Jim Wilson / The New York Times

A testing site in San Jose, California. Operation of a similar site will begin on campus July 16 to test students this fall.

July 15, 2020

Cornell COVID-19 Testing Program to Start July 16

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Cornell will begin testing students for COVID-19 on July 16, according to an email from Vice Provost for Academic Integration Gary Koretzky and Vice President for Students and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi sent to students on Wednesday. Testing will be available for students on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Fischell Band Center, which is located in the parking lot of Schoellkopf Stadium.

Once the fall semester begins, all students in the Ithaca area will be required to regularly report for viral testing, regardless of symptoms, per the University’s behavioral compact.

After Sept. 2, all students will be required to participate in a health surveillance program that involves a daily online survey, called the Daily Check, and viral testing in regular intervals. Students will be made aware of when they must report for testing through the Daily Check. These measures will be implemented in conjunction with other personal health guidelines such as wearing face masks and frequent hand washing.

The email does not specify the frequency of testing. Campus modeling done to inform campus reopening by Prof. Peter Frazier, operations research and information engineering, assumed that testing would occur every five days.

Students currently in Ithaca, in either on-campus and off-campus housing, can schedule testing for as early as July 16 through the Cayuga Health portal or through the student Re-entry Checklist.

The announcement regarding testing comes at a time when Ithaca is facing a spike in COVID-19 cases, mostly attributed to Fourth of July related traveling and celebrations. Confirmed active cases in Tompkins County rose from two to 17 within the past week, after having only one to two active cases for over three weeks.

Those that are not yet in Ithaca, but plan to live in off-campus housing, are expected to register for testing prior to their arrival. Students living on campus will receive information regarding testing as part of their move-in, and do not need to schedule testing.

The University encourages students returning to campus to quarantine in place for 14 days before their intended arrival in Ithaca. Those traveling to campus from states with high prevalence of COVID-19, including California, Texas and Florida, are also expected to comply with the travel restrictions established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), which mandates a 14-day quarantine upon entry to New York.