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.

Arrival Testing

Students who continue to arrive on campus or in the Ithaca area after classes began on Sept. 2 must complete the following arrival testing requirements. The last day to arrive and move into on-campus housing for the fall semester was Monday, Oct. 5.

Complete this short form to provide more information about your arrival test and to activate your Daily Check and surveillance testing schedule for the remainder of the semester.

On your re-entry checklist, mark your response to the first tab as “Away from Ithaca.”

Follow these instructions to complete your arrival test and gain access to campus resources:

  • If living in on-campus housing: Refer to information provided by Housing and Residential Life as part of the move-in process. The last day to arrive and move into on-campus housing for the fall semester was Monday, Oct. 5.
  • If living off campus without access to personal transportation: Contact Cornell Health at 607-255-5155 to inform them of your delayed arrival and to schedule your test.
  • If living off campus with access to personal transportation: Register for your arrival test through Cayuga Health System’s sampling site at the Ithaca Mall. Follow these instructions when registering; failure to do so will prevent Cornell from accessing your arrival test and matching it to your student record:
    • Register at Cayuga Health System
    • In the form, answer these questions as follows:
      • "I am seeking COVID-19 testing because…" – Choose "My employer or school is requiring screening."
      • "Organization Name" – Choose "Cornell-Student".
      • "Demographic Information, Email Address" – Be sure to provide your Cornell email address (
      • "Cornell Affiliation Questions" – Complete all three prompts ("student type," "unit," and "NetID").
    • Quarantine in your off-campus residence until receiving your test results.
    • Do not begin campus activities until you have received your test results and have access to the Daily Check tool.
    • If you are arriving from an international location or a restricted state on the NYS travel advisory list, you must quarantine for 14 days. You are only permitted to "break quarantine" to complete your arrival test, and a negative test result does not shorten your quarantine period.

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