FAQ

Health/Safety
  • What is Columbia doing to protect its community from the coronavirus and the flu?
    This fall, the college will be taking a number of precautions to reopen the campus and protect the community:
    • Six-foot distancing whenever possible in classrooms, employee workspaces, lobbies and other common areas.
    • In preparation for re-opening, the entire campus has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and stepped-up disinfection and cleaning of our facilities will be an ongoing feature of our facilities maintenance program going forward.
    • There will be new foot traffic flows in lobbies, stairways, high traffic areas, and residence halls.
    • In the residence halls, we will promote social distancing by assigning students one to a bedroom, modifying or eliminating some common areas, modifying laundry-room processes so six-foot distancing is in effect, and restricting guest access.
    • We will institute and post revised occupancy limits for buildings, meeting rooms, and other communal spaces.
    • Columbia will require everyone on college property to wear a face covering, except in a classroom, workspace, dorm room or common area where six-foot distancing is in effect.
    • We will support public health authorities and provide appropriate assistance with contact tracing.
    • To ensure that all members of the campus community possess a good working knowledge of COVID-19, associated precautions against infection, and campus policies and procedures concerning the pandemic, Columbia developed an online training that all employees and students will be required to take before entering the campus for the first time following its re-opening.
  • What should I do if I feel sick for any reason?

    If you have had any COVID-19 related symptoms before you intend to come on campus:

    • Do not come to campus.
    • Students should call the Student Health Center or your personal health care provider.
    • Employees should call CareATC or your personal health care provider.
    • Notify your supervisor and/or professor of your absence.
    • If you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 in the past 10 days, even if you or the individual wore a face covering:
    • Self-isolate for 10 days.
    • Monitor your symptoms.
    • Employees and students must report illness to Campus Security at securitycommand@colum.edu.
    • Students also should notify Student Relations at studentrelations@colum.edu.

    If you become sick with COVID-19, seek medical help and notify Campus Security at securitycommand@colum.edu. Students should also notify Student Relations at studentrelations@colum.edu.

    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.

    You are required to notify Campus Security if you are a campus community member who:

    • Has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Is waiting for test results because you are experiencing symptoms and currently
      self-isolating.
    • Recently had close contact with a diagnosed case of COVID-19.

    Additional Notification

    • Students: Contact your campus supervisor if you work on campus.
    • Employees: Contact Human Resources at humanresources@colum.edu and notify your supervisor of your absence.

    Student Guidance

    Columbia faculty are committed to working with students who become sick with COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and needs to self-isolate. If you are sick and/or need to self-isolate it is essential that you communicate with your instructors so that they can proactively work to support you.

    What you should do:

    • Take the time needed to heal and recover.
    • Contact your professors as soon as you are able to make a plan for completing your course work.
    • Complete your work in the timeframe agreed upon between you and your professor.
    • Before you return, provide an attestation to Student Relations that you have been symptom-free for at least 3 days and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

     

    What you should know:

    • Your COVID-19 related absences will be excused.
    • You will be allowed to make-up course work, however, accommodations may vary depending on the specific course.
    • Remote option for class participation may be available depending on the course.

    If a Student Becomes Sick in the Residence Halls

    In the event a student in the residence halls contracts COVID-19 and does not require being in the hospital, we will house them in a special room. We will also reserve rooms for residence hall students who, per CDC guidelines, should self-isolate because they have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19. These individuals will be provided with:

    • Some medical supplies.
    • Food delivery.
    • Wellness checks only for residential students.
    • Student Health Services and Residence Life staff will remain in close communication with these students, whose health and well-being will be our top priority.
  • What is one of the best things I can do to help the campus community throughout the pandemic?
    In addition to frequent hand washing, social distancing and wearing a face covering—which are the best defenses against the spread of COVID-19—one of the best things you can do to help keep our community safe is to get a flu shot.

    The flu and COVID-19 present with similar symptoms. With a flu shot, you can reduce your chances of getting the flu and possibly lessen some of the confusion that may occur if you become ill. 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone above the age of six months should get the flu vaccine, including people who are older than 65, are pregnant or have underlying illnesses.
  • What if someone doesn’t want to wear their mask while they are on campus?

    If you notice someone is not observing the College's policies, we recommend the following:

    • Assume they are unaware of the non-compliance (lack of face covering or distancing may be inadvertent), and If you are comfortable doing so, bring it to their attention.
    • Remind the person of the requirements of the policy, emphasizing our mutual responsibility for protecting the health of all persons on campus.
    • If the individual refuses to comply, ask that they leave the area or notify Campus Security.
  • What is a “close contact” when it comes to COVID-19?
    The college draws on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and considers “close contact” to mean contact at a distance within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Such close contacts are mitigated if the sick or symptomatic individual was wearing a face covering but should still be reported.
        
    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. If you were in contact with an individual prior to the noted 2-day window, you are not considered a close contact.


    How do I get identified as a close contact?

    If an individual reports to the College they have tested positive for COVID-19, contact tracers will work with the positive individual to identify their potential close contacts and those individuals will be contacted for notification and guidance.

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

    What can I expect next if I get contacted by a Columbia contact tracer? 
    ​If you are an identified case, a contact tracer will interview you to determine the period in which you may have been infectious. 

    You will be asked to identify people who were in physical close contact with you, within six feet for a period of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, during the time you were potentially infectious.
     
    Close contacts will be asked to self-quarantine for 10 days after their last known exposure and to monitor for any new symptoms. 

    What can I expect if I get contacted by a Columbia College Chicago contact tracer?  

    If you have tested positive for COVID-19, a contact tracer will interview you to determine the period in which you may have been infectious. You will be asked to identify people who were in physical close contact with you, within six feet for a period of 15 minutes or more over a period of 24-hours, during the time you were potentially infectious.   

    You will also be required to isolate for at least 10 days and monitor your symptoms according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chicago Department of Public Health guidance for COVID-19.  During this time, you will not be allowed on campus and your campus identification card will be deactivated. 
     
    If you have been identified as a close contact, a contact tracer will let you know that you may have been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19. The contact tracer will interview you to assess your risk of getting sick. You will be required to quarantine for 10 days and monitor your symptoms according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chicago Department of Public Health guidance for COVID-19. During this time, you will not be allowed on campus and your identification card will be deactivated. 
     
    If you received an email notification stating that “you were in the same space with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19,” it was determined through the contact tracing process that you were not a close contact and you should simply monitor yourself for symptoms of the virus.  
     
    How long does isolation last? 
    ​If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have symptoms, you can end isolation when the following three conditions are met: 
    • It has been at least 24 hours with no fever without using fever-reducing medication. 
    • Your symptoms improved. 
    • It has been at least 10 days since the symptoms first appeared. 
    If you test positive for COVID-19 but do not have any symptoms, you can end home isolation when the following two conditions are met​: 
    • ​At least 10 days have passed since the date of your first positive COVID-19 test. 
    • You have had no subsequent illness. 
    How long does quarantine last? 
    Quarantine can be discontinued after 10 days (from last close contact) if an individual remains asymptomatic without a negative viral test.
  • If I have tested positive for COVID-19 or come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, how do I report it to the campus?

    If you become sick with COVID-19, seek medical help and notify Campus Security at securitycommand@colum.edu. Students should also notify Student Relations at studentrelations@colum.edu.

    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.

    You are required to notify Campus Security if you are a campus community member who:

    • Has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Is waiting for test results because you are experiencing symptoms and currently self-isolating.
    • Recently had close contact with a diagnosed case of COVID-19.
  • What should I do if I've had contact with someone who is ill, or may be ill?

    Please refer to our page on Reporting a Case if you become diagnosed, develop symptoms, or have come into contact with someone who has the coronavirus (COVID-19).

    Employees or students who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor or, in the case of students, faculty members and/or the student health center. Affected individuals should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

  • If I am sick with COVID-19, when can I return to campus?

    Individuals who contract COVID-19 will have to stipulate that they have recovered before returning to campus. They can only return if they meet the following conditions and provide HR (for employees) and Student Relations (for students) with an attestation that: 

    • At least 1 day (24 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and, 
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

    Asymptomatic patients with a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 test can only return if they meet the following condition and provide HR with an attestation to that effect:

    • Ten days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, and they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.

    These requirements also apply to contractors and other visitors to campus, who should provide the attestation to the campus department overseeing their work.

  • Is COVID-19 testing available on campus?

    Yes, testing is available on campus for asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals by appointment only. Please visit the COVID-19 Case Updates and Testing page for more details and the most up-to-date information.

  • How can I make an appointment to get tested for COVID-19 on campus?

    Free testing is available on campus at 618 S Michigan Ave. Please call 844-766-3775 to schedule your test appointment. Walk-ins appointments are not available. You will receive the results within 30 minutes of taking the test. 

  • If I have reason to believe I have been exposed to COVID-19, when is the best time to get tested?

    If you know you were a close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) of someone who is sick with COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 10 days. This is a requirement of the Chicago Department of Public Health guidance, even if you are tested for COVID-19 and the results are negative.

    If you were in the same location as someone who later tested positive for the virus but not a close contact and you want to be tested, doing so immediately is not advisable. According to the CDPH, the best time to get tested is between 5 and 9 days after the time you think you may have been generally exposed.

    We invite everyone who simply wishes to rule out being positive but asymptomatic to make an appointment for a test at any time. Employees and students should call 844-766-3775 to make an appointment. Visit the COVID-19 testing page for more information. 

  • If I have had COVID-19 in the past 90 days, will I be required to test again?
    • A student or employee 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 retest or provide additional information to the College.
    • A 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 dispensation from the testing requirement. COVID-19 test results should be uploaded to MedProctor. Instructions to upload your document to MedProctor can be found here
    • An employee 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 dispensation from the testing requirement. COVID-19 test results should be submitted directly to Human Resources at humanresources@colum.edu

    Note: 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-19 by the College, they are not required to be tested for 90 days. 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. 

  • How will I be notified if there is a positive COVID-19 case on campus?
    In alignment with the Chicago Department of Public Health’s recently released guidelines for communicating positive COVID-19 cases within our campus community, Columbia College Chicago has created a COVID-19 reporting dashboard reflecting total number of positive tests and total number of active cases on campus, as well as a weekly positivity rate.

    Active Cases include students, employees, college contractors or visitors who tested positive for COVID-19 and were in a campus facility, including residence halls, during the time they were contagious, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    In addition to posting data daily, the College is sending emails directly to close contacts of COVID-19 positive individuals. The college draws on guidance from the CDC and the Mayo Clinic and considers “close contact” to mean contact at a distance within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
     
    Contact Tracing on Columbia’s Campus
    Since early March, Columbia has had a protocol for members of the campus community to inform Campus Safety and Security if they have tested positive for COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms, or have come in close contact with someone who is sick or is experiencing symptoms. Campus Safety and Security personnel has undergone the Johns Hopkins contact tracing training, and also relies on a protocol developed by the Chicago Department of Public Health to identify and inform members of the campus community who may have been exposed to individuals who meet the above criteria, and to determine if other members of the community need to be notified that they may need to take precautions as a result of a contact with a person who has COVID-19 symptoms, has been diagnosed or has tested positive.
     
    As noted in the college’s training, all positive cases are reported to Campus Security at securitycommand@colum.edu. Students should also notify Student Relations at studentrelations@colum.edu.
     
    The Contact Tracing Process
    Notification of a positive case to Campus Security triggers contact tracing. Through contact tracing, the college identifies and notifies the people who were in close contact with the infected individual. Please note that the identities of positive cases and the people who have been in close contact with an infected individual will never be shared publicly.

    What can I expect if I get contacted by a Columbia College Chicago contact tracer? 
    ​If you are an identified case, a contact tracer will interview you to determine the period in which you may have been infectious. 

    You will be asked to identify people who were in physical close contact with you, within six feet for a period of 15 minutes or more, during the time you were potentially infectious.
     
    Close contacts will be asked to self-quarantine for 10 days after their last known exposure and to monitor for any new symptoms. 

    For information regarding the College’s reopening plan, please frequent the website for the most updates, guidance and resources.

    Thank you for taking care of each other. We're all in this together.
  • I’ve heard about positive cases and/or close contacts in my department or program. Why have I not been notified?
    Due to privacy reasons, information regarding an individual's health status cannot be shared. You will only receive notification from the College regarding a COVID-19 case if you meet the following criteria:
    • You will receive follow-up communications from the College if you have reported to securitycommand@colum.edu that you have tested positive for COVID-19.
    • You have been identified through contact tracing as someone who has come in close contact (within six feet for a period of 15 minutes or more over a period of 24-hours) with an infected individual. 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. If you were in contact with an individual prior to the noted 2 day window, you are not considered a close contact and will not be notified. 
    • You were in the same space with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, but are not a close contact, and are considered “low-risk” and need to self-monitor.
    If you do not meet any of the following conditions, you will not be directly notified of a case. 
  • Now that the CDC says COVID-19 can be spread via the air, are there additional safety precautions that should be taken to minimize the spread of COVID-19?
    Based on the CDC’s new guidance about transmission of COVID-19 and the advice from the epidemiology experts who consult for the college, the college has determined no additional precautions are needed.
     
    This week, the CDC recently updated guidance on how COVID-19 spreads to include airborne transmission under certain conditions. The CDC now says:
    • COVID-19 most commonly spreads during close contact (within six feet)
    • COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission
    • COVID-19 spreads less commonly through contact with contaminated surfaces
    About airborne transmission, the CDC added:
    • “Under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away. These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation. Sometimes the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising…. The people who were infected were in the same space during the same time or shortly after the person with COVID-19 had left.”
    • “Available data indicates that it is much more common for the virus that causes COVID-19 to spread through close contact with a person who has COVID-19 than through airborne transmission.”
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others. This helps reduce the risk of spread both by close contact and by airborne transmission.”
    While this is new guidance from the CDC, it mirrors the expert advice we received from Rush University Medical Center and University of Chicago epidemiologists over the summer. Their input guided our decision to install Ultra-Violet Germicidal Irradiation in high-exertion and high-projection activities (such as voice and wind instruments, dance and some aspects of Theatre and CTVA) that take place, and to conduct air assessments in some spaces where instructional modes go beyond regular classroom activities. We also examined all of the campus’ air-handling units to make sure they work as designed.

    These added precautions for certain higher-risk activities come on top of the CDC- and epidemiologist-endorsed measures in effect across campus: lower room capacities, 6-foot distancing, cleaning and hygiene measures, and masks.

    Are masks still the best protection?
    In addition to the CDC guidance and our own Q&A with the Rush experts, we found the following interview with atmospheric and infection experts helpful, because it helps to understand the science of droplets and aerosols, and because even these experts who focus on the dynamics of disease in the air view masks as the best protection.

    In a recent CBS News Health Watch piece about airborne transmission, atmosphere chemist Kim Prather at UC San Diego says, “if you make me pick one thing [as a fix], I am going to say masks.”


    The other expert, Linsey Marr, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, adds that “masks work because they physically trap the virus…. If you are wearing the mask and you are in an environment where there is lots of virus in the air the masks can block droplets and aerosols from getting into your nose and mouth.”

    The interview can be viewed here.

    Are some masks less helpful?
    The type of mask you wear matters. Double pleated cloth face coverings, such as those distributed by the college, are recommended by the CDC (and validated by Rush experts) as a simple barrier to help prevent COVID-19 from traveling into the air and onto other people. Newer research also has shown masks protect both those around the wearer and the wearer themselves.

    Columbia’s face covering policy does not permit bandanas, neck gaiters, or knitted masks, to be worn on campus because particles can escape through thin material and open-weave pattern. Masks with vents also are prohibited because some models allow unfiltered or improperly filtered exhaled air to escape and can in fact concentrate the airflow toward someone else. This policy is based on various guidance and studies, and consultation with the college’s epidemiology consultants.
  • Are there circumstances when it is acceptable for a campus community member to stand closer than 6 feet distance from another person on campus?
    Maintaining a distance of six feet or greater combined with mask wearing are proven to slow the spread of COVID-19. For that reason, the College has adopted these measures, along with frequent hand sanitizing, as a core strategy to maintain the health and safety of our campus.
     
    While there may be reasons to come closer than six feet for practical or pedagogical reasons, these encounters must be limited and can never add up to more than 15 minutes within a 24-hour period.
     
    If a course experience requires people to be closer than six feet (except when entering and exiting a room and other incidental contact) for any length of time, it must be reviewed with the department chair and pre-approved by the Dean's office and the Office of the Provost. Departments must have clear plans for maintaining distancing in the classroom whenever possible and for minimizing the duration of any activity that requires people to be closer than six feet.

    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.
  • What COVID-19 resources are available?

    COVID-19 Resources 

    Information from the Chicago Department of Public Health, Illinois Department of Public Health, Johns Hopkins and the Centers for Disease Control links can be found below:

    Illinois Department of Public Health

    Chicago Department of Public Health

    Centers for Disease Control

    Northern Illinois - Local Health Departments

    • Cook: 708-633-3319, ccdph.covid19@cookcountyhhs.org
    • DuPage: 630-221-7030, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
    • Evanston: 847-488-4311
    • Will: 815-740-7630
    • Kankakee: 815-802-9311
    • Stephenson: 815-801-4636
    • Winnebago: 815-319-6705 (8 a.m. - 7 p.m.)

    Downstate Illinois

    • CUPD: 217-239-7877
    • Sangamon: 217-321-2606
    • Jackson: 1-800-985-5990

    Hospitals

    • SIH: 844-988-7800, 24 hours
    • Beloit Health System: 800-303-5770, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • KSB Dixon: 815-285-7777, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • OSF St. Anthony’s Belleville Memorial Hospital: 883-673-5669, 24 hours
    • Belleville and Memorial East Advocate Health System: 866-433-2584
    • Northwestern Medicine Health System: 312-47-COVID
    • Edward-Elmhurst System: 331-221-5199
    • Rush: 888-285-RUSH
Students/Residential Housing
  • Will the college be receiving a second round of CARES Act funding?

    We recently received confirmation from the U.S. Department of Education that Columbia will be receiving a second round of CARES Act funding. A portion of that funding will be provided directly to students as grants.

    The federal government also clarified that it will likely be several weeks before we receive the funding.

    Once we receive the funding, we will be communicating with all enrolled students about these funding opportunities and the eligibility criteria to receive funding. Please be sure to monitor your Columbia Office 365 email for additional details in the coming weeks.

  • When will in-person instruction begin this spring?

    The start of the spring semester begins January 25. 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. 

    Please review the Spring Return to Campus Testing Requirements before visiting campus.  

  • How many classes are being held online vs. in-person?

    Approximately 25 percent of fall courses will have a face-to-face experience.

    Our decreased class sizes, building occupancy reviews, hybrid format, and repurposing of non-academic spaces on (mostly) lower floors for the few larger classes scheduled to be on campus this fall are designed to promote social distancing on campus, including in the halls between classes. Most classes will meet in cohorts of 10 students or less; a small number of classes will meet in our largest teaching spaces in groups of 30 students at a time.

     

  • Why is the college still charging full tuition when more than half of its courses are being taught online?

    Columbia College Chicago is committed to offering a well-rounded and rigorous academic experience, while giving students modality options and promoting the health of the campus community. Columbia will be offering a mix of remote, hybrid and in-person instruction. This model was carefully developed and planned by our academic departments to meet pedagogical needs, maintain the academic experience and balance the demands of students and families who are looking for different modes of instruction.

    For all three instructional methods, the college will be delivering all expected learning outcomes for courses and credit towards graduation. It is important to note that the college retains fixed costs regardless of instructional mode, and that remote instruction does not reduce the cost of instruction, which is mostly driven by faculty and staff compensation.

    The college received the petition asking for a reduction in tuition as well as several emails on the same matter which were sent directly to the Offices of the President and Provost. Mid-August, college leaders met with students to discuss the concerns students have expressed.

    As announced previously, Columbia will not be implementing the planned 2% tuition increase in light of the economic constraints that may be impacting families due to COVID-19. Columbia Central continues to work with students and families who have had changes in their financial circumstances, and students are encouraged to contact that office to discuss possible additional assistance from the college.

  • I'm preparing to move into residential housing. What do I need to know?

    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. 

    Please visit the Spring Return to Campus Testing Requirements for Residential Students page for more detailed information. 

  • My family lives in the city but I reside in the dorms during the semester. If I visit my family, do I have to get tested before coming back?

    For students currently/already back in the residence halls: 

    • Regardless of travel or symptoms, ALL residents must get tested by 5:00 pm on Monday, January 11. 
    • All residents will need to be tested again in late January prior to the beginning of classes.   
    • To schedule your free test, call 844-766-3775.You will receive the results within 30 minutes of taking the test.  

    For students returning to the residence halls at the end of break: 

    • You must get a PCR or antigen test no more than 72 hours PRIOR to your arrival on campus. Antibody tests will not be accepted.
    • Upload your results immediately (photo or pdf of test results) to your MedProctor account.  
    • Students with circumstances preventing them from getting the diagnostic test before arriving in Chicago should contact the Dean of Students Office at deanofstudents@colum.edu.
    • Monitor the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order if you are traveling from an orange or red state. You may also be required to quarantine at home prior to your return. 
  • I do not have a way to get tested within the 72-hour period required before I move to campus. What should I do?

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

  • How will the City of Chicago’s Travel Order affect me if I am coming from an Orange state?

    Students moving back to Chicago from an "orange" state but not living in residence halls must comply with the City of Chicago’s guidance for return. If you live in the residence halls, please review detailed information for Residential Students. For additional information, please view the Spring Return to Campus Testing Requirements webpage.

  • I am a student returning to campus in January. How do I upload my negative COVID test?
    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. Please review the Spring Return to Campus Requirements for All Students on your options for uploading a negative test.
  • What does it mean to quarantine before I come to campus?

    Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease before a person knows they are sick, including if an individual has been infected with the virus but does not have symptoms. Quarantine means staying at a single designated home or dwelling for 10 days before doing any activities outside of the home or dwelling. People in quarantine should separate themselves from others as much as possible and check themselves for symptoms.

  • Will I be able to invite guests into my dorm?

    In order to keep every resident safe, the following Guest Policy will be in effect:

    • Spring 2021 semester: 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.

    Throughout campus and including the common spaces in the residence halls, Columbia expects students to abide by mask wearing, keeping a six-foot distance, and frequent hand washing and sanitizing. Information on Columbia’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus, including our safety precautions in classrooms and other public spaces can be found in our Campus Reopening Plan. 

Campus
  • What is the Daily Pre-Check and why do I have to take it?
    The Daily Pre-Check is an online screening you must take every day you come to campus to verify you are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. You can find the Daily Pre-Check on the college's website or through the QR code. 
  • I’m having technical problems with the Daily Pre-Check. What should I do?

    You can find the Daily Pre-Check on the website or through the QR code

    If you are having difficulty accessing the Daily Pre-Check on your phone or computer, you can ask a campus security guard for assistance. Campus security guards will have extra iPads on-hand you can use to take the Daily Pre-Check.

    If you are having difficulty accessing the training, quiz, and attestation that result in you securing clearance into the building, please reach out to Clientservices@colum.edu.

  • What if someone does not get clearance to enter campus?

    The purpose of the Daily Pre-Check is to screen for those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Someone who has completed the Daily Pre-Check and is not cleared, will not be permitted to enter campus buildings. Only those who complete the Daily Pre-Check and receive clearance, will be permitted to enter campus buildings. 

    If a community member is not cleared to enter campus because they have not completed the requirements for clearance, they must fulfill those requirements first before they will be allowed on campus, for example:

    • They must complete the training, quiz, or attestation.
    • The community member has or has been exposed to COVID-19 and must be cleared through HR or Student Relations for return to campus.
    • The community member may need to upload a negative COVID-19 test result.


    The Daily Pre-Check resulted in not being cleared to enter campus. 

    If a student misses an in-person class because they were not cleared to enter campus due to COVID-19 related health reasons, the student should contact Student Relations at studentrelations@colum.edu and their professor(s). If a student misses an in-person class because they were not cleared to enter campus because they did not complete the requirements for clearance, the student should contact their professor(s) and fulfill the requirements to be cleared.

    If an employee is not cleared to enter campus due to COVID-19 related health reasons, the employee should contact their supervisor or HR. 

  • Where can I eat on campus?
    Eating locations around campus and within your departments have been identified by the College or Department leaders in accordance with the College’s safety guidelines for gathering and eating. When members of the campus community follow the College’s guidance, gathering and eating in campus buildings can be done safely.
     
    For everyone’s safety:
    • Eat in areas identified for eating and drinking.
    • Faculty and staff may eat in their offices, as long as they are alone, and the door is closed.
    • Whenever possible, eat with backs to each other facing in opposite direction.
    • Maintain 6 feet distance from the person(s) seated in the same dining area.
    • If the space requires individuals to face each other, seats should be staggered to allow for 6 feet distancing.
    • Students and faculty are prohibited from eating in classrooms, hallways, or other non-designated spaces.
    • Sanitize your hands before and after eating.
    • Please refrain from talking when unmasked, as speaking increases the number of droplets and aerosols released.

    To review the College’s guidelines for gathering and eating, please visit the Social Distancing webpage.

    Here are designated eating spaces on campus:

    Building Room Capacity
    33 306 4
    33 2C 3
    72 3L 6
    72 305 9
    72 B005 9
    600 811D (The L) 10
    618 512 2
    623 108 (HAUS) 10
    1312 1L 4
    1600 Stairs 23
    1014 334 2
  • What are some Campus Safety and Security precautions and what resources are available? 

    As a reminder, there are general safety precautions the college community can take while on campus. Additionally, Campus Safety and Security hosts Self-Defense Workshops and an Evening Security Escort program. 

    General Safety Precautions
    • Remain alert.
    • Buddy-up: travel in groups through well-lit and high-traffic areas after dark.
    • Seek immediate shelter in a public establishment if you feel unsafe.
    • Call 911 for suspicious public street activity and all life-safety emergencies.
    • Inform Campus Security of any crime or safety concern.
    • Activate tracking software on computers and telephones.
    • Utilize resilient bicycle locks.
    • Do not engage in financial transactions with individuals on the street that you do not know.

    Self-Defense Workshops
    To provide continued educational programming on issues concerning student safety, Campus Safety and Security will host Street Safety Workshops for the Fall 2020 semester. These workshops will address Active Shooter, personal safety and navigating the City with confidence. Please register in advance of a workshop by emailing cschumann@colum.edu. 

    Monday, September 28, 2020, 754 S. Wabash, Meeting Room 329, 1-2 p.m.
    Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 754 S. Wabash, Meeting Room 329, 11-12 p.m.
    Wednesday, November 4, 2020, 754 S. Wabash, Meeting Room 329, 3-4 p.m.

    Evening Security Escort Program
    Columbia provides an after-hours Security Escort Program that is available seven days a week from 6 p.m.–1 a.m. Learn more about how to use the Security Escort Program.

Employees
  • Will I still be paid if I am required by the College to stay home because of health concerns related to COVID-19?
  • What considerations does the College make for employees who are at increased risk for severe illness?

    The college is following the guidance of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and addressing the needs of employees who are at higher risk for complications from COVID-19, due to their own medical condition, as defined by the CDC, via the College’s Reasonable ADA Accommodation process. 

    • Employees seeking an accommodation should initiate their request by contacting their supervisor or Human Resources via email.
    • The college will consider all accommodation requests in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and with consideration to the college’s operational necessities. Any accommodations granted may be temporary and end when the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic subside.
    • We encourage employees who have specific questions regarding their personal health issues and the impact of COVID-19, to contact human resources directly via email.

    Learn more about the ADA Reasonable Accommodations process.

  • Many pre-K-12 schools in our region are offering remote-only instruction this spring. What support is the College offering to employees with children?

    Eligible employees, all current employees who are actively employed with Columbia College Chicago and actively scheduled for work, who are unable to work on campus and unable to work remotely due to a need to care for their child when a School or childcare provider has been closed, or when the regular childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19, are eligible for Emergency COVID-19 Childcare Leave.​​​​​​​ Note: As a possible first option before taking leave, employees may consider discussing work from home options with their managers.

    • Duration of Leave - Full-time employees will be entitled for up to 4 weeks of leave available through May 31, 2021, for the purposes stated above. Part-time employees will be eligible for leave based on their established work schedule. If an employee’s childcare situation has not be resolved at the end of the 4-week period, the employee will have the opportunity to extend their leave for up to an additional 4 weeks and should contact HR about next steps. 
    • Increments & Intermittent Use of Leave - Employees may take leave intermittently during a defined 4-week period with approval from their manager. For example, an employee may only need 4 hours per day of leave to care for their child or may only need to do so on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Managers and employees are expected to be flexible in scheduling wherever possible. 
    • Pay During Leave - Leave will be unpaid. Employees will be required to use all available accrued paid time off in lieu of unpaid time off.  Paid time off is based on the number of hours the employee would otherwise be scheduled to work. 
    • Employee Status and Benefits During Leave - For any portion of the childcare leave that is paid, the College will continue payroll deductions to collect for the employee’s portion of all benefits premiums.  For any portion of the childcare leave that is unpaid, and taken on a continuous basis, the employee may be responsible for paying the employee share of the premium per direction from Human Resources. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • How to Request Leave - Submit a completed Emergency COVID-19 Childcare Leave Request Form to HR via hrbenefits@colum.edu​​​​​​ and your manager no later than two-weeks prior to their requested leave date, or as soon as possible after you becomes aware of the need for leave. 

    For more information, contact hrbenefits@colum.edu.