Julia Nagel/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Cornell returned to an alert level green on Wednesday.

April 8, 2021

Cornell Returns to Green Alert Following Weeks of High Case Levels

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After more than two weeks in COVID-19 alert level yellow and following record-high case levels reported on campus, Cornell has returned to the green alert level, according to Cornell’s COVID-19 Dashboard

Cornell reported 19 positive cases in the past week, and of the 6,392 students and faculty tested Tuesday, Cornell only reported three positive cases. Quarantine capacity is 74 percent available, marking a stark change from capacity levels that weeks ago hovered below 30 percent. At the time of publication, the University has yet to send a campus-wide update notifying the Cornell community of the alert level change. 

On March 19, the University went into yellow when Cornell reported 74 positive cases, tied to students violating public health guidelines, including North Campus residents and those traveling outside of Ithaca. President Martha Pollack wrote at the time that an increasing number of students were ignoring virus restrictions and missing their surveillance tests and Daily Checks. 

When Cornell moved to yellow, the University warned of entering into orange alert if COVID conditions worsened on campus, which would have moved all classes online, among other restrictive measures.

Weeks later, Cornell temporarily moved the Johnson School MBA Program online on March 26, after the University reported 63 new cases in three days — linked mostly to MBA graduate students who attended St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.    

Now, the green alert means cases are rare and the transmission is under control, according to the COVID-19 Tracking and Reactivation Dashboard. The level also allows students to gather in masked and distanced groups of 10 or fewer.

The decrease in positive cases on campus comes after the University announced its strictest repercussions yet for students who do not comply with surveillance testing measures. 

As of March 30, students who miss their surveillance test lose access to Canvas, no longer able to access and submit assignments. Students who skip their tests will also lose access to University Wi-Fi and campus facilities, such as libraries and study spaces.

As campus only recently creeped out of level yellow, the University has announced plans for in-person classes next semester and will require vaccinations for students on campus. According to the COVID-19 dashboard, as of Tuesday data, 16 percent of the on-campus population has been vaccinated.