Immediate restrictions for testing non-compliance

March 30, 2021

Dear Cornellians,

As members of the Cornell community, each one of us is responsible for engaging in the public health and safety behaviors required to keep ourselves and others safe. Perhaps the most important component of Cornell’s full residential strategy has been the implementation of a rigorous surveillance testing program that identifies infected individuals as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the virus. Among the most important behaviors that we all can do to keep others safe is full adherence to the surveillance testing schedule.

Although the vast majority of Cornell students have reliably complied with testing requirements, this unfortunately is not true of all. Even though the Ithaca campus moved to Alert Level Yellow 10 days ago in response to an increase in COVID-19 transmission, we still continue to see a pattern of testing non-compliance among a subset of our students. This behavior, which endangers our community and risks compromising in-person teaching and student activities, will not be tolerated.

Later this week, students who do not complete their assigned surveillance test within 24 hours will face the following restrictions:

  • All enrollment transactions will be placed on hold. This hold will restrict a student’s ability to:
    • Access Canvas for your enrolled courses, which means that students will be blocked from downloading course materials, submitting assignments or taking exams. Because access has been disabled due to non-compliance with the Behavioral Compact, faculty will not provide students with course materials, offer make-up exams or grant extensions for missed assignment deadlines.
    • Drop a course or change your grading option. If this hold occurs over the April 5 drop deadline (or April 26 for the second 7-week session), there is no guarantee that the student’s college or school will approve a late drop or grade option change. Students with active enrollment holds at the time of pre-enrollment (currently scheduled to take place during the first half of May) will be unable to pre-enroll for fall ’21 courses.
  • Access to campus Wi-Fi and residential wired networks will be revoked. However, students will continue to be able to access Cornell Health, Cayuga Health System, Daily Check and submit a help ticket. Some features of these websites may require you to switch your cellular network to use them to their fullest extent.
  • Access to campus facilities will continue to be revoked, including academic buildings, libraries, and study spaces.

In order to lift these restrictions, students must complete a surveillance test immediately, which starts by scheduling a testing appointment through Daily Check. Please note that completing a missed test does not waive a student’s obligation to take another test on their next assigned surveillance test day. This may mean two tests could be required very close in time; another reason to fulfill – and maintain – your pre-assigned testing schedule. Students experiencing physical or mental health issues that prevent them from completing these requirements should contact Cornell Health immediately at (607) 255-5155.

Restoration of your access to Canvas, campus Wi-Fi networks and campus facilities will not be immediate. System updates can take between 12-24 hours, during which your enrollment hold will remain in place. Instructors and college/school student services advisors have no ability to restore your access. The best way to avoid serious interruptions to your academic activities is to get tested on each of your assigned test days.

Again, we recognize and appreciate that the majority of students are acting as good citizens by consistently complying with surveillance testing and other public health measures. It is unfortunate that the good work of many is being overshadowed by a small cohort of students who refuse to take the necessary measures to keep our campus safe. It is our sincere hope that these immediate restrictive actions will correct this, and we can all enjoy the remaining weeks of the spring semester.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and please act responsibly so that you don’t experience any setbacks to your academic progress thus far.


Ryan Lombardi
Vice President for Student and Campus Life

Kathryn Boor
Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education

Lisa Nishii
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education