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 routinely on 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 for students concluded on Sept. 1. Students arriving on campus after the start of classes on Sept. 2 must contact to schedule your arrival testing.

Questions about testing? Contact


Surveillance Testing

A preventive public health measure

All students living on campus or off campus in the greater Ithaca area, as well as employees who are reporting to campus, are 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 can review assigned testing day(s) and frequency and receive reminder notifications through the Daily Check.

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