COVID-19 & Reactivation Planning
Cornell plans to reactivate Ithaca campus for fall semester; classes set to begin Sept. 2
Cornell University has announced plans for the fall semester, which includes a hybrid approach to a residential semester (with in-person, online and hybrid teaching modalities), robust virus testing, and modifications to the academic calendar that will allow students to begin classes on Sept. 2 and return home for Thanksgiving and finish the semester remotely.
The key consideration in our decision to reopen is public health. Residential instruction, when coupled with a robust virus screening program of the form we intend to implement, is a better option for protecting the public health of our community than a purely online semester. In accordance with New York state reopening guidelines, Cornell has developed and submitted a reactivation plan (PDF) to the New York State Department of Health.
Upcoming Town Halls
- Forum for new students and families: Aug. 14, 3 p.m. EDT. Registration required.
- Town hall with Cornell, Ithaca College and TC3 leadership: Aug. 18, 7 p.m. EDT. Join on Zoom.
Messages and Updates
- Fall 2020 course list and enrollment guide (August 7)
- Cornell Student Behavioral Compact now available in Re-entry Checklist (August 5)
- President Pollack emphasizes science behind reactivation decision (August 5)
- Op-Ed: Shift in Quarantine Process Enhances Public Health (August 4)
- COVID testing program update (August 4)
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is currently allowed on campus?
New York state has permitted the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions to move to Phase 4 reopening, effective Friday, June 26. As with earlier phases, full campus reopening is excluded at this time. Unless approved to return to campus by their dean, department chair or supervisor, faculty and staff who are currently working remotely should continue to do so.
Cornell is approaching the restart of our research enterprise carefully and in stages. Before research can resume, buildings and facilities must be cleared for reopening; sufficient protective equipment must be available for personnel; and all labs, studios and other research/scholarly programs must submit research reactivation plans to be approved by the department chair or center director, the college dean and the vice provost for research. Research reactivation currently excludes activities in New York City, as different regions are currently in different phases of the New York state plan for reopening.
Under Phase 4, approved Ithaca and Geneva facilities may continue to expand critical on-campus activities, including access to Cornell University Libraries in support of research and scholarship. Plans for work in non-research facilities must be reviewed and approved by the Provost’s Office and the Vice President for Human Resources’ Office.
To ensure workplace health and safety as Cornell’s phased reactivation proceeds, employees must adhere to Working During COVID-19 guidance issued by the Division of Human Resources, those approved to work or conduct research on the Ithaca campus or related facilities must complete the Daily Check prior to their arrival each day, and facilities must not exceed 50% capacity.
Are visitors allowed on campus?
All in-person summer programs or activities (e.g. summer classes, conferences and events) have been moved online or cancelled; campus buildings and services are not open to visitors at this time.
Walking around Cornell’s campus, including the Botanic Gardens, is permitted. However, all employees, students and visitors are required to have a mask on their person when outdoors on campus and to put on their face covering or mask when it is NOT feasible to maintain physical distancing measures (i.e., at least six feet of separation between others).
Cornell’s travel and visitor policy (PDF) outlines additional measures regarding campus visitation. At this time and for the duration of the fall semester, campus visitors are prohibited from entering any campus facility, including residence halls. Only approved current students, staff or faculty, essential vendors (such as food and delivery workers or construction and service providers), or individuals approved, in writing, by the provost or appropriate dean, vice president or their delegate, may access campus facilities.
Cornell Tech Campus
Visit Cornell Tech's COVID-19 resource page for the latest information.