Prevention & Care
Vaccination remains the number one way to protect yourself and others against COVID-19. All members of the Cornell community are asked to:
- Follow current masking guidelines.
- Practice physical distancing and minimize close contact with others, especially indoors.
- Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if washing is not an option.
- Stay home and avoid contact with others when you are sick; call ahead before seeking medical care at Cornell Health or elsewhere.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
What should I do if I’m feeling ill?
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, please do the following:
- Ithaca and Geneva campus students, faculty and staff experiencing mild to moderate symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, and who have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days, can pick up a symptomatic test kit. Students with severe symptoms should contact Cornell Health at 607-255-5155 (24/7) for consultation, and faculty and staff should consult with their primary care physician.
- Cornell Tech students may call Weill Cornell Medicine at 646-962-7300 and identify yourself as a Cornell Tech student. The call center staff will schedule a virtual appointment for you with a doctor, which will be conducted on the Weill Cornell Medicine portal app via video phone conference.
If you have been exposed to COVID-19 through close contact with someone who has recently tested positive, please self-monitor for symptoms and get tested.
Quarantine & Isolation
While both quarantine and isolation refer to methods of preventing the spread of illness, they do not mean the same thing. Quarantine refers to separating a person without symptoms of a contagious disease like COVID-19 from others while they self-monitor for the development of symptoms. Isolation means separating someone with a contagious disease like COVID-19 away from others.
Any member of the Cornell community diagnosed with COVID-19 must follow Tompkins County Health Department’s isolation procedures. The standard isolation period is five full days from test date or symptom onset, not including the day one tests positive or the first day of symptoms onset. Students and employees are expected to stay off campus for at least five days.
Further details on Cornell’s quarantine and isolation policies are available on the Cornell Health website.
Self-Care & Support
It remains important to find ways to take care of yourself and others and to seek support when necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
I feel stressed or overwhelmed. Who can I talk to?
Those who could benefit from support are encouraged to connect with the resources below.
- Students enrolled on the Ithaca campus may access resources provided by Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at Cornell Health. Students can also call Cornell Health 24/7 at 607-255-5155 to speak with a licensed therapist from their on-call service.
- Students at Cornell Tech may contact Student Services for support.
- Faculty and staff in Ithaca and New York City may contact the Faculty & Staff Assistance Program (FSAP). Additional health plan benefits, including telehealth services are also available to benefits-eligible employees.
- Chaplains and spiritual advisors in Cornell United Religious Work (CURW) are available to speak with students seeking spiritual support and care, online and/or by phone.
- Confidential care and support for individuals affected by bias is also available, and any member of the community can report a bias incident or related concerns.
What community resources are available to help employees?
Human Resources has developed a collection of Cornell and community resources to support the physical, emotional and mental well-being of employees.
What parenting and caregiving options are available?
Information about Cornell and community-based childcare resources are available on the Human Resources COVID-19 Workplace Guidance website.