The Robert Purcell Community Center will be host to one of the seven surveillance testing sites for the fall semester.

Ben Parker / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

The Robert Purcell Community Center will be host to one of the seven surveillance testing sites for the fall semester.

August 20, 2020

Cornell Unveils New Testing Sites With Surveillance Testing to Begin Sept. 2

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With the school year set to start in less than two weeks, Cornell provided more information on when, where and how often the Cornell community will be tested in the fall.

Provost Michael Kotlikoff alerted the Cornell community Thursday afternoon about the transition from arrival testing to surveillance testing once students have arrived on campus. Kotlikoff announced six new testing sites and that undergraduate students will be tested twice a week.

So far, arrival testing has gone better than expected, Kotlikoff said. The provost reported that among 7,825 graduate and undergraduate students tested, only six tested positive.

“Although a few additional student cases have been reported outside of our arrival testing, the results to date indicate a very low prevalence amongst students and is well below the assumptions in our modeling,” Kotlikoff wrote. He also added that the University plans to create a COVID-19 dashboard to track test results, slated to be released next week.

Arrival testing will continue until the end of August, and surveillance testing will begin Sept. 2, the first day of classes.

One of the primary differences between arrival and surveillance testing is the level of invasiveness. Rather than the arrival testing’s nasopharyngeal swabbing, known for the uncomfortable degree that it goes up the nose, surveillance testing will use self-inserted nares swabs, which are not nearly as invasive.

Testing will take place twice a week for undergraduate students, on a set schedule of two days of the week spaced three days apart. Students will be notified by their daily check the day before their upcoming test.

Graduate research degree students, professional degree students, staff and faculty will be tested once a week.

The email lists seven testing sites, including Fischell Band Center — where arrival testing has been conducted for the past month — and the College of Veterinary Medicine, which has also been repurposed into a testing lab. Testing will be done seven days a week.

The testing locations and schedules are:

  • Robert Purcell Community Center: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
  • Willard Straight Hall: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
  • Collegetown Terrace: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
  • Fischell Band Center: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
  • Livestock Pavilion: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
  • ILR Conference Center, King Shaw Hall: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
  • College of Veterinary Medicine: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.