     
    There is a lot of information available about the science of preventing the spread of COVID-19, and sometimes we are presented with varying or even opposing scientific viewpoints. What for you rises to the top?
     
    Dr. Segreti: We all have a lot to learn still about COVID-19, but there is no question about what’s been proven to work to stem the spread: frequent hand sanitizing or hand washing, keeping six feet part as much as possible, and wearing masks, which we now know protects both the wearer and those around them. We call these precautions “source control” and they are far and away the most effective measures to keep people from getting and transmitting COVID.
     
    You have managed through COVID-19 at both your hospital and university and have consulted with a variety of organizations. From your perspective, what is the biggest risk to “reopening”?
     
    Ms. Wiksten: We all need to adhere to the guidance from health officials, and we have found that sound implementation of the source control measures such as masking and social distancing noted above is critical. The biggest challenge is people getting too relaxed away from work or in less formal settings with people they think are “safe” (like lunch breaks, break rooms, etc.). Continuous communication is important so that members of the community do not let their guard down on campus and off.
     
    What about air quality and ventilation?
     
    Dr. Segreti: Air quality is important but the best way to control against spread is for people to wear masks, keep room occupancies low and maintain adequate distancing. Any organization needs to make sure its HVAC systems are functioning as designed. It’s well documented that some small aerosolized COVID-19 particles are generated by human activities and can linger in the air (as opposed to the heavier droplets that quickly fall down). The best preventive measures are still masks and distancing. It’s also important to note that most activities (like talking) generate very low amounts of aerosols. Some activities can generate higher amounts of aerosols, such as some of Columbia’s specialties: singing, playing certain instruments, and, to a lesser extent, dance and some aspects of theater and film production. Columbia opted to install supplemental ultraviolet air filtration systems as an added precaution, which is commendable. But it’s just that: an added precaution. The best weapon against both droplets and aerosols remains mask-wearing, social distancing, and proper hand hygiene.
     
    On the topic of hand hygiene, what is best: hand-washing or using hand sanitizer?
     
    Ms. Wiksten: Both are effective, and should be performed as often as possible, but for different reasons. Hand sanitizer doesn’t remove soil or debris but will kill any virus that is on the hands. Handwashing, on the other hand, removes organisms such as bacteria and viruses as well as dirt. That is why handwashing has to be long, at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer can be less effective if hands are dirty or grimy, so both methods are important.
  • Welcome to the Start of the Fall Semester

    September 8, 2020

    To the Columbia College Chicago community:

    The beginning of a new academic year is an occasion for celebration as our incoming students begin their academic and creative journeys and as we embark together on another year of discovery. This year is no exception, and I hope that you share my sense of excitement about the possibilities of what lies ahead.

    That said, we are starting this particular semester in a climate of uncertainty that would have been unimaginable just one year ago.

    We are experiencing a global pandemic -- the greatest public health challenge any of us have faced in our time. To be responsible in the face of our new COVID-19 realities, we have had to rethink the ways in which we interact, work, and celebrate with one another. For now, spontaneous, casual interaction has been replaced by carefully planned, choreographed encounters, a test of our patience and our adaptability.

    Following George Floyd’s brutal killing in May, we have experienced a summer of turmoil; across the country and indeed the world, protesters continue to demand social and racial justice, a reckoning with the history of police brutality against Black people and communities of color, and an undoing of the crushing legacy of structural racism that lies at the heart of our country’s history.

    In the lead-up to this year’s national elections, we continue to witness the extreme polarization and division that has become our political reality, accompanied by an ugly rhetoric of hate and fear and even sporadic episodes of violent confrontation, as individuals become more deeply entrenched in their political allegiances.

    At such a time, I believe we must look to our commonly held values for guidance, clarity, and strength.

    As a college for creatives, Columbia College Chicago understands that a vibrant educational community requires a multiplicity of creative practices and voices. Such diversity is antithetical to any hierarchical privileging of experiences, perspectives, value systems, narratives, or histories based on false assumptions of cultural or racial superiority. While we may witness and experience hatred of the Other in the world around us, our collective and individual response must continue to be, “Not at Columbia.”

    We also know that in order to achieve their full potential, our students must develop an authentic awareness of who they are and how they define themselves in relation to the world. As I have said on many occasions, this is difficult work: it requires them to constantly challenge and question their assumptions and to engage deeply with other individual and communal identities and expressions of self with which they may be unfamiliar. Only then, however, will they be truly able to realize the promise of a creative education that is intended to prepare them, in the words of our mission statement, to “author the culture of their times.”

    In 2014, we placed our commitment to valuing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the core of our strategic plan. Since then, we have made significant progress in advancing this commitment. Seventy percent of our faculty and staff have attended Undoing Racism workshops led by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond as a basis for a college-wide discussion of racism. We have put DEI at the center of revised faculty recruiting and hiring practices, successfully recruited more students of color, allocated more resources to students in need, expanded the Columbia Core curriculum to highlight DEI issues, and built a staff and committee infrastructure to support this work. Still, there is still much to be done and many have asked: What’s next and how can I be a part of it?

    Today, I am pleased to announce two new initiatives which I believe will advance our college’s purpose at this critical moment in our history.

    1. Over the summer, twenty-four faculty, staff, and administrators, led by Rocky Monroe and Folayemi Wilson, co-directors of academic diversity, equity, and inclusion, worked with staff from Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training (CROAR) to develop a plan for moving the college towards our goal of becoming an anti-racist institution. I have formally approved the plan and Rocky, Folayemi, and members of the planning group will announce it shortly, providing further context for what we mean by anti-racist and how we define the work necessary for the college to become an anti-racist institution.
    2. To convene the college around our collective efforts to connect creative practice to a commitment to social justice, I have asked Provost Marcella David to design and implement a college-wide initiative that will allow students, faculty, and staff to actively explore social justice issues. While she will also be making an announcement soon, I know that she has been envisioning curriculum, special events and exhibitions, student and faculty work, guest speakers, and symposia as possible vehicles for this initiative. I have also asked her to work with Sharon Wilson-Taylor, Vice President for Student Affairs, to assess where the college needs to invest new resources to support the success of students who begin their college experience at heightened risk of not persisting to graduation.

      At Columbia, we affirm that Black Lives Matter. As a community, we denounce all systems of oppression and inequity. Now is the time for our college to publicly declare its values and to join those voices calling for a more just, equitable future. This social justice initiative will seek to provide our college community with this much-needed opportunity.

    Facing a challenging year together, let us remember that embracing uncertainty and ambiguity is who we are and what we do as creatives. If there were ever a time to be bold, surely it is now. When are we likely to have a better opportunity to test ourselves as creatives and to truly participate in shaping what’s next?

    Let us also take heart that we are members of a caring, supportive community. I ask that we each fully accept the challenge of taking responsibility, not just for ourselves but for each other. That is how we will guarantee our success.

    Welcome to the first day of the fall semester. Here’s to a great year!

    Sincerely,

    Kwang-Wu Kim
    President and CEO

  • Campus Access and Student Support

    September 7, 2020

    Dear students, faculty, and staff,

    We are excited to welcome you back to campus for the fall semester and the 2020-2021 Academic Year!

    As you know, classes will begin as scheduled on Tuesday, September 8, but with online instruction only for the first two weeks of the semester. In-person instruction will begin on September 21. The purpose of this message is to share the campus access policies in place until September 20.

    Faculty and Staff may access all campus buildings (in compliance with our safety protocols). Since we are using our campus differently, you might find it helpful to check with your department or EMS about new usage patterns or different room assignments.

    Faculty and Staff may find it helpful for their planning to note the information for students below.

    Students are invited to campus to use the Student Center (including the Fitness Center), Columbia Library, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Digital Print Center, Shop Columbia and Bookstore. Please note that the operating hours and policies for these buildings have changed due to the pandemic; there may be new occupancy limits, services may have changed, or an appointment may be required. You should visit the websites listed below for information. Additionally, please make sure you have completed the mandatory training and quiz, and Daily Pre-check before coming to campus.

    Any student needing access to a computer in order to participate in an online course meeting can use the 1st and 2nd floor computers at the Columbia College Chicago Library at 624 S. Michigan Ave. Additional workstations are available by reservation. Keyboards and mice can be checked out at the first floor Service Desk. For information about hours, access, and reservations, visit library.colum.edu.

    Students are invited to campus to receive student services, including academic advising, health, counseling and other services. In many instances an appointment is necessary. Please see the list below for information about services, hours, and appointments.

    There will be no equipment or material pickup, nor student access to labs or maker spaces until on-campus instruction resumes on September 21. We will share a message outlining the hours and access policies for all equipment cages, labs, studios, maker spaces and other specialized facilities next week. Students currently in possession of equipment should contact the responsible department to arrange for equipment return.

    We hope you are prepared and excited to learn, create, and engage safely with our college community. We want you to know that the college remains committed to helping you stay connected and supported to meet your personal, academic, and career goals.

    Campus Resources

    Student Center – 754 S. Wabash Ave. 
    The Student Center has temporary fall hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. (closed weekends), and the Fitness Center is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Please visit studentcenter.colum.edu for more information or email studentcenter@colum.edu with any questions. 

    Columbia Library (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
    The Columbia Library offers many virtual services and resources for students to address any research needs, and assist students needing access to a computer in order to participate in an online course meeting. Assistance is available via chat on this website or by email at library@colum.edu. The library can provide access to many e-books, streaming media, research guides, as well as College Archives and Special Collections. Visit the website and schedule an online chat to learn more.
     
    Museum of Contemporary Photography - 600 S. Michigan Ave.
    Prior to visiting, you must reserve a ticket. Please visit mocp.org for more information on hours and ticket reservations.
     
    Digital Print Center – 623 S. Wabash Ave.
    To submit orders online or make an appointment, visit the DPC website.
     
    ShopColumbia - 619 S. Wabash Ave.
    Visit shop.colum.edu for opening hours.
     
    Barnes and Noble Campus Bookstore – 624 S. Michigan Ave.
    Visit the Campus Bookstore website for opening hours.

    Student Services
    We are here to answer your questions or provide support as you navigate these unprecedented times. Please refer to the following list of campus resources and support services. Some of these services will be offered in-person and others will be online or remote. These resources are always just an email or phone call away. We are here to help.

    Technology Support for Remote Learning (Monday-Friday, 8am–6pm)
    If you need technology support, visit this website for a list resources and to assist with accessing Office 365, finding your classes on Canvas, requesting technical support, and many other technology-based questions. In addition to this website, you can also email clientservices@colum.edu, call 312-369-7001, or submit a ticket on Team Dynamix for tech-support.
     
    Columbia Central (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
    If you have questions or need support with financial or enrollment services, visit this website for more information. Most Columbia Central services will be offered remotely, however, students can make an appointment for in-person support. Check the website for more information.
     
    Academic Services and Advising (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
    If you need support with the registration process, declaring your major, or understanding your graduation requirements, make sure you are in regular contact with your assigned academic advisor. View this website to learn more about Academic Advising, Student Persistence, TRIO, and Academic Coaching. During the fall semester, advising appointments will primarily be remote, but there will be some in-person support as well. Check the website for details, email collegeadvising@colum.edu, or call 312-369-7645 for more information.
     
    Services for Students with Disabilities (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
    The Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office coordinates support services for students with temporary or permanent disabilities. Staff members also assist in providing equal access to successful educational experiences at Columbia College Chicago. To contact the SSD staff, send an email to ssd@colum.edu or call 312-369-8296, or visit this website for more information.
     
    Counseling Services (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
    Counseling Services continues to support students remotely. Students can make appointments and talk to therapists via email, phone, and now a secure telehealth platform. On-call therapists are available during regular business hours, and Counseling Services continues to update this website with resources and tips for coping. To contact Counseling Services, email counselingservices@colum.edu or call 312-369-8700 for support.
     
    Student Relations (Monday-Thursday, 9am-6pm, Friday 9am-5pm)
    In collaboration with Counseling Services and Academic Affairs, Student Relations is available to provide therapeutic support as well as address a variety of challenges which can impact student success. Student Relations can help students make connections with support services, and many staff and faculty will refer students to Student Relations for assistance. To contact Student Relations directly, call 312-369-8595, and if necessary, leave a voicemail with your contact information and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
     
    Student Health Center (Monday-Friday, 9am-5:30pm / closed from 1:00-1:40pm)
    During the fall semester, the Student Health Center will remain open by appointment at 916 S. Wabash. Unfortunately, walk-in visits are not an option at this time, but telemedicine is available by phone. To make an appointment, please call 312-369-6830. The receptionist will answer or return calls promptly, and please be prepared to answer several questions before an office visit is scheduled.

    The Career Center (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
    If you need career advising, internship support, student employment, or general career guidance, you should work directly with the professionals in our Career Center. Please use this website to learn more about all our career services. You should also check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @ColumCareer for updates, ideas, and virtual events. Students are encouraged to contact the Career Center directly by email at careercenter@colum.edu.
     
    Columbia Library (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
    The Columbia Library offers many virtual services and resources for students to address any research or access needs. Assistance is available via chat on this website or by email at library@colum.edu. The library can provide access to many e-books, streaming media, research guides, as well as College Archives and Special Collections. Visit the website and schedule an online chat to learn more.
     
    Academic Center for Tutoring (ACT)
    During the fall semester, the ACT will be offering tutoring options both in-person and remotely. Limited online appointments will be offered Monday-Thursday from 10am-7pm and on Friday from 10am-4pm. On-campus tutoring appointments will begin on September 21st, on the 5th floor of 33 E. Ida B. Wells Drive and they will be available between 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday. To make an appointment for tutoring, email tutoring@colum.edu or visit this website for more details and information.
     
    If you have questions about any of these services, or other campus resources not listed in this email, do not hesitate to email studentpersistence@colum.edu and they will be happy to support you and make a campus connection.
     
    Have a great fall semester!

  • Welcome to the 2020-21 Academic Year

     

    September 3, 2020

    As we begin a new semester and return to in-person and remote instruction, President Kim speaks to the campus community in this welcome video about what you need to do before you come back and the measures the college has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Campus Notification Process for Positive COVID-19 Cases
  • Neck Gaiters, Bandanas, Knitted Masks, and Masks with Exhalation Vents Are Not Permitted as Face Coverings on Columbia’s Campus
  • Starting the fall semester, and navigating our financial challenges

    August 14, 2020

    To the faculty and staff of Columbia College Chicago:

    As the new academic and fiscal year approaches, we continue to navigate the highly fluid landscape created by the COVID-19 pandemic. On the positive side, the partial campus re-opening that began on June 26, including the delivery of several summer session courses with some in-person instruction, has gone well, and student recruitment and registration numbers for the fall are encouraging. On the other hand, external circumstances have introduced added complexity and costs to our preparations for the more extensive resumption of instruction and re-opening of campus at the end of August. I would like to review the latest modifications to the start of the fall semester and to announce steps that we are taking to stabilize the college’s financial situation going forward.

    Starting the fall semester
    The city of Chicago’s recent Emergency Travel Order, which among other things directs people traveling to Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for fourteen days, has necessitated a modification of the logistics and schedule for students’ moves into college residence halls and the start of fall semester instruction. The new measures will also give us more time to assess the initial campus re-opening and to modify policies and protocols as needed prior to beginning in-person instruction:

    We are also introducing additional measures to help protect the health and safety of the college community this upcoming semester. You may have already seen the announcement that we are updating portions of the HVAC systems in nine campus buildings with Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation technology to complement other measures in specialized spaces that are home to high-exertion, high-projection activities that can generate aerosolized COVID particles that UV light addresses. The technology will be contained inside elements of the HVAC system and thus will not bring with it some of the health concerns that direct exposure to UV light can cause.

    We are developing plans to make COVID-19 testing available to students in the residence halls shortly after their arrival, and to other students and employees who are on campus in person. We also are studying the possibility of instituting temperature checks pending the outcome of a pilot program using new temperature-check equipment. All of these are supplementary to the foundational behaviors (based on health authorities’ guidance) that all members of the Columbia community are required to follow to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on campus:
    Navigating our financial challenges
    We are moving ahead with the preparation of a fiscal year 2020-21 operating budget for review and approval by the Board of Trustees. This work is occurring against a backdrop of extraordinary financial pressures brought about by necessary but costly decisions to address the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19.

    To be clear: We face a severe financial shortfall in 2020-21, but that shortfall does not threaten the existence of our institution in the near term. If we do not take precautionary steps to cut expenses now, however, we could face existential threats over the medium term, especially if COVID-19 persists. The silver lining is that, because of rising enrollment at Columbia, we head into a challenging year from a stronger position than was true in the past.
    To protect the financial health of the college today, we find ourselves having to divert resources that would otherwise have gone to future programmatic and operational support. I accept this tradeoff because of the unprecedented moment in which we find ourselves. But we must be clear-eyed about the fact that the college will have some difficult institutional rebuilding to do once the pandemic is behind us.

    Making our way forward
    For all the uncertainty that we face, I remain confident that we have the capacity as an institution to weather the immediate and longer-term challenges posed by COVID-19 and the economic downturn it has engendered. Individuals from offices across the college have put in remarkable efforts over the past few months to ensure that we can re-open safely and deliver a high-quality academic experience for our students. We have the summer session to draw on as a guide to what the fall might look like, and we will continue to review and refine our plans in response to our internal observations and changes in the external environment.

    As we have learned from the experience of the country at large, however, the success of our re-opening will also depend on our willingness as individuals to embrace behaviors that shield us and others from risk. You should therefore familiarize yourself with the expectations that will govern our interactions in a campus setting for the foreseeable future by reviewing the campus re-opening plan. If you have not yet done so, remember to complete the COVID-19 training and accompanying quiz that is required before you access the campus for the first time. Remember too that in order to enter college buildings, you will have to complete the daily pre-check on days when you travel to Columbia. Above all, if you feel unwell or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, do not “tough it out” and go to class or the office; stay in your residence, seek medical help, and notify the appropriate campus entity. Preventing any COVID-19 cases on campus may not be possible; containing their spread is an achievable objective if we all do our part and support each other’s well-being.

    Like all other institutions of higher education, we are facing previously unimaginable existential challenges. But I believe if we stand together as a community and hold firm to our values and our mission, we will get through this and emerge stronger and better-positioned for that brighter future towards which we aspire.

    Thank you as always for all that you continue to do for the college. Here’s to the beginning of the fall semester.

  • Message to Faculty and Staff

    August 10, 2020

    Friends, we are a week away from the All Campus Meeting, the official kickoff to the fall semester. I write today to share important updates to the schedule and the beginning of the fall semester.

    The Fall Schedule: Last week I provided the opportunity for chairs to update the fall schedule to make changes in light of current conditions, best pedagogical practices, our commitment to re-opening our campus for creative practice, the need to provide balanced options for our students, and faculty teaching requests.

    Those schedule changes are now being input, and we are inviting our students to review their schedules and make adjustments. The additional schedule changes mean that we will continue to be able to offer a programming mix for our students, combining WEB, hybrid, and face-to-face learning opportunities. We will continue to offer a significant number of classes with on-campus components. Importantly, we are confident that the expected attendance in our on-campus classes will allow us to operate safely, and provide rich access to creative spaces, study and workstations, and our library resources.

    Students will understandably appreciate more details about what to expect this fall. At this moment, I encourage faculty to reach out to students, to share with them specific details about how your course will operate whether the format is WEB, hybrid or fully face-to-face. Please connect with your chairs about suggested content or connect with Academic Technology if you need any assistance.

    Shift in Timing: Our dedicated Residence Life staff have been working tirelessly to plan to safely welcome students to our residence halls this fall. We have reduced the occupancy of our suites so that every student will have a private bedroom and extended and streamlined move-in to reduce contact. Guest access will be limited, and students will be expected to maintain social distancing protocols when in public spaces of the residence halls. 

    The City of Chicago has established a quarantine protocol for those traveling to Chicago from identified states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections. Under that protocol, students from affected states are able to isolate at home before coming to Chicago; in addition, we are inviting them to sign up for move-in slots beginning a week earlier than typical, to facilitate their transition.

    In order to allow all our students, whether living in off-campus housing or in our residence halls, the time to comply with the City quarantine protocol, all classes will be taught online only for the first two weeks of the semester, with hybrid and face-to-face classes starting on-campus components beginning September 21. Student access to campus will be limited until September 21.

    I believe this phased start will enable us all to settle in, create new rhythms and patterns, and get our semester off to a successful start. 

    Thank you all for your continued nimbility – ability to be nimble – as we safely navigate the next steps together.
     

    Sincerely,

    Marcella David
    Senior Vice President and Provost

  • Important Information for International Students

    July 9, 2020

    Earlier this week the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that international students will not be allowed to be or stay in the country if they are solely taking courses online this fall. International students must take a mix of face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses to comply with the new regulation; those students who fail to comply with this guidance may face deportation. We are currently assessing how this new regulation impacts our international students, and contacting students to confirm their schedules, update their schedules as necessary, and update their immigration documentation. If you are an international student and have immediate questions, please reach out to our International Student and Scholar Services.

    Columbia values our international students and we are committed to supporting them wherever they are. We have online options for students who are unable to get to Chicago, and we will offer face-to-face courses for as long as it is allowed by the city and the state.

    Importantly, we support ongoing efforts to reverse the new regulations and restore the full range of options allowing international students visiting this country to chart the current educational environment on their own terms, according to their individual health concerns and scholarly interests. Their planning should not depend upon circumstances beyond their control: the varying programmatic choices made by educational institutions to respond to the evolving pandemic.

    Columbia College is coordinating with our state and national educational associations advocating for reversal of this rule. We are closely monitoring legal actions being pursued to stop the implementation of the new rule. We encourage community members to also consider contacting their Congressional representatives to urge them to act.

    In the meantime, we will meet this new challenge as we always do: with creative solutions that reflect our compassion for our students and dedication to our mission.

    Sincerely,

    Marcella David
    Senior Vice President and Provost

  • 2020-21 Academic Year Tuition Update

    July 2, 2020

    To Columbia College Chicago students and their families:

    I am pleased to announce that the Columbia College Chicago Board of Trustees has approved lowering tuition for the 2020-21 academic year back to its 2019-20 level. The trustees took this action in recognition of the fact that students and their families are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying economic downturn. Your financial aid package for 2020-21 will be unaffected by this change, which applies to undergraduate and graduate tuition.

    Please note that it may take a couple of weeks to adjust student accounts and update the information that is published on the MyColumbia portal. Your next e-bill will reflect the new 2020-21 tuition rate.

    In a related matter, the Chicago Transit Authority has made participation in the Ventra U-Pass program optional for the fall 2020 semester. Columbia Central will remove the automatic $153 U-Pass charge for fall 2020 from eligible full-time students’ accounts and will issue instructions to those students about how to enroll in the program if they wish.

    Columbia’s buildings have re-opened on a limited basis, the first step in a phased process that will culminate when you are welcomed on campus in the fall - with everyone wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing, of course. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to review and become familiar with the college’s re-opening plans and to complete the Together, Columbia campus re-opening training that is now required of all members of the Columbia community before they enter the campus for the first time. (You should have received a link to the training module via your Columbia email account.)

    I wish you a safe and healthy summer and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.

    Sincerely,

    Kwang-Wu Kim
    President and CEO

  • Get Ready: Summer Classes Begin July 6

    July 2, 2020

    Dear Columbia College Chicago community, 

    We’re excited to welcome the college community back to campus. We’ve compiled a list of things you must do and be aware of before entering campus buildings for the summer semester, on July 6.

    Things You Must Do Before Returning to Campus

    • Training and Quiz– All employees and students are required to take the mandatory training, attestation, and quiz before entering campus. Please check your email for the Together, Columbia training and your unique quiz link.

    Should you experience any difficulty completing your training, please contact Technology Services at ts@colum.edu.

    • Required Daily Pre-Checks–In addition to the Together, Columbia training, everyone will be asked to perform a daily pre-check on their mobile device and show it to security. The daily pre-checks are a simple acknowledgement that you do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

    While on Campus

    • Face Covering Distribution and Pickup
      • On your first day back on campus, you can pick up your face coverings at the entrance of 916 S. Wabash (South Door) or 1104 S. Wabash (North Door). You must scan your Campus ID to receive your two face coverings.
      • Should you forget your Columbia or personal face covering throughout the semester, you can purchase one at the campus bookstore (624 S. Michigan).
      • Faculty and staff returning for the summer were mailed a face mask and a second one will arrive to you through campus mail.
    • Face Covering Etiquette on Campus
      • Wear your cloth face covering at all times while on campus.
      • Make sure your face covering fits securely over your mouth and nose.
      • Face coverings with exhalation vents or valves will not be permitted on campus property.

    Individuals who are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition should contact Human Resources (for employees) at humanresources@colum.edu or Services for Students with Disabilities (for students) at SSD@colum.edu.

    Additional Information

    • A Campus ID is required to Get into All Buildings– If you need a new Campus ID, please visit Columbia Central (600 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 303) between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • COVID-19 Classroom Resources and Policies– Important information about classroom policies and expectations for students from the reopening campus plan.



    
Welcome back! We look forward to seeing you soon.

  • Campus COVID-19 Response Protocol Policy

    June 26, 2020

    To Columbia College Chicago faculty, staff, and students:

    The college is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for its students, faculty and staff. As such, the college has established a Campus COVID-19 Response Protocol Policy. This policy outlines guidelines that have been adopted in the Campus Reopening Plan and are included in the mandatory, Together, Columbia training.

    These new guidelines include but are not limited to: face coverings, disinfection and cleaning, elevator capacity, classroom and meeting room capacity, social distancing, foot traffic flows, and health screenings.

    The guidelines incorporate input from local and national health authorities, including the Chicago and Illinois departments of public health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and best practices from various resources.

    The college has also formalized an International and Domestic Travel Policy.

    A few items to note within this policy:

    • The definitions of college related travel for students, faculty and staff
    • Approval requirements for international travel
    • Requirement to register all college related travel through World Aware
    • Travel restrictions

    Please note that the college is currently restricting all college related travel. Exceptions may be made for travel related to key academic programs and partnerships, essential recruitment activities, and other mission-specific travel. Exceptions must be approved by the traveler's functional Vice President.

    Please login to the college’s policy site to review these policies in their entirety. Please reach out to Kristi Perito with any questions.

  • Important Things to Do Before Returning to Campus

    June 25, 2020

    Dear Columbia College Chicago community,

    We are excited to be reopening campus June 26 to designated employees, on a full-time or part-time basis, in anticipation of welcoming back students for in-person instruction on Monday, July 6, for the summer session.

    Please watch a short video welcome message from President Kwang-Wu Kim. A Campus Reopening website has been created and includes everything you will need to know about our campus reopening plans, new procedures, policies, helpful links, and more.

    As a reminder, here are a few things you will need to know as you return to campus:

    • Training and Quiz – All employees are required to take the mandatory training, attestation, and quiz before entering campus. Please check your email for the Together, Columbia training and your unique quiz link.
    • Required Daily Pre-Checks – Before entering campus, you must certify daily that you are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. You can complete the Building Access Pre-Check questionnaire via the College’s website, mobile app, or QR code. Here are additional instructions.
    • A Campus ID is required to Get into All Buildings – If you need a new Campus ID, please visit Columbia Central (600 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 303) between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • New Summer Building Hours

    Additional Information:

    Facilities
    Facilities has provided each department a kit with cleaning supplies to supplement the daily cleanings that will be performed by staff. This kit includes hand sanitizers for individual staff working this summer. To replenish supplies, please submit a 360 request selecting type: COVID Supplies & Services. Read more details here.

    Facilities has applied social distancing models to determine room capacities and made adjustments in the space management system. When you go to reserve a room using the EMS system, the new space capacity will be visible on the request page, beginning next week.

    Student Health Center Hours
    Location: 916 S. Wabash, 5th floor
    312-369-6830

    Due to the current pandemic situation, hours are now 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will be no “Walk-In” hours until further notice. Students must call and answer several questions before visiting the office. Telehealth service is available.

    Digital Print Center
    The Digital Print Center will be available for online ordering. While the building will not be open, the DPC will be fulfilling orders. Please use this SharePoint link to place your print orders. The DPC will be open beginning July 6 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

    Any faculty, staff, and students not scheduled to be on campus this summer, please continue to communicate with your department head and campus security regarding your specific access needs. Remember, you must have completed the Together, Columbia training, attestation, and quiz, submitted the daily pre-check, and you must wear a face covering at all times.

    Welcome Back!

  • Required Daily Pre-Check Before Entering Campus

    June 25, 2020

    Dear Campus Community,

    Before entering campus, you must certify daily that you are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. For reference, here's the flyer you will see on campus with instructions, and for convenience, instructions are provided below.

    You can complete the Building Access Pre-Check questionnaire via the College’s website, mobile app, or QR code.

    You can also stand in line to complete the questionnaire upon arrival, but we strongly encourage you to Pre-Check. This will help to eliminate long waits in lines.

    Pre-Check Made Easy

    • From your home computer: Simply complete the Building Access Pre-Check on your home computer, print a copy of the page indicating you are cleared to enter campus buildings and bring it with you to show to Campus Security.
    • Using a mobile device: After completing the pre-check, take a screen shot of the page indicating you are cleared to enter campus buildings and show it to Campus Security.
    As a reminder, if you have any COVID-19 related symptoms:
    • Do not come to campus.
    • If you are a student, call the Student Health Center or your personal health care provider and notify Campus Security and Student Relations.
    • If you are an employee, call CareATC or your personal health care provider.
    Thank you,
    Columbia College Chicago