CornellALERT: Increase in COVID-19 cases, Ithaca campus moving to alert level yellow
A cluster of at least 12 positive COVID-19 cases within our student body has been identified. In addition, there have been more than 30 positive cases this week identified through surveillance (non-arrival) testing, as well as testing of students with COVID-19 symptoms. A rise in non-arrival positive COVID-19 test results indicates transmission has occurred locally due to lack of adherence to public health measures such as physical distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding gatherings.
As a result of this increase, the Ithaca campus is now moved to COVID-19 Alert Level Yellow. Alert level yellow means that incidence of the virus remains low, but indicators show increased, or potential for increase in, transmission. Visit the COVID-19 tracking dashboard for additional information.
Students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or who believe they may have been exposed, should immediately contact Cornell Health at 607-255-5155. Symptoms include: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever (over 100 degrees F) or chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Faculty or staff who are experiencing symptoms should seek advice from their healthcare provider or schedule a test at the Ithaca Mall, Tioga Street or other sampling site. Do not go to a surveillance testing location if you are experiencing symptoms.
Public health officials advise the following actions to protect yourself and others:
- New York state requires everyone to wear a face covering when in public and unable to maintain physical distancing. In addition, Cornell has specific guidelines about when face coverings are required when on campus, both indoors and outside.
- Face masks should completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against your face. Reusable face coverings should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
- Practice physical distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart from others).
- Avoid gatherings; limit close contact among groups of people.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if washing is not an option.
- Stay home and avoid contact with others when you are sick; call ahead before seeking medical care at Cornell Health or elsewhere.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Visit Cornell's COVID-19 website for additional information related to prevention and care. The website also includes the university's COVID-19 tracking dashboard, which is updated Monday-Friday to include information about testing and positive cases within the campus community.
This message is being sent to the campus community pursuant to the university's emergency response procedures and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act.