In the wake of a tumultuous end to last semester, in which a campus-wide COVID outbreak made national news, Cornellians have begun flocking back to campus. In preparation for the spring, the University has instituted a number of policies to address the ongoing pandemic and now widespread Omicron variant.
Last semester’s spike, lasting primarily from the final days of November through the middle of December, infected over 1,000 Cornellians and left many unsure about the status of the spring semester.
Consequently, the University has suspended all in-person instruction until Feb. 7, relegating the first two weeks of the semester to virtual instruction as students arrive in Ithaca during an extended move-in period. Students who test positive prior to departure for Ithaca are advised to isolate in place rather than travel; those who receive a positive test result upon arriving on campus are required to self-isolate.
Students who have tested positive over the break are required to submit a “self-reported positive form” to their Daily Check. They will be exempt from surveillance testing for 90 days.
Those who have not tested positive for COVID must submit a negative result from a take-home antigen, PCR, or other home test taken 24-hours prior to their departure and schedule an arrival test within 24 hours of arrival on campus. Anyone not in compliance with these policies will lose campus WiFi, Canvas access and enrollment capabilities until they submit proof of testing.
Cornell continues to require all eligible students to get a booster shot or third vaccination dose. Unvaccinated students who have been granted exemption from vaccination requirements must take tests twice weekly the entire semester.
Following new CDC guidance, cloth masks are no longer approved by the University. Instead, Cornell requires students to wear “high-quality masks” like KN95, surgical, KF95, N95, or FFP2 masks when inside.
Dining halls –– including the newly opened Morrison Dining Hall –– are limited to grab-n-go until Feb. 7. For those in isolation, pre-made meals are available for pickup at RPCC and the Cinema entrance of Willard Straight Hall from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Students may also use the Get Order app to mobile order food in a contactless manner.
Students should pay attention to updated library schedules, as many have changed hours for the two week remote period, with Uris Library closed entirely until Feb. 7, when in-person instruction begins.
Gyms and athletic centers are to continue operations and are limited to faculty, staff, emeritus and students who pass their daily checks and have current memberships. Capacity limits of 35 people have also been implemented in campus fitness centers, and day passes for gyms and athletic centers are not currently offered.
Pools are limited to 12 people, and masks are required when not in water. All other athletic events are slated to continue with health protocols in place as scheduled.