New COVID-19 FAQs, Vigilance, Gratitude and Resources

Friday, November 13, 2020

Dear Students,

Earlier today, you received a message from the Provost and Interim Executive Vice President of the Medical Center with important updates about COVID-19. I’m writing now to share some useful FAQs and reminders for you — and my thanks for your diligence in helping to #KeeptheCompact, which has helped keep our campus safe for all who are here.

First, I want to remind you that the University strongly urges you to postpone any travel at this time.  The University’s travel policy has, since the start of the fall term, also suspended all personal and Columbia-related travel by students to countries on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s restricted list.

Wherever you are, I ask you to remain vigilant as you move about our campuses, Global Centers and your local neighborhoods. Please follow the Columbia Community Health Compact and local public health guidelines. Wear your face covering, wash your hands and keep a safe distance from other people. To learn how to socialize safely, please review these tips. You can also use the report-an-incident link at the top of University Life’s website to share a concern.    


  • Undergraduates on and near campus have frequent required testing.
  • Graduate students who come to campus at least two days a week can sign up for free voluntary testing. If you are selected for random surveillance testing, it's important for you to take part.  
  • Any student planning to travel outside New York should get a free pre- and post-travel test.

Learn more and book an appointment.


I know these times can be challenging, so I want to keep reminding you about the importance of caring for yourself and looking out for others. If you need support or are concerned about a friend, please reach out to your Dean of Students or schedule an appointment as a Morningside student or a CUIMC student.

  • To reach a medical professional, call 212-854-7426 (Morningside) or 212-305-3400 (CUIMC).
  • To reach a mental health professional, call 212-854-2878 (Morningside) or 212-305-3400 (CUIMC).
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (Morningside) – Resources for creativity and resilience, coping with trauma, academic success, body positivity, relationship building skills, parenting, support spaces for different identity groups, and much more.
  • CUIMC Mental Health Services and the Center for Student Wellness – Resources for finding strength and coping, connecting through loss, and much more.
  • Religious Life – Spiritual counseling and religious resources.


This effort is a marathon, not a sprint, and I’m so grateful for all the work you and our entire community have put into keeping each other safe. Thank you. As always, if you have questions or suggestions, please write to Have a great weekend.

Take care,

Joseph Defraine Greenwell, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Office of University Life
Gender Pronouns: He/Him/His

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