Events

When hosting academic- or business-related events, unit gatherings, symposia or other similar gatherings on or off campus, or permitting external third-party events, please adhere to the following guidance. Be aware that requirements may change quickly – impacting your event – if COVID-19 transmission rates increase on campus or within the local community, or in response to local, state, or federal guidelines or requirements. Event organizers are responsible for checking this site frequently and staying informed about changes in requirements.

Commencement Weekend

All graduates, faculty, staff and guests are required to wear high-quality masks when indoors, regardless of vaccination/booster status. Masking is also encouraged when outdoors in a crowded settings. Anyone experiencing symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 is expected to get tested prior to attending in-person events. Visit the Commencement website for more details on public health guidance.

Testing
Attendees should be encouraged to test for COVID-19 prior to travel and arrival on campus, and to test using a rapid antigen test should they become symptomatic.

The university will not supply antigen kits to non-Cornell Commencement visitors, as antigen kits are readily available at retail locations throughout the area. A bulk supply of antigen kits for students, faculty and staff may be requested for Commencement-related events and travel.

Indoor Room Capacity/Outdoor Event Attendance

Indoor events can be held at full room capacity, but, whenever possible, designate enough space to allow for physical distancing that could be used by unvaccinated individuals, or by vaccinated individuals who may not feel comfortable sitting near others. If an event may exceed the available room capacity, overflow space must be available to avoid overcrowding. When practical, Zoom or other online viewing option should be made available to accommodate those who would otherwise be at risk or unable to attend in person.

Masking

Mask requirements have been lifted for the majority of on-campus locations. The choice to continue masking, even when not required, is a personal one, and no one should be made to feel uncomfortable because of their choice. Visit Cornell’s masking policy for additional guidance. For public health guidance specific to Commencement Weekend, please visit the Commencement website.

Food and Drink

Events may provide food and beverages with the following considerations:

  • Choose larger/more spacious venues that allow for spacing while eating/drinking
  • Single serve is not required
  • Consider ways to serve food that would limit congregating:
    • Place food on one side of a space; place tables on the other
    • Consider using tables so people are inclined to sit and eat
    • Consider grab-and-go options to meet participants’ comfort level with shared food options

Event Organizer Guidance

Screening and review of proof of vaccination and test result documents is not required at Cornell events. Be aware that requirements may change quickly – impacting your event – if COVID-19 transmission rates increase on campus or within the local community, or in response to local, state, or federal guidelines or requirements. Event organizers are responsible for checking this site frequently and staying informed about changes in requirements.

Event organizers must ensure attendees are aware of all necessary public health guidance and communicate expectations to attendees in advance of the event. Access the available print and digital resources, and all events should include signage with the following language: “Please adhere to Cornell University’s COVID-19 guidelines. Stay informed at covid.cornell.edu.”

Additional Resources

  • Visit the Academic and Event Scheduling website for additional information about planning events and reserving space on campus.
  • Visit the Student and Campus Life website for information about in-person student events and meetings.
  • Visit the Cornell Athletics website for guidance for spectators of athletic events, as well as information on indoor and outdoor sporting events.
  • Visit the Cornell Tech COVID-19 website for information about events and on-campus gatherings for the Cornell Tech campus.