Dear Students, 

Tonight you received an important update from President Bailey for this coming week.  President Bailey included the message from Columbia University President Lee Bollinger informing the community of the new developments related to COVID-19. Columbia's University Life office then followed up with an important communication to students. We want to do the same, so I have used their outline to include TC specific information for you.

As President Bailey informed us, Teachers College classes are suspended on Monday and Tuesday, March 9-10, as we prepare to move to an online format for classes the remainder of the week.

We have made this decision as a cautionary measure. As President Bailey mentioned, there is not a confirmed case at Teachers College.  But a member of the Columbia community is in self-quarantine on campus as a result of exposure to COVID-19. This individual is well and is receiving appropriate support, consistent with guidance from the New York City Department of Health. Federal law precludes us from disclosing the person’s identity, and we urge you to respect the privacy of this individual and that of anyone else who may have a personal or family connection to COVID-19 exposure.

We understand that this development may cause anxiety or concern. Please know that there are sources of support at TC and on the CU campus.  We will continue to post updates and important information on the travel and events restrictions we have announced in recent days. TC’s Student Wellness Site remains a source for support and resources.

Columbia resources can be accessed  on Columbia’s COVID-19 website. Please continue to follow these familiar basic health precautions: wash your hands, don’t shake hands or share food and drink, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

Because this is an unfolding situation, we understand that you will have many questions. For now, we hope that this information will be helpful to you:


  • Monday and Tuesday, classes are suspended as we prepare to move to the online format for the rest of this week. 
  • Classes will be accessible remotely. 
  • Faculty members will be in contact should there be specific instructions or details regarding particular assignments or adjustments to your course.

Disability Services Accommodations

Columbia Health

  • Most services remain open to support you and your well-being. Because of the high volume of inquiries, we encourage you to use online resources for information and support.
  • For your information, 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, taking immunosuppressive drugs; or have a serious cardiovascular or respiratory disease.

Other Questions About Libraries, Housing and Dining

  • The College remains open; this includes the library, residence halls and Dining Services. 
  • You can continue to study with friends and classmates.
  • Dining facilities will remain open. 
  • Housing remains open.
  • Please access the travel and events restrictions we have announced in recent days and reach out to us in Student Affairs if you have questions or concerns.  
  • We will be on Spring break from March 16-March 20.  

Spring Break 

  • Please access the TC Preparedness Site for up-to-date information including travel restrictions.  
  • We will be on Spring break from March 16-March 20.  

Getting Help

  • The TC Website will continue to have up-to-date information on all College policies and procedures regarding the College's response to COVID-19. 
  • The University’s COVID-19 website has up-to-date information on all University policies and resources.
  • Beginning tomorrow, Columbia Health’s COVID-19 phone hotline will be available for questions from 9 am to 5 pm Monday-Friday: 212-854-9355.
  • For concerns about bias or harassment, please speak with Tom Rock, Vice Provost for Student Affairs at (212) 678-3083 or  

The health and well being of our community is of the utmost importance.  Thank you for your attention and for continuing to treat everyone with respect and dignity during this trying time. 

Take care of yourself and others,

Tom Rock, Vice Provost for Student Affairs