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.
- Fall classes will start Sept. 2, according to a modified academic calendar that will have most students return home before Thanksgiving break. Students will finish the term with online instruction and exams in December, before a delayed start to the spring semester in February.
- For those unable to return to Ithaca, remote learning options will be available.
- Detailed plans for an extended, phased move-in period, including screening for COVID-19, will be released in the weeks ahead. A series of town halls will also be scheduled to share critical updates about next steps.
- These plans apply to the Ithaca campus and Cornell Agritech. Given the varying impacts and progression of the virus in New York City, Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medicine campuses have developed their own plans for the fall semester.
- The university is finalizing a reopening plan required to be submitted to New York state for the Ithaca campus and Cornell AgriTech in Geneva. Once finalized, this report will be shared with the Cornell community.
For more information, please view a statement issued by President Pollack on June 30.
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. We hope to resume campus tours and to welcome visitors to the Cornell Store, Johnson Museum, Dairy Bar and other iconic campus locations as soon as it is safe to do so.
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 6 feet of separation between others).
Cornell Tech Campus
Visit Cornell Tech's COVID-19 resource page for the latest information.
Please continue to practice physical (or social) distancing and be sure to check this website frequently, as additional information will continue to be posted as it becomes available.