Return to Campus Work Guidance

December 31, 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,

While we continue to prepare for the spring semester and will soon be able to provide you with information about how we will welcome our students back to campus, we are writing to you today about your return to campus after winter break.

Since the end of the fall semester, consistent with national trends, we have seen an increase in positive COVID-19 tests among our faculty and staff. And with many people returning from holiday travel, we expect that the number of positive cases will further increase. Therefore, we are asking for your help as we work to limit the spread of the virus among our campus and the greater Ithaca communities.

It is critical that we all continue to follow the university’s safety protocols, as detailed on the COVID-19 website. Remember to wear masks when indoors, physically distance whenever possible, and avoid large gatherings.

In addition, we ask that you take the following steps:

  • If you have not yet done so, please get your vaccine and booster when eligible and preferably before returning to campus. This is the best protection against the Omicron variant and will be required for all students and employees. Once you have received your booster, you must upload the information via the Daily Check.
  • Next week (Monday, Jan. 3 – Friday, Jan. 7), all employees whose work can be accomplished remotely should do so. Please consult with your supervisor if you are unclear about whether you need to report to your on-campus worksite next week.
  • Obtain a COVID-19 test between Jan. 3 – Jan. 9. If you have no symptoms, you may use a home test if you have access to one, or you can schedule a test at one of our campus surveillance testing sites or at a local testing center. If you have symptoms, please contact your health provider, or schedule a test at your local testing center.  Our plan is for all employees whose test results are negative to return to on-campus work on Monday, Jan. 10, but we will be monitoring the situation and will let you know if this changes.
  • For employees whose work requires them to be on campus next week, please continue to complete your daily symptom monitoring via the Daily Check, and resume your normal surveillance testing schedule as soon as possible after Jan. 3. If you are not currently in required testing, please schedule a test at a Cornell testing site as early as possible in the week and be especially vigilant about safety protocols until you receive your test results.
  • Any unvaccinated faculty and staff must resume surveillance testing next week, regardless of whether you will be working on campus.

Please remember: if you develop COVID-19 symptoms do not come to campus. You should contact your health provider or schedule a test at your local testing center.

We thank you for your ongoing commitment to Cornell and to the health and safety of our community. We recognize the significant challenges that you have faced since the pandemic began in March 2020, and we are grateful for your continued vigilance.


Mike Kotlikoff

Mary Opperman
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer