Reactivating Campus

State & Local Guidelines

New York state's reopening plan focuses on getting people back to work and easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread of the virus or overwhelming the hospital system. Governor Cuomo has announced a phased plan to reopen New York on a regional basis as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health as businesses reopen. State and local leaders will monitor the effects of the reopening and ensure hospitalization and infection rates are not increasing before moving to the next phase and permitting more economic activity.

Cornell adheres closely to state and local guidance as we reactivate our campuses and facilities in a safe, responsible and legal manner. To ensure workplace health and safety as Cornell's phased reactivation proceeds, employees must adhere to the following newly established guidelines; all campus activities must adhere to health and safety standards and practices and be cleared by college and school deans or unit leads; and facilities will need to be returned to operational status.

Ithaca, NY

The Southern Tier region, which includes Tompkins County and Cornell’s main campus, has met the required metrics for Phase 4 reopening based on the New York state reopening plan. Visit the Tompkins County Health Department website for specific guidance and resources on local reopening plans.

Tompkins County Health Department has provided the following guidance for individuals to consider when they go out to stop the spread of COVID-19.

  • Distance: Even while more spaces and businesses begin to open, keeping six feet of distance between you and others continues to be an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Density: New York state is allowing limited, non-essential gatherings of 50 or fewer individuals as part of Phase 4 of regional reopening. Guidance on distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene still apply. It is important to consider how many people you may be around if you go out.
  • Face Coverings: Your mask protects others; their mask protects you. The wearing of masks when you can’t guarantee physical distancing is a proven way to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Hand Hygiene: Washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and consistently cleaning frequently touched surfaces can help to stop the spread COVID-19.
  • Symptoms and Testing:
    1. Monitor Your Symptoms. If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or body aches, seek a test and stay home.
    2. Get Tested: Register to be tested at the Cayuga Health Sampling Site, online at or call 607-319-5708.

The Tompkins County Health Department website includes additional guidance and resources on local re-opening plans.

Geneva, NY

Geneva is located in the Finger Lakes region, which is in Phase 4 reopening, effective June 26. For more details, visit the Reopening New York website.

New York City, NY

New York City is currently in Phase 1. For additional details please visit the Reopening New York website or Cornell Tech COVID website.