January 10, 2022: COVID Update

Dear Colleagues,

We hope you and your families are well. Please remember to stay home if you have illness symptoms unless you have a negative PCR test. Please get your booster vaccine, continue to wear face coverings (we strongly recommend N95, KN95, KF94 or surgical masks depending on activities). Avoid crowded settings and practice social distancing when eating indoors and when in public settings where people around you may be unvaccinated. Wash hands frequently, even after you have been vaccinated. These measures, in addition to vaccinations, are key to fighting Omicron and other variants.

New York City continues to have a high 7-day positivity rate of 31.1%. However, at Columbia, our asymptomatic testing program is reporting much lower positivity rates of 12.6% the week of 12/27 and 9.2% the week of 1/3.

Reminders of deadline: Columbia University has mandated boosters for all faculty, staff and students effective January 31, 2022. Those who have had a previous infection still need to receive their booster by the deadline. People without a contraindication for vaccination can get vaccinated once they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms can be vaccinated once they have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation. Information about how to upload booster status is forthcoming.  

51 W. 51st Street Booster Schedule — January

Booster Session Opening Schedule through Connect
Tuesday, January 11, 1pm–4:30pm 1/7 at 8am
Thursday, January 13, 1pm–4:30pm 1/7 at 8am
Friday, January 14, 9am–12pm 1/7 at 8am
Friday, January 14, 1pm–4pm Employee Walk-Ins
Tuesday, January 18, 1pm–4:30pm 1/14 at 8am
Thursday, January 20, 1pm–4:30pm 1/14 at 8am
Friday, January 21, 9am–12pm 1/14 at 8am
Friday, January 21, 1pm–4pm Employee Walk-Ins
Tueday, January 25, 1pm–4:30pm 1/21 at 8am
Thursday, January 27, 1pm–4:30pm 1/21 at 8am
Friday, January 28, 9am–12pm 1/21 at 8am
Friday, January 28,  1pm–4pm Employee Walk-Ins

ColumbiaDoctors primary care patients may also get a booster during a regular primary care visit. It is also fine to get a booster at a pharmacy or other vaccine site.

Governor Hochul has announced new testing sites at four MTA subway stations, including the 125th Street station (A, B, C, D lines). More information is available here.

CDC approved the following:

  1. Expand the use of a single booster dose to include use in individuals 12 through 15 years of age.
  2. Shorten the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer-BioNTech AND the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and a booster dose to at least five months.
  3. Allow for a third primary series dose for certain immunocompromised children 5 through 11 years of age. 

Thank you and stay safe!  

Donna Lynne, DrPH  

Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, CUIMC

University COVID Director

Magda Sobieszczyk, MD, MPH

Chief of Infectious Diseases and Co-Chair of the CUIMC COVID-19 Vaccine Committee

Melissa Stockwell, MD, MPH

Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Health and Co-Chair of the CUIMC COVID-19 Vaccine Committee