COVID-19 Guidance for the Union Community

During the COVID-19 emergency, the Union community joined together in a compact to be considerate and mindful of one another’s health and well-being. We worked, studied, and lived together as a community committed to our shared responsibility for community health and welfare, founded in knowledge and grounded in mutual respect. On May 11, 2023, the federal public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 officially ended, quickly followed in support by the World Health Organization, reflecting a pivotal milestone in our world’s collective response to the pandemic. We begin this post-pandemic time with sincere gratitude to the entire Seminary community for your flexibility, kindness, and general care for one another. While the public health emergency has ended, Union remains committed to maintaining the same consideration and commitment to our shared health and well-being.

Union has stayed abreast of developing medical health guidance from the World Health Organization, leading epidemiologists at Columbia University, and the policies of our neighboring institutions. Based on this evidence, effective August 1, 2023, Union Theological Seminary will end its COVID-19 restrictions and policies. Please see the adjusted guidance below.

Vaccination: Individuals living in Seminary housing will no longer be required to submit proof of vaccination.

Visitors: The COVID-19 vaccination mandate will no longer be in effect, and proof of vaccination will no longer be required to enter campus.

Masking: Individuals may decide to mask based on their own circumstances and their preferences. Such decisions should be respected. There is no stigma attached to those wishing to continue masking regardless of this shift, and we encourage behaviors that promote the health and safety of our community.

Positive COVID-19 tests: Individuals who test positive do not need to report their results to the Seminary. Please refer to the CDC guidance after a positive test and consult with a medical provider for appropriate care.

Nevertheless, COVID-19 remains with us and the Seminary will continue to monitor public health conditions and adjust this guidance as needed. We remind and recommend to members of our community to:

  1. Stay up-to-date with boosters where possible
  2. Stay home if you are feeling sick
  3. Wear a mask wherever and whenever you prefer

We look forward to welcoming back all students, faculty, and staff in August as we begin another academic year together. As always, thank you for your care and commitment to one another.

If any of you have any questions or concerns, please contact the following individuals:

Students should contact Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Abigail Asgaralli
Faculty should contact Dean Su Yon Pak
Staff should contact Diana Torres-Petrilli, Chief Human Resource Officer


Update on masking at Union

Thursday, November 3, 2022

We’ve managed to keep our COVID-19 cases phenomenally low during this time and create a safe, welcoming environment for our community members. As always, our policies are considered bearing in mind the most vulnerable members of our community. The current mask policy – required to be worn at all times – has been shifted to

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Faculty and Staff: Fall 2022 Campus Health Update

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Dear Faculty and Staff, As the Fall 2022 semester nears, it is an appropriate time to review Union’s COVID related policies and protocols in order to continue promoting the overall health of our community.  At Union, we are committed to creating a learning and living environment that is safe for all and particularly for the

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Students: Fall 2022 Return to Campus Health Update

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Dear Union students, Union faculty and staff are wholeheartedly looking forward to welcoming you to campus for move-in days next week or as you return to campus this fall. In preparation, we have put into place a number of public health measures designed to promote the overall health of our community. As you know, Union is

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Spring 2022 Return to Campus COVID Update

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff, As you are no doubt aware, COVID-19 infection rates are quickly rising in New York, around the country, and throughout the world. Out of an abundance of caution and out of concern for the health of this community and all the communities with whom we interact, Union has decided to implement

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Faculty and Staff access to Columbia Campus and the Burke Library

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,   In order to access any of the Columbia buildings and the Burke library at Union, a COVID-19 Gateway PCR test is required before being given a Green Pass from the ReOpen CU app which is presented upon arrival. The website to make an appointment, with your UNI and login is:   To obtain your

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People at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 should follow the latest recommendations from the CDC.

Everyone should follow these preventive measures: