Robust, frequent and preventive viral testing, along with public health measures to mitigate transmission, is critical to controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the Cornell community and greater Ithaca area.

The protocol consists of screening students prior to and upon arrival to campus ("arrival testing") and ongoing, frequent screening of students who live on campus or in the Ithaca area, as well as faculty and staff who are reporting to campus ("surveillance testing"). These measures allow the university to quickly identify and isolate infected individuals and any possible close contacts. Participation is required by the Cornell Student Behavioral Compact and the employee expectations attestation in the Daily Check tool.

Cornell will offer optional supplemental COVID-19 testing to faculty and staff – beginning Nov. 4 for staff and faculty who are currently enrolled in surveillance testing and beginning Nov. 30 for all others. In many cases, international students who are departing the United States may be subject to testing requirements by airlines and the country of their destination. For detailed instructions on this process, visit the Daily Check help desk.

Feeling ill or experiencing COVID symptoms?


Testing for Cause

Immediate medical care

Cornell community members who develop symptoms of COVID-19, or are notified that they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, should not report to a surveillance testing site.

Students: Call Cornell Health at 607-255-5155 for an immediate appointment. Employees: Seek testing at the Cayuga Health sampling site at the Ithaca Mall.

Frequently Asked Questions