Columbia University bans 70 students for Covid-19 travel violations

Columbia University says it has temporarily banned at least 70 students for violating the New York City school’s Covid-19 travel policy.

The MBA students traveled to Turks and Caicos, according to Columbia University spokesman Christopher Cashman.

That violated the school’s Covid-19 health compact, a protocol which restricts any official or organized group travel until further notice, Cashman said.

“The Turks & Caicos trip was a group event that violated this policy and thus was met with disciplinary action,” Cashman said.

Coronavirus case counts are surging, with 2.7 million new infections since the beginning of November. Friday alone saw more than 195,500, the most in a single day yet. More than 250,000 Americans have died from Covid-19.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that Americans should not travel for Thanksgiving, and has posted updated guidelines for safely celebrating the holiday.

Cashman said the students can’t enter campus until December 1. They must complete their academic obligations by attending class virtually.

If the students violate the policy again, they are subject to harsher discipline, Cashman said.

“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 said.

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