Current Cornell COVID-19 Alert Level

Green: New Normal

Testing Data*

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For additional information on all cases in Tompkins County, please visit the Tompkins County Health Department. If you are having trouble viewing the data above, a table view is available. Note: you may need to allow popups in your browser to view the table.

Cornell COVID-19 Alert Levels

COVID-19 is a global pandemic and all members of our community must remain vigilant in taking active steps to curb the spread of the virus. Despite Cornell’s safety protocols, we cannot fully eliminate the spread of COVID on our campus. The university, in partnership with the Tompkins County Health Department and Cayuga Health System, is monitoring a variety of indicators to determine what actions may need to be taken should conditions change.

Indicators used to determine alert levels include:

  • Number of cases among students in the Ithaca area and employees reporting for work at Ithaca campus facilities
  • Quarantine/isolation capacity on campus
  • Local hospital capacity
  • Community spread of COVID in greater Ithaca area
  • Resource availability/supply chain (e.g., PPE, testing capacity)

Green: New Normal

What does it mean?

Cases are rare and transmission controlled.

What to expect:

  • Practice everyday precautions: physical distancing, masks required, hand washing.
  • Combination of in-person/hybrid and online learning.
  • Capacity for on-campus spaces at 50% or less.
  • Student gatherings of 10 people or fewer (physical distancing and masks required).
  • Visitors are not allowed on campus and travel is strongly discouraged.

Yellow: Low to Moderate Risk

What does it mean?

Incidence of the virus remains low, but indicators show increased or potential for increase in transmission.

What to expect:

  • Practice everyday precautions: physical distancing, masks required, hand washing.
  • Combination of in-person/hybrid and online learning.
  • Frequency of testing may be increased for some populations.
  • Cornell may further reduce capacity of on-campus spaces.
  • Student gatherings of 10 people or fewer (physical distancing and masks required)
  • Visitors are not allowed on campus and travel is strongly discouraged.

Orange: Moderate Risk

What does it mean?

Incidence has increased above baseline modeling and indicators show rates of infection are increasing.

What to expect:

  • Practice everyday precautions: physical distancing, masks required, hand washing.
  • Frequency of testing may be increased for some populations.
  • Additional steps will be taken to de-densify campus and may include:
    • Moving all classes online and requiring students to stay in their rooms or apartments, except to get food or go for testing.
    • Asking employees who previously returned to campus to support reactivation activities to work remotely.
    • Prohibiting gatherings of any size – instructional or non-instructional – until transmission rates decrease.
  • Visitors are not allowed on campus and travel is strongly discouraged.

Red: Shut Down

What does it mean?

Significant increase in incidence with limited quarantine, isolation and/or local hospital capacity.

What to expect:

  • Practice everyday precautions: physical distancing, masks required, hand washing.
  • Frequency of testing may be increased for some populations.
  • Campus will be shut down:
    • Classes are online only.
    • Campus is restricted to essential operations; only residential students and employees needed to support residential students or essential research and clinical activities will be allowed on campus.
    • On-campus students must remain in their rooms (except to receive meals or for testing) until such time as it is safe for them to return home. Provisions will be made for students who cannot safely return to their homes.
    • Off-campus students in the Ithaca area are also asked to return to their permanent homes.
  • No gatherings of any size are permitted.
  • Visitors are not allowed on campus and travel is strongly discouraged.