As the Ithaca campus reactivates, a robust virus testing program will be critical to controlling the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The protocol will include screening students prior to and upon arrival to campus, and ongoing, frequent screening of the entire Cornell community, with isolation/quarantine/contact tracing as needed. Our goal will be to identify infected individuals and quickly isolate them and those with whom they had close contact. More details around this testing program will be provided over the coming weeks.

All students and employees will be required to participate in ongoing ‘surveillance testing’ throughout the fall semester. Compliance with the testing program will be an absolute requirement for all students, whether living in on-campus housing or in the local Ithaca community.

Any student in the Ithaca area who feels ill, or has a reason to suspect they may be at risk for having become infected with COVID-19, should contact Cornell Health at 607-255-5155 immediately for instructions.

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Arrival Testing

A safer start to the semester

All students currently living in the greater Ithaca area, or planning to do so this fall, must take an 'arrival test.' Students in off-campus housing can sign up today using the Re-Entry Checklist.

Living on campus? You will be assigned a testing time as part of Move-In.

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Surveillance Testing

A preventive public health measure

All students will be required to participate in ongoing 'surveillance testing' throughout the fall semester. Because COVID-19 infection is often asymptomatic, early identification of individuals harboring the virus requires regular surveillance testing.

You will receive notifications through the Daily Check.

Feeling ill or experiencing COVID symptoms?

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Testing for Cause

Immediate medical care

Any student who feels ill (e.g., fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath) or has reason to suspect they may be at risk for having become infected with COVID-19:

Call Cornell Health at 607-255-5155 immediately; do not go to an arrival or surveillance testing site.

Arrival Testing for Students

  • Students currently in the Ithaca area, living in either on- or off-campus housing, can schedule their 'arrival test' now. This test can be scheduled through the Re-Entry Checklist. We strongly encourage you to register for testing as soon as possible.
  • Students not yet in Ithaca, who plan to live in off-campus housing, should register for their 'arrival test' before departing for Ithaca, as appointment availability is updated on a weekly basis. Students should schedule their test through the Re-Entry Checklist.
  • Students not yet in Ithaca, who plan to live in on-campus housing, will receive additional information from Housing & Residential Life as part of move-in, whether they arrive prior to or during the regular move-in days. There is no need to schedule your 'arrival test' now.

Surveillance Testing

After Sept. 2, all members of the Cornell community will be required to be tested on a regular basis. Because COVID-19 infection is often asymptomatic, identification of individuals harboring the virus requires regular surveillance testing of our community. All students and employees will be required to participate in ongoing 'surveillance testing' throughout the fall semester.

Students will be notified of their test through the Daily Check website with instructions on how to register at one of several locations on campus and when the test must be completed. Compliance with all testing, including surveillance testing, is required as part of the Cornell Behavioral Compact. In addition, any student who feels ill or has a reason to suspect they may be at risk for having become infected with COVID-19 should contact Cornell Health at 607-255-5155 for instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions