Start of fall 2022 semester

Below are important updates for the start of the fall semester. As announced on July 27, all students are expected to continue to take personal responsibility and to demonstrate COVID-19 etiquette.

Vaccinations and Boosters

The university continues to require proof of a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccination or medical/religious exemption for all campus community members and strongly encourages everyone to receive every additional booster that becomes available to them.

Pre-Arrival Testing for Students

Before arriving in Ithaca or Geneva for the fall semester, all students should take an at-home antigen test, as close to their departure date as possible. Report any positive results to the Daily Check and consult the CDC guidance for isolation requirements. Do not travel until your isolation period has ended.

Students who test negative through their at-home antigen test should test again within a few days of arriving in the Ithaca or Geneva area. Graduate and professional students who remained in the area over the summer are encouraged to take an antigen test before resuming classes or research. Antigen tests will be available for pickup at several on-campus locations during the arrival period.

Changes to Testing After August 31

With broad availability of antigen tests – which are effective at detecting infection at high viral levels, when people are most infectious – Cornell will discontinue its supplemental PCR (nasal/saliva) testing sites on Aug. 31. Antigen tests will continue to be available to all students, faculty and staff who may wish to test following travel, attendance at large gatherings, illness or potential exposure. Cornell Health will continue to offer PCR tests for symptomatic students who meet the clinical testing criteria.


Wearing a mask while indoors reduces the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Individuals who are concerned about the risk of infection are encouraged to continue to wear a mask, and all community members should support and respect one another’s masking choices.

Masks are required in testing centers (through Aug. 31), campus healthcare facilities, and when riding public transit. Additionally, anyone who is recovering from COVID-19 and is no longer required to isolate must continue to mask when with others according to CDC guidance.

Masks will be strongly encouraged, but are not required, in classrooms, providing more protection for vulnerable students, faculty and staff. Individuals should consider and respect the vulnerabilities of others by wearing a mask in the classroom if requested by an instructor and/or fellow classmates. The university will continue to provide high-quality masks to all campus community members.

COVID-19 Etiquette for Students

If you are ill:

  • Do not attend class, work, or other social gatherings.
  • If you have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, seek and perform an antigen test.
  • If you are feeling particularly ill, contact Cornell Health at 607-255-5155.

If you test positive:

  • Report your result through the Daily Check, which helps to understand prevalence on campus and to provide academic support while you recover.
  • You will be granted a temporary accommodation notice that you may elect to share with your instructors if you anticipate missing class during your isolation period.
  • Contact your college student services office for additional academic support as needed.
  • Tell roommates and other close contacts that you have COVID-19. This will allow others to take proactive steps to monitor their health.
  • Wear a high-quality mask at all times, except when eating, sleeping or using bathroom facilities (e.g., showering, brushing teeth).
  • Isolate in your residence hall or apartment. Follow TCHD current isolation guidelines.
  • Limit time away from your room, except when seeking medical care or picking up food.
  • Clean shared areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens, immediately after use and before the next person enters.

Roommates of COVID-19 positive students should:

  • Wear a high-quality mask when in residence halls/rooms, except when sleeping.
  • Get tested. Because the virus can take days to incubate, even if asymptomatic, you should test immediately upon learning your roommate is positive and then several days later.
  • Test immediately if you become symptomatic.
  • Take extra precautions, such as cleaning shared, high-touch surfaces.

Some roommates of COVID-19 positive students may feel more comfortable temporarily relocating – students may choose to stay with a friend or go to a hotel at their own expense. Those students with severe medical vulnerability who have a COVID-19 positive roommate should contact Student Disability Services if they believe they need a temporary housing accommodation.

Community Forum for Undergraduate Students and Families

Student and Campus Life will host a virtual community forum on Aug. 11 at 3:30 p.m. to further discuss start-of-semester plans. Attendees must pre-register.