Where can I find the College’s messages regarding the coronavirus?
All messages to the Barnard community regarding the coronavirus can be found on this site.
What should I do to help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
There is now widespread community transmission of coronavirus in New York City. As such, everyone should assume they have been exposed and act accordingly. Following guidance from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, all community members in New York City should follow these crucial measures to keep the virus from spreading further:
- Stay home. Go out only for essential items such as groceries and medications, and try to limit that to once a week. If you go out to exercise, please wear a mask and practice social distancing of 6 feet from others.
- Always wear a face covering if you are outside your home.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Practice essential prevention hygiene: frequent hand-washing for at least 20 seconds, preferably with warm water; coughing and sneezing into your elbow; sanitizing high-touch surfaces; avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands; waving/elbow bumping instead of shaking hands; and not sharing food or drink.
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others, when possible.
Older adults (those over 65) or those who have other serious chronic health conditions, including chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or a weakened immune system, are especially at risk for severe response to the virus and must stay home as much as possible to avoid exposure.
I have heard conflicting information regarding covering my face while I’m outside. Can you please clarify?
On April 17, an Executive Order by Governor Cuomo went into effect, requiring “any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering... to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.”
Following guidance from the NYC Department of Health on April 2, 2020, the College started providing face coverings to employees who cannot do their work remotely as we carefully monitor available inventory with our suppliers for these high-demand items. We expect that all staff, including those working remotely, will familiarize themselves with the guidance and follow the required procedures.
Some key points:
- A face covering can be made out of any fabric or even paper; it can be an item you already own, such as a scarf, a bandana, or a non-medical-grade mask. It must cover both your nose and your mouth.
- You should NOT use medical-grade masks, such as N-95 masks or surgical masks. These should still be reserved for health care workers on the front lines.
- Face coverings are also intended to prevent people from touching their faces, particularly with unwashed hands. Be sure that whatever face covering you are using fits well and is secure so that you don’t touch your face.
- Wearing a face covering does not replace other preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing of 6 feet and washing your hands often.
You can find more information on best practices and hygiene for face coverings at the NYC Department of Health’s FAQs.
What should I do if I feel sick?
The health and safety of our community is always important and is of particular concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you don’t feel well, please stay home. You should contact your primary care provider and follow the guidance of your local and state health departments. If you are located in New York City, please consult the New York State Department of Health COVID-19 website and the New York City Department of Health COVID-19 website. You may also reference the CDC COVID-19 website.
What if I am a person at higher risk for COVID-19 complications?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued recommendations that individuals at higher risk for COVID-19 complications should stay at home as much as possible. Those at higher risk include adults over age 65 and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease. You may want to take additional precautions to reduce your risk of exposure if you are immunocompromised, such as on chemotherapy, having had an organ transplant, or taking immunosuppressive drugs; or if you have a serious cardiovascular or respiratory disease.
Where can I find more information about COVID-19 testing, particularly for New York?
Acknowledging that there is a lot of information available regarding diagnostic and antibody COVID-19 tests, Columbia Health has published information to help you understand these tests and their availability in New York.
Campus Events & Visitors
Are Barnard events taking place?
All in-person events and gatherings on campus are canceled until further notice. The College continues to have a robust schedule of virtual events and programs, many of which are highlighted on our social media.
What about visitors to campus?
The 119th Street gates and the Quad gate are closed until further notice. The main gate remains open. Access to campus requires a Barnard or Columbia ID and should be prearranged with Public Safety for any faculty or staff who are working remotely.
All campus visit programs, including campus tours, information sessions, special group tours, and class visits, are suspended until further notice. In the meantime, we invite prospective students to view our website, take a virtual tour, follow us on Instagram, and explore our Barnard videos and student bloggers on YouTube.
Where can I find out about Reunion 2020 and other alumnae information?
Barnard Alumnae Relations has detailed information, including an FAQ for alumnae, on our.barnard.edu.
Where can I find more information for Barnard staff members during the COVID-19 pandemic?
More commonly asked questions specific to Barnard staff can be found on the my.barnard portal, which is accessible remotely in any web browser by logging in. Under Announcements, please click “COVID-19 Employee Resources.”
I understand that the college remains closed. Are staff members working on campus?
On March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced an executive order requiring that most organizations and businesses operate with 100% of the workforce offsite, with some exceptions for essential functions and services as currently defined by the State. The governor also instituted “Matilda’s Law,” which includes various protections for vulnerable populations. If you fall into a category of vulnerable populations per this law, please contact your manager to make further arrangements if you need to stay home. As such, most staff members should continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future.
However, some staff members perform work that cannot happen remotely and is vital to our continued operations. This includes keeping the students whose circumstances require they stay on campus healthy and safe, and facilitating essential functions like support for online instruction, security, and property maintenance. In mid-April, following the consolidation of student housing, the College was able to offer schedule adjustments to many on-campus employees and additional support to those whose schedules could not be adjusted.
How is the College helping protect employees who need to work on campus?
We are working with the guidance of state and local health departments, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to create conditions that are as safe as possible for those who continue to work on campus. All staff should stay home and contact their manager if they feel sick.
Enhanced cleaning has been implemented across campus, including frequent cleaning of common areas and high-touch surfaces. We are making sure that supplies, including disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and gloves as necessary, continue to be as well stocked as possible. Any cleaning needs should be immediately reported to Facilities Services at email@example.com.
Changes have been implemented to facilitate physical distancing during on-campus work. We have adapted our operations based on greatly reduced activity on campus while ensuring that the College’s essential functions continue.
Since March 24, we have been providing meals daily for staff members working on campus so that they don’t need to go off campus for food.
How is the College supporting employees working remotely?
Resources are available to assist staff as they navigate a remote working environment, including best practices, support for managers, and wellness guidelines. This information can be found on the my.barnard portal (under Announcements, please click “COVID-19 Employee Resources”).
Additionally, the College has established a Remote Working Response Team that has surveyed faculty and staff to make sure that they have what they need during required telecommuting.
Do the salaries of employees working remotely remain the same?
While employees are working remotely, there is no change to their salary amount or the frequency of their pay.
Hourly employees are expected to record all hours worked accurately. Hours worked in excess of those scheduled per day or per workweek require the advance approval of your supervisor.
If I am unable to work due to COVID-19 (including if I get sick or if a family member gets sick), do I need to use my sick days, vacation days, or floating holidays to continue to be paid?
No. The College is committed to continuing to compensate you for days you are unable to work due to COVID-19-related issues without using your sick days, vacation days, or floating holidays.
In addition to applicable leaves under federal and state law, Barnard has established its own provision for paid leave for employees who become ill with COVID-19 or employees who must care for a family member with COVID-19.
For more information about your options and details on accounting for absences related to COVID-19, please contact your HR generalist.
All Barnard students, faculty, and staff are strongly urged to postpone any nonessential personal international travel until further notice. The U.S. has implemented travel restrictions. We suggest you closely monitor the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Warnings for any additions or changes in travel restrictions and alerts, as well as Executive Orders and guidance issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of State, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Until further notice, all Barnard-related travel, both international and domestic, is suspended for all students, faculty and staff.
As of May 12, 2020, Study Abroad for the Fall 2020 semester has been canceled for both fall-only and full-year programs. The Barnard Global office can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
What's Barnard Doing?
How is Barnard College using the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds?
As part of the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Barnard has been awarded a total of $1,712,643 in funding. Barnard will use at least 50% of these funds to provide emergency financial aid grants directly to students. Barnard will allocate these grants to its students in accordance with the CARES Act and all other applicable laws, including nondiscrimination laws. The CARES Act requires that we make the following information available to the public.
Reporting date May 26, 2020
- Barnard acknowledges that it has signed and returned to the Department of Education (“Department”) the Certification and Agreement and intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students
- Barnard has received a total of $856,322 from the Department pursuant to its Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
- Barnard has not distributed any funds from the Emergency Financial Aid Grants under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of May 26, 2020.
- Barnard estimates that the total number of its students who are eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 1036.
- No Barnard students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act yet.
- Barnard is in the process of identifying the methods to use to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) and will post this information in accordance with applicable reporting guidelines.
- Barnard will post on this site the instructions, directions, or guidance it gives to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants in accordance with applicable guidelines.
What is Barnard College doing to support a clean environment?
Enhanced cleaning has been implemented across campus, including frequent cleaning of common areas and high-touch surfaces. We are making sure that supplies, including disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and gloves as necessary, continue to be as well stocked as possible. Any cleaning needs should be immediately reported to Facilities Services at email@example.com. In addition, we are sharing healthy habit tips across campus through posters, social media, and postcards.
What about athletics?
Columbia Athletics has not yet announced plans for the Fall 2020 athletic season.
What is the College doing to help students pay for unexpected costs?
The College is committed to providing financial assistance and logistical support so that moving out of residence halls or having sufficient resources to participate in online learning aren’t cost-prohibitive to students and families. As of April 1, 2020, Barnard has provided more than 250 students with financial assistance to return home; pack, ship, and store their belongings; and access technology for online learning. A portion of these funds were raised by alumnae through the Safety Net fund, an emergency relief fund created in response to inquiries from alumnae seeking to help Barnard students in need.
To continue supporting students throughout the semester, the College created the COVID-19 Emergency Grant at Barnard. The grant provides emergency financial assistance to students who are experiencing hardship that could adversely affect their capacity for continued study, such as food insecurity, access to technology, utilities required for study, and expenses due to illness or death in the family. More details about eligibility and applying for the COVID-19 Emergency Grant can be found here.
As part of our commitment to supporting the financial well-being of our students, for the 2020-21 academic year Barnard will replace the expected summer earnings student contribution for all incoming and continuing students who receive need-based Barnard Grant Aid with a one-time Summer Work Exemption Grant, a nearly $3 million new expense for the College. More details can be found in the Financial Aid FAQs.
How You Can Help
How can I help support students pay for unexpected costs?
When this unprecedented crisis began, Barnard moved swiftly to ensure that students and faculty could sustain the high-caliber educational work that is essential to the College’s mission. This included moving classes online and dispensing funds to students — particularly those on need-based financial aid — to help them return home and obtain the resources they need to continue learning and thriving.
In March, the Development and Alumnae Relations team launched Safety Net, an emergency relief fund, in response to many alumnae inquiries about how they could support students impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. As of May, the College has expended more than $140,000 to assist 325 students with the costs of traveling home and expenses related to packing, shipping, and storing their belongings. It has also supported COVID-19 Emergency Grants, implemented to help students overcome circumstances that could hinder academic completion, such as food insecurity, family illness, overdue utility bills, and failing technology.
To continue supporting students throughout the summer, Barnard’s COVID-19 Emergency Grant application will remain available to students. More details about eligibility and applying for the COVID-19 Emergency Grant can be found here.
Many Barnard alumnae and parents have generously reached out with offers to help offset these unexpected costs to the College. We are very appreciative; our community cares deeply about our current students, and we cannot thank you enough. Should you wish to contribute, please select Safety Net in the drop-down menu on the College’s giving page.
Response to Financial Impacts
Is Barnard making changes in response to the financial impacts of the pandemic?
More information on how Barnard is responding to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic can be found in this FAQ.