Changes to testing requirements

Feb. 18, 2022

Dear Cornell Community,

We are happy to report that we are modifying surveillance testing requirements as a result of substantially lower positive COVID-19 cases within the campus community than previously projected.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 21, surveillance testing will no longer be required for fully vaccinated and boosted individuals. Low and falling numbers of infections detected on campus, as well as the lack of serious illness and hospitalizations this semester, enable us to lift this requirement for vaccinated members of our community. Combined with the decline of infections nationally, high rates of student and employee vaccination and boosters, and the widespread availability of symptomatic testing — including on campus — we are confident that frequent and regular testing of non-symptomatic, vaccinated-and-boosted individuals is no longer necessary to adequately monitor our community.

Surveillance testing requirements remain unchanged for all unvaccinated or unboosted students, faculty, and staff. If you are unvaccinated and have a university-approved exemption, are a student who has not yet received a booster, or an employee who is eligible but has not yet received a booster, you are required to be tested twice each week. Please continue to use the Daily Check as your hub for scheduling and notifications.

Additional testing options remain available throughout the semester:

  • Fully vaccinated/boosted faculty, staff, and students who wish to opt-in to weekly surveillance testing may do so.
  • Supplemental testing is available to all asymptomatic individuals including those who have a potential exposure. It is also highly recommended following return from travel.
  • Symptomatic testing is available at two on-campus locations for all faculty, staff, and students who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.

February Break: We know that many students are looking forward to February Break (Feb. 26-March 1). Some may decide to travel over the break, while others may remain local and socialize with family or friends. Please remember that travel and gatherings continue to pose potential risk. We expect all students to be tested before resuming campus activities on March 2. We also strongly encourage faculty and staff who travel over the break or attend large gatherings to get tested.

We have made testing easy. In addition to supplemental PCR testing (which is always available), antigen test kits will also be made available before and after the break. Please remember to upload your result (positive or negative) of any antigen test that is performed and, if positive, to isolate immediately. Antigen kits will be available for pickup at any Cornell PCR test site; you must show Cornell or other photo ID.

Masks: While we are monitoring local, state, and national developments, there are no changes at this time to Cornell’s masking requirements – all faculty, staff, and students must continue to use high quality masks, worn correctly, while on campus.

We are grateful for your attention to these important and encouraging updates.


Mike Kotlikoff

Ryan Lombardi
Vice President for Student and Campus Life

Mary Opperman
Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer