Julia Nagel/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

The line for covid testing in Willard Straight stretches far outside the doors on a typical day.

November 11, 2021

Cornell Lifts Penalties for Missed COVID Tests Until Saturday

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Following a week of CornellALERTS, students received yet another text Wednesday from the University — this time from the COVID Support Center.

The message read that students who miss their testing day from now until Saturday, Nov. 13 won’t lose access to campus buildings or Canvas — policies normally in place for a missed surveillance test. This announcement comes after Cornell closed COVID testing sites Tuesday evening due to a shelter-in-place order due to the ongoing pursuit of an armed suspect by local law enforcement.

Even as Cornell temporarily lifts restrictions for missed tests, students are still “strongly encouraged” to complete their surveillance tests as scheduled, the Daily Check website reads. Restrictions will resume for students with surveillance tests scheduled on Sunday, Nov. 14. Fully vaccinated undergraduates are required to get weekly COVID tests this semester.

The announcement comes after a tumultuous week for the Cornell community, with a bomb threat on Central Campus on Sunday — later found “not credible” — and a shelter-in-place order on North Campus and other locations on Tuesday after reports of an armed gunman in Cayuga Heights. The events also halted many on-campus activities on Tuesday, as Cornell postponed prelims and canceled events on North Campus.

Students who were scheduled for a surveillance test on Tuesday received an email from the Daily Check Team, stating that they could make up their tests until 6 p.m. Thursday without penalty. The new announcement appears to extend the initial message.  

Before the announcement, students who did not complete their surveillance test within 24 hours after their testing day would lose access to campus buildings, Canvas and on-campus Wi-Fi until their test was completed. The temporary change eliminates this policy until Saturday, after which Cornell will resume restrictions.  

As of Nov. 9, there are nine new positive cases on campus, with eight active student cases, according to Cornell COVID-19 Tracking. Ninety-seven percent of campus is vaccinated against the virus. Despite the low number of cases on campus, Cornell has maintained this policy since it was first enacted following a spike in cases in March 2021.  

The University did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.