Feel Well, Do Well: Health & Safety
The health and safety of our community is our top priority as we adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we must all recognize that this is a shared responsibility as members of the Barnard community.
Barnard's Pandemic Response Team provides expertise and sustained focus on health and safety and support faculty, staff, and students in partnership with other areas within the College and university.
The Feel Well, Do Well: Health & Safety plan requires:
- Self-screening. Mandatory remote screening procedure to monitor health conditions of members of the community, allowing for appropriate actions to be taken should infection be detected.
- Testing and contact tracing. Testing plan and contact tracing program to isolate infections via both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing, as well as to monitor for potential spread.
- Face masks/coverings. Disposable masks or cloth face coverings must be worn indoors except if alone. Outdoors, vaccinated community members are allowed to take off their mask, if they wish. Disposable masks provided if needed.
- Good hygiene. Emphasis on handwashing. Hand sanitizer will also be made available throughout campus facilities.
- Maintaining physical distancing. All members of the campus community will comply with the College's requirements and CDC guidelines around distancing wherever possible.
- Staying in if you feel ill. Faculty, staff, and students who feel sick are to stay home, even if their symptoms are inconsistent with common COVID-19 symptoms.
- Proof of vaccination. Beginning in Fall 2021, all members of the Barnard community will be required to show proof of vaccination, unless they have an approved exemption.
- Flu shots. All members of the campus community must fulfill the College’s flu vaccination requirements.
- Community pledge. Community members must continue to adhere to community expectations established through a community pledge that emphasizes the responsibility of every member of the community in helping to maintain a safe campus environment by complying with all federal, state and local requirements and Barnard COVID-19 policies.
Community Commitment and Personal Responsibility Pledge
The College requires all students, faculty and staff to acknowledge in writing and adhere to a Community Pledge. With this commitment, everyone promises to abide by a set of rules for behavior on campus. These include directives around physical distancing, face-covering, and other protective measures, which may change from time to time and be individualized based on considerations such as vaccination status. The College asks everyone to rise to this challenge with purpose and focus and to embrace the responsibility of care.
Acknowledgement. The College remains steadfast in its commitment to keeping campus as safe an environment as possible for the Barnard community by following local, state and federal guidelines and requirements. However, the College cannot provide a risk-free environment. All individuals returning to campus will be required to acknowledge the inherent risks of returning to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic.
See Community Conduct for information on response and reporting.
Barnard’s COVID-19 Testing Program
Barnard has established a robust and independent COVID-19 testing program to further monitor and manage the health of our campus and for those utilizing Columbia’s campus. The main provider of Barnard’s tests is the Safe for School program operated by Clinical Research Sequencing Platform (CRSP) and the Broad Institute. The College has implemented an app called CoVerified, manage daily symptom screenings, assist with contact tracing, schedule tests, and provide test result notifications.
- Entry Test: The initial entry test is the first required element of the College’s comprehensive testing program.
- Regular Testing: All members of the community, including faculty, students and staff, participating in the testing program are required to participate in Barnard’s regular testing program, in which asymptomatic individuals (i.e. people who aren’t feeling sick) are tested on a regular basis as a way for the College to monitor the health and well being of the campus.
- Daily Self-Screening using CoVerified: Faculty, students and staff are required to use the Barnard screening tool in the app CoVerified every day they access the Barnard campus to acknowledge that they are feeling well and that they have not knowingly been in contact with anyone who is symptomatic or has tested positive for COVID-19. It is the only mechanism by which Barnard community members can access Barnard’s campus. A "green screen" is required to access most buildings on campus. CoVerified will alert them to stay at home or consult Barnard’s Primary Care Health Services (PCHS) for evaluation (if they are students) when a “red screen” appears.
- Accessing Columbia's Campus: All those accessing Columbia’s campus (faculty, students and staff) will need to complete the Columbia screening app ReopenCU, which is different from Barnard’s app.
- Columbia University members accessing Barnard’s campus: Barnard recognizes the ReopenCU app as the screening tool for Columbia University, permitting Columbia University constituents with a green pass to access the Barnard campus and prohibiting those with a red pass from accessing the Barnard campus.
To be eligible to use CoVerified, members of the Barnard community must completed the following steps:
Faculty & Staff
- Sign the 2021-2022 Barnard Community Pledge (by August 15 for Fall 2021)
- Faculty: Faculty members complete Columbia's RASCAL training and provide their completion certificate to Human Resources. Please send a copy of your completed RASCAL certificate to the Office of Human Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Staff: Review the safety training: COVID-19 Training: Working Safely at Barnard College and Columbia University
- Sign the 2021-2022 Barnard Community Pledge (by August 15 for Fall 2021)
- Complete any required health and safety training
Testing Program Requirements for Faculty and Staff
Detailed testing information can be found in On-Campus Test Information and Scheduling for Faculty and Staff document.
Contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Testing Program Requirements for Students
Additional Information about Barnard’s Testing Program:
- Barnard provides all on-campus testing for both entry and regular testing at no cost to faculty, staff or students.
- Barnard’s testing protocols are built around polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which have been referred to as the “gold standard” of testing. On-campus tests use an anterior nasal collection, which uses a short, Q-tip-like swab to collect a sample just above the nostrils. Tests will be processed by the Clinical Research Sequencing Platform in partnership with the Broad Institute. The estimated turnaround time is approximately 48 hours from collection. More information can be found on this fact sheet.
- Those participating in the testing program must get tested on a regular schedule basis as a means of monitoring the health of the immediate community. Adjustments to the frequency of our testing will be based on considerations such as the infection rate both at Barnard and in New York City.
- Individuals will be able to view their personal test results on CoVerified as soon as they are posted by the lab.
- Accessing Columbia’s campus: Those students planning to access Columbia’s facilities at any point:
- Are required to participate in Barnard’s testing program.
- Both the entry test and regular tests are for asymptomatic students only; students with symptoms of COVID-19 or who otherwise feel sick should consult Barnard’s Primary Care Health Services (PCHS) for evaluation and possible testing.
- Full participation in the program, including the entry test and regular testing is required; students cannot have a single standalone test or elect to test only during select weeks.
- The results of our community testing as aggregate information are available on the College’s COVID-19 Dashboard, including the number of tests weekly and the percentage of positive test results
- Separate from the daily attestation to enter campus, we are asking all faculty staff and students to update the College if they have experienced symptoms of COVID-19, possibly been exposed to COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19 via a non-Barnard test at any point.
- Any community member not feeling well, should notify the College via the CoVerified app and stay home to quarantine or isolate. A Barnard administrator will be in touch to check in and advise re: next steps.
- If an individual receives a “red screen”, even in error, they must stay away from campus until a Barnard administrator clears them.
- If they receive a “red screen” in the ReopenCU app, they should also report symptoms, possible exposure, or positive test to Barnard using CoVerified and wait for a Barnard administrator to be in touch.
- NYS app: A New York statewide contact tracing app, “COVID Alert NY,” is available. This does not replace Barnard’s (or Columbia’s) existing apps or procedures, but everyone should be aware of this additional app as an added layer in the efforts to trace and contact individuals who may have had exposure to COVID-19. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware have similar apps available that use the same technology framework.
Information about Barnard’s Contact Tracing Program:
Barnard has a dedicated team of contact tracers to engage in remote outreach that identifies and locates cases and contacts across the Barnard community (i.e. faculty, students, and staff) using a culturally respectful approach that builds trust and facilitates the sharing of information. The College’s contact tracers have been trained using a course developed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and they also participate in additional training that reflects Barnard’s commitment to supporting people who identify as belonging to communities who have experienced systemic oppression and bias.
All faculty, students and staff who are participating in Barnard’s testing program are expected to participate in contact tracing efforts undertaken by Barnard and/or New York City. Community members will be expected to comply with recommendations from contact tracers to quarantine and/or get tested.
Working closely with Barnard’s Primary Care Health Services and colleagues within the Pandemic Response Team, the Barnard contact tracing team will:
- Contact users that have reported a positive test result from tests that individuals may have arranged for themselves, as well as users who indicate close contact with a case;
- Reach out to Barnard students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 to obtain the names of any Barnard community members with whom they’ve been in close contact;
- Provide information about the next steps for isolation;
- Reach out to the Barnard students, faculty, and staff who were identified as a possible close contact of a confirmed positive case, confirm close contact, and inform them that they must quarantine based on their possible exposure; the name of the index case will never be disclosed to contacts;
- Facilitate a connection with the College’s quarantine/isolation team for the management of quarantine/isolation of residential students in Barnard housing;
- Provide information about additional support that non-residential students, faculty, and staff can use as they manage their own quarantine/isolation.
Our contact tracers have been trained using a course developed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (the same course that New York State and New York City use for their training), and they also get additional training that reflects Barnard’s commitment to supporting people who identify as belonging to communities who have experienced systemic oppression and bias (e.g., people of color, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, justice-involved persons, persons experiencing domestic/intimate partner violence, people with physical and cognitive disabilities, people with mental or behavioral health concerns, etc.).
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
After September 9, students may request case-by-case approval from the Provost for international travel, and no permission will be needed for domestic travel for students. The College will continue to monitor and may adjust guidelines if necessary.
Note that for non-Barnard-sponsored travel—i.e. personal travel—no restrictions exist at present or are planned for the future, other than for individuals to comply with travel regulations that may govern quarantine in such cases.
Maintaining a Safe Environment
Hygiene and Cleaning
Hygiene is an important layer of safety and it is important for all members of the community to wash their hands frequently, use hand sanitizer, and to exhibit good habits related to cleaning.
- Facilities are cleaning public bathrooms and high-touch spaces such as lobbies, elevators, and door handles three times per day. All other spaces are cleaned once per day. Cleaning includes disinfection as well as new procedures and products related to COVID-19.
- Facilities are not cleaning the interiors of offices, and will not enter office suites, unless specifically directed and authorized.
- Hand sanitizer stations have been deployed across campus.
- Faculty and staff should use the supply form to request any cleaning supplies for offices or other areas.
Face coverings are required on campus indoors, except if in a space alone. Masking is not required outdoors for those who are vaccinated though some outdoor large gatherings may require masking for all. The College will provide a face mask to all students, staff and faculty on an as-needed basis. Faculty and staff should use the supply form to request any PPE for their work on campus.
Improvements have been made to the College’s ventilation systems. It is important to note that ventilation upgrades are not a stand-alone means to assure safety, but are one of the layers that work to reduce risk.
- The College hired an outside engineering consultant, CFS Facilities Management, who reviewed and assessed the air handling systems and opportunities for upgrade.
- Improvements and upgrades include increasing the proportion of outside air delivered to the space and increasing filtration effectiveness. In some locations, additional stand-alone filtration units or ultraviolet lights have been placed.
- Windows in many locations have been made operable where they previously had been sealed shut, with the accompanying installation of proper window guards.
- Staff/faculty should contact Facilities at email@example.com with specific questions and concerns related to ventilation.
All faculty, students and staff accessing the Barnard campus are required to complete a daily symptom screening in the CoVerified app to acknowledge that they are feeling well and that they have not not knowingly been in contact with anyone could have been positive for COVID-19. The self-check app will provide users with a “green screen” that they will be asked to show when entering campus and will alert them to stay at home when a “red screen” appears.
All those accessing Columbia’s campus (faculty, students and staff) will need to complete the Columbia screening app ReopenCU, which is different from Barnard’s app.
If you receive a “red screen,” do not come to campus. The following applies:
- If the red screen is in CoVerified, you will be contacted by a Barnard administrator with further questions and instructions.
- If the red screen is in ReopenCU, you should also input your information to CoVerified. A Barnard administrator will then be in touch.
You can find details about this PCR test on this fact sheet.
Information about the College’s insurance plan can be found in Primary Care Health Services.
All medically necessary care for COVID-19 related illness is covered by the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan
Vaccine information can be found on our Vaccine webpage.