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Cornell courses will resume online on April 6.

March 20, 2020

First Members of Cornell Community Test Positive for COVID-19

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Cornell President Martha E. Pollack informed students in a mass email on Friday afternoon that two members of the Cornell community in Ithaca tested positive for COVID-19.

These individuals are among Cornell’s “faculty, staff and students,” Pollack wrote. Both are currently in isolation and receiving care, and the health department has contacted people known to have been in their close proximity.

The announcement comes after Friday afternoon’s Tompkins County Health Department update that 11 total cases of the coronavirus have been identified in Tompkins County.

Pollack also called upon the community to respect the privacy of individuals who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I appreciate that the news is difficult,” Pollack wrote, “though it is not entirely unexpected given the rise in confirmed cases nationally and globally and the recent news of the first confirmed cases in the county.”

The first positive case in Tompkins County was announced on March 14.

According to the county, as of 5 p.m. Friday, 88 individuals have tested negative and 280 test results are still pending. There are 515 people still under quarantine and being monitored by the health department. 153 have been released from quarantine.

Cornell Health is still operating but not accepting any walk-in patients. All appointments must be made by phone, though the pharmacy was still open as of Friday.

Pollack urged members of the Cornell community to continue to practice social distancing whether on or off-campus, and promised updates if more individuals test positive in the future.