Health & Safety

Face Masks

Cornell requires that an approved mask must be worn indoors at all times in campus buildings, unless in a private, non-shared space (e.g., cubicle or dorm room), when alone in an office or when eating. (A cubicle is defined as a space with three walls at least five feet in height.) When indoors, unvaccinated individuals must maintain physical distancing when unmasked to eat and drink. When outdoors, everyone should wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.

Approved masks include masks with any of the following certifications: ASTM (procedure or surgical), KN95, FFP2, KF94 or NIOSH N95. Cloth masks are not approved unless worn in conjunction with an ASTM medical mask.

Observe these additional precautions:

  • Minimize your time unmasked
  • Minimize unmasked conversations
  • If in groups, minimize the group size

Approved masks will be available at any of the COVID-19 testing sites and masks will be provided to students upon their arrival in Ithaca. To ensure an adequate supply for others, please only take the number of masks you need to comply with the mask requirements in the immediate future.

Departments and Units can pick up mask supplies at the Cornell Recycling Facility. Pre-ordering is not required.

Cornell Recycle Center
251 Solidago Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Pick Up Hours: 8:00-3:30

Employees who choose to a wear NIOSH certified N95 mask must complete required EHS 2386 Respirator Voluntary Use Sign Off on CU Learn; this is a short training and an Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requirement.

Eating and drinking indoors

Masks are most effective when worn properly and can prevent inhaling and exhaling the COVID-19 virus, protecting you and those around you.

Prior to Feb. 7:
On-campus dining will be limited to grab-and-go meals through Feb. 7. Faculty, staff, and students should minimize contact with others while eating and drinking.

After Feb. 7:
Indoor dining options will resume in designated locations on campus. All faculty, staff and students will be required to wear a mask in these spaces until seated and must put their mask back on as soon as they have finished eating or drinking. Unvaccinated individuals must maintain a six-foot distancing from others when unmasked for eating or drinking. Vaccinated individuals are not required to distance while eating or drinking, but it is a good idea to distance as much as possible.

Atriums or other public spaces
Most of our campus facilities will be configured for full capacity this semester. This includes building atriums, lobbies and other public spaces, which are common spots to congregate for informal meetings, studying or taking a break with colleagues and friends.

While it is common for eating and drinking to occur in these spaces, these are not designated dining spaces. You are required to put your mask back on whenever you are not actively eating or drinking (e.g., mask up between sips when drinking a coffee over an extended period of time).

Frequently Asked Questions

Do: Wear an approved mask indoors (ASTM (procedure or surgical), KN95, FFP2, KF94 or NIOSH N95)
Do: Wear a mask outdoors if you cannot maintain 6 ft. of physical distance.
Do: Eat in designated dining areas, keep mask on until seated.
Do: Mask up between sips.
Do: Unvaccinated individuals must maintain 6ft. of distance when eating.
Do: Protect wildlife by cutting the straps when disposing of your mask.
Don't: Wear a cloth mask unless double masked with an ASTM mask.
Don't: Wear a loose-fitting, soiled or damaged mask.