Columbia University temporarily bans 70 MBA students from campus

Columbia University bans 70 MBA students from campus for two weeks after they traveled to Turks and Caicos for a vacation in violation of the school’s COVID policy

  • Columbia University temporarily banned 70 MBA students for violating its travel policies amid the pandemic
  • The students took a recreational trip to Turks and Caicos 
  • They will not be allowed on campus until December 1 and must attend all classes virtually
  • The CDC has recommended Americans don’t travel during the holiday season
  • Some areas in New York City have been declared clusters by officials 

Columbia University temporarily banned at least 70 MBA students from campus after they took a group trip to Turks and Caicos amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The vacation was in violation of Columbia University’s coronavirus travel policy, which suspended all domestic and international organized travel until further notice.

‘All academic- or work-related travel, domestic or international, is suspended,’ the university’s website states.  

Columbia University spokesman Christopher Cashman reiterated that point, telling CNN: ‘The Turks & Caicos trip was a group event that violated this policy and thus was met with disciplinary action.’

Officials at Columbia University (pictured) said at least 70 MBA students have been temporarily banned from campus after violating its travel policies

Officials at Columbia University (pictured) said at least 70 MBA students have been temporarily banned from campus after violating its travel policies

It’s unclear when the vacation took place or when students returned to the US. 

Columbia University follows New York state travel restrictions, which required individuals arriving to New York from outside the country to quarantine for 14 days.

From November 9-15, Columbia University recorded two positive coronavirus cases among students and five among university faculty after 3,784 people were tested.     

The week before that saw seven student cases and three faculty cases out of 3,230 people tested. 

CNN reports that the 70 MBA students are barred from campus until December 1 and must attend all classes virtually. 

The 70 MBA students will not be allowed on Columbia University campus (pictured) until December 1 and must do remote learning in the meantime 

‘All of this is being done to protect the broader health of our community and, thankfully, to date our positive case rate remains low,’ Cashman told CNN.  

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans should avoid travel during this holiday season. 

But those who do travel were advised to follow health guidelines like wearing a face mask and  only participating in small gatherings. 

In New York City, several areas have experienced an uptick in cases and been declared a cluster by city officials.

New York City has recorded 278,956 confirmed cases and 19,537 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic this year. Pictured: A COVID-19 related instructional 'attention' sign is seen on Columbia University's campus

New York City has recorded 278,956 confirmed cases and 19,537 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic this year. Pictured: A COVID-19 related instructional ‘attention’ sign is seen on Columbia University’s campus 

As of Sunday, there have been 278,956 confirmed cases and 19,537 deaths.

Staten Island led the pack, as of Thursday, with a positivity rate of 4.75 per cent followed by the Bronx at 3.82 per cent and Queens at 3.36 per cent.

Parts of Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island have been listed as hotspots. 

The seven-day case average was 1,112 as of Thursday.

Hospitalizations in New York City have reached 60,547 and the citywide seven-day average on Thursday was 3.07 per cent.

Local public schools halted in-person learning and switched to complete remote learning after the infection rate surpassed three per cent. 

Nationally, the US has amassed more than 12.2million infections and a death toll of 256,775.    

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