Semester-end checklist, semifinals and travel updates

November 10, 2020

Dear Cornell Students,

With just a few days of in-person classes and semifinal exams remaining, many of you are nearing the end of your studies on campus this semester. I have said it before, but it bears repeating: you have done an extraordinary job following public health guidelines and ensuring the safety of our campus community and the greater Ithaca area. Furthermore, I’ve been equally impressed by the effort and dedication shown by each of you who are studying remotely. All students should be proud of rising to the many challenges we’ve faced.

As you prepare for the year’s end, I wanted to share a few key reminders:

  • End-of-semester checklist: All students – whether remote or living in the Ithaca area – must complete the checklist by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13. This is critically important for the university to understand your post-Thanksgiving plans, as well as for spring semester planning. Students who fail to do so by the deadline will lose access to campus facilities and will not be permitted to pre-enroll for the spring semester. If your plans change after the deadline, the checklist will remain open for edits until Nov. 29.
  • Semifinals: Semifinal exams will be held Nov. 17-24. As a reminder, students enrolled in classes with in-person semifinals are expected to take them in person. Any non-essential travel could jeopardize your ability to do so, and any student seeking to take in-person semifinals remotely must arrange for a formal exception through their college advising office.
  • Supplemental testing: Travel requirements vary by state or country; however, many international students and scholars will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48-72 hours of their departure date. For some, the deadline to produce proof of a negative test result may not align with your surveillance testing schedule. To accommodate the need for off-cycle, asymptomatic testing, the university has created a “supplemental testing” option via the Daily Check portal. Before traveling abroad, please review Global Cornell’s guidelines for international travel.
  • Travel policy: Governor Cuomo recently announced updated public health guidelines for travelers to New York, allowing them to “test out” of the state’s 14-day quarantine in as soon as four days with a negative COVID-19 test result. Cornell is currently reviewing these guidelines and will inform the campus community if there are any resulting changes to our travel policy. Until a decision is made, please continue to follow Cornell’s travel and visitor policy. All unnecessary travel remains strongly discouraged.
  • Quarantine/Isolation: Don’t forget, if you’re in quarantine or isolation at the time of your intended departure, the Tompkins County Health Department may not permit you to travel. Please keep this potential restriction in mind as you plan your departure.
  • Spring 2021: Spring planning is top of mind for many of you. We will communicate plans for the spring semester, including expectations around move-in, quarantine and testing, before winter break. Please continue to check your Cornell email, as it is the best way for us to reach you.

Whether you’ll be departing campus, remaining in the Ithaca area or continuing your studies remotely, I encourage you to continue to practice all public health precautions. We have come too far to let our guards down now.

And, best of luck on semifinals! Continue to stay engaged with your classes and with your peers, and make the most of what remains of the semester.


Ryan Lombardi
Vice President for Student and Campus Life