Cornell-sponsored winter gatherings

from December 8, 2021 – January 23, 2022


As the semester draws near, we recognize the importance of departments, units, and student groups to come together and celebrate the accomplishments of the year. The following guidelines are a carveout of the current COVID-19 event guidance to allow for such gatherings. Please note that these guidelines are for specific winter celebrations and do not replace our guidance for routine or more typical academic or business-related gatherings. This guidance applies to the Ithaca campus, Geneva, and Cornell in Washington. Winter gatherings hosted at Cornell Tech or in NYC must follow additional local guidance as defined under the Key to NYC regulation. Please be cognizant that we are still seeing cases of COVID, including among our employees and students, even if vaccinated. Strict adherence to this winter gathering guidance is necessary for the health and safety of our community.

Leadership + Oversight – Please plan a safe gathering and have records to assist with contact tracing

Any unit or group seeking to host a winter gathering must designate a lead to manage guest/attendance list and document check.

Designee must:

  • Incorporate a pre-registration mechanism for the event that captures participant name, NetID or email (employee and guests) and phone number. Participants must complete pre-registration at least 72 hours before gathering.
  • Send a message to registrants before the gathering to (a) strongly encourage taking a supplemental test 48 hours prior to the event and to (b) screen for symptoms before arriving.
  • Maintain a list of all attendees and NetID or email (employees and guests) to assist with contact tracing, if need be.

If fully remote employees and/or non-Cornell participants will attend, designee must:

  • Take the CULearn Course CU201
  • Visually verify remote employees’ and guests’ proof of vaccination or negative test results at check-in for the event; these should never be collected from attendees or stored digitally

Space Use – Please plan for distancing where possible

  • Units or groups should limit attendance to 75% of room/space occupancy
  • Where there is not a defined room capacity, units or groups endeavor to have fewer people than ‘normal’ to allow for distancing

Masks – Please plan for use as much as possible

  • Required (per executive order, per Cornell policy) except for when eating/drinking

Food + Drink – Please plan for safety first

  • Food and drinks are allowed, including alcohol in moderation (alcohol only for graduate/professional and employee events)
  • Units or groups should consider ways to serve food that will limit congregating in close contact:
    • Provide a designated space for eating if possible
    • Consider spaced tables so people are inclined to sit and eat
    • Place food on one side of the room, and place tables on the other side or the room
    • Grab and go or single-serving food options are recommended

Cornell Community (current student and employee) Participants – Registration and screening required

  • Pre-registration required (full name and email)
  • Registration check-in process required (full name and NetID) for all attending
  • Units or groups must check Cornell ID at door, if not a ‘closed’/known group
  • Units or groups must send a pre-gathering email to:
    • Strongly encourage participants to have a supplemental test 48-hours before event
    • Remind employees that Daily Check health screening is required (screen for symptoms)
    • Remind students and remote employees to not come to gathering if experiencing symptoms

Fully Remote Cornell Employees + Non-Cornell Invited Guests – Registration and screening required

  • Pre-registration required (full name, email, and phone)
  • Gatherings are only open to those who are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative PCR test result in last 72 hours, or have documentation of recovery from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis within the past 90-days
  • Attendance of children is discouraged, to limit risk. If they attend:
    • Children 2-11 years of age must wear masks at all times, unless fully vaccinated
    • Children 12+ must have documentation of negative test, be fully vaccinated, or have documentation of recovery from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis within the past 90-days
  • Units or groups must communicate clear messaging in advance of the gathering regarding requirements (mask, proof of vaccination/testing), and to not attend if experiencing any symptoms
  • Units or groups must screen all guests at the door, note name and email or phone number, and visually verify guests’ proof of vaccination or test results at check-in for the event; these should never be collected from attendees or stored digitally

Off-campus Events - Permitted, but should follow all guidance noted above

Inclusion – Please consider

  • Units should endeavor to have ways to also recognize/celebrate members who are not able to attend an in-person event