All employees, working on the Cornell campus, even if only occasionally, are required to adhere to all CDC, NYS, local health department, and Cornell University orders, guidelines, policies and procedures at all times.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are employees responsible for safeguarding public health?
All employees returning to campus must adhere to the university's Employee Health Protection Procedures and complete EHS Return To Work Health and Safety Training for COVID-19. Employees are also strongly advised to follow CDC and health department guidance outside of work to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 to themselves, their coworkers and others.
All faculty and staff approved to work on campus (or other facility) are required to complete the Daily Check assessment each day before arriving on campus or accessing campus facilities and to comply with the requirements of the surveillance testing program. Individuals must also adhere to the university's guidelines on use of face coverings/masks and physical distancing. The Daily Check allows faculty, staff and students approved to return to Cornell’s main campus or related facilities to confirm that they are symptom-free and have not had recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 prior to their arrival on campus or accessing university facilities.
There are no exceptions granted for:
- Infrequent trips to campus (e.g.,1 time per month, etc.)
- Brief visits (e.g., less than 1 hour)
- The time of day or night (e.g., 2:00 am, 6:30 am, 1:00 pm, 10:00 pm)
Failure to comply with the Daily Check and/or the testing requirements may result in consequences such as loss of privileges (access to campus/buildings/labs) and/or disciplinary action.
What should I do if I am presenting symptoms of COVID-19?
Any employees who do not feel well must stay out of their workplace so as to minimize potential exposure of their colleagues and others. These employees should use remote work, their leave accruals, or unpaid leave and should seek medical guidance. They may only return to on-site work once cleared in accordance with university COVID-19 health monitoring procedures.
What happens if I need to be tested for COVID-19?
Employees who are presenting COVID-19 symptoms, and have gone for COVID-19 testing, will be placed on a paid leave. They will not be required to use their leave accruals (HAP or vacation) until the test results are received. If results are negative, and their symptoms are determined to be not COVID-19 related, employees may return to work once cleared in accordance with university COVID-19 health monitoring procedures. If an employee has tested positive, they will be directed to isolate by the Tompkins County Health Department (or, for employees outside of Tompkins County or NY state, the appropriate local health department), another authorized agency, or their primary care physician.
What if I am required to quarantine or isolate?
Employees who are quarantined by the Tompkins County Health Department (or, for employees outside of Tompkins County or NY state, the appropriate local health department), another authorized agency, or their primary care physician, may choose to work remotely if their job responsibilities may be performed remotely. If the employee is asymptomatic, they will be expected to work remotely if their duties make remote work possible. If their job responsibilities do not allow for them to work remotely, they will be placed on paid leave for 14 calendar days.
Employees who are placed in isolation by an authorized agency will be placed on paid leave for 14 calendar days. If the employee is symptomatic and able to continue working remotely, they may choose to do so. If the employee is asymptomatic, they will be expected to work remotely if their duties make remote work possible.
Employees placed on paid leave will not be required to use accruals (HAP or vacation). If the period of quarantine or isolation continues beyond 14 calendar days, the employee should consult with Medical Leaves Administration to move to short-term disability leave, New York Paid Family Leave, or another type of leave as appropriate.
In addition, if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 or is ordered to quarantine or isolate, they must follow the university protocol to report the positive test or order to quarantine and alert their supervisor as soon as possible if they are unable to work. Employees are not required to tell their supervisor any medical diagnosis.
What are the procedures for noncompliance with federal, state, or university guidance?
If you observe noncompliance of work rules, contact your supervisor. In the event you feel you are being asked to do anything in violation of university policies or guidelines, speak to your supervisor, manager, or HR representative. For health and safety issues, contact Environmental Health and Safety. Such situations can also be reported to the Ethics Point Hotline.
Failure to adhere to all required orders, guidelines, policies and procedures may lead to disciplinary action, including termination, and/or loss of privileges, including access to campus buildings and resources.