As a New Semester Begins, Policy Surrounding COVID-19 Continues to Develop

In a University-wide email on Tuesday, the Cornell Campus Public Health Support Center reminded students of the new changes to the COVID-19 safety practices and released new guidance for immunocompromised students.

“As the pandemic has evolved, it is clear that SARS-CoV-2 is becoming one of the many viruses that surrounds us,” the email read. “Even though it is unrealistic to expect that we will be able to eradicate COVID-19 as a disease, given its ease of transmission, there are special precautions that should be taken.”

The University strongly recommends that students pick up antigen tests during the arrival period until Friday. PCR tests are also available during this period at locations on campus by appointment using the supplemental testing link on the Daily Check.

Cornell will discontinue PCR testing on Aug. 31, citing the wide availability of antigen tests which will remain available for pick up on campus.

Masking remains strongly encouraged in classrooms, and individual professors reserve the right to require students to wear a mask in class. 

For students who test positive for COVID-19, Ithaca-based students should report their test results on the Daily Check and email their academic advising office for academic support. Most students are expected to isolate themselves in their residence hall or apartment.

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The University acknowledges that while this policy is safe for most members of the Cornell community, individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised as defined by the CDC can request temporary housing accommodations should a roommate or suitemate test positive for COVID-19. 

Immunocompromised students in University housing can proactively reach out to Student Disability Services should a roommate or suitemate test positive. According to the statement, this would enable a swift move if a room is available.  

“As we continue to manage the effects of the pandemic, let us act with care and respect toward one another,” the statement said. “Together we are learning to live with COVID-19 and minimize its impact on our community.”

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