COVID-19 Update: August 3

For additional information, please visit Cornell’s COVID-19 website.

Graduate School Ithaca/Geneva Campuses

Cornell University’s Ithaca and Geneva campuses are now beginning a careful shift towards operations in the fall that will be more like pre-pandemic semesters. This is largely made possible because over 94% of the Ithaca campus community has completed the vaccination process.

Below are a number of updates that became effective on August 3, 2021.

  • Arrival Testing: 
    • Arrival testing is required for all students who are not fully vaccinated.
    • There is no requirement for fully vaccinated students to participate in arrival testing at this time.
  • Surveillance Testing:
    • All unvaccinated students, as well as those not yet fully vaccinated, are required to participate in regular surveillance testing until fully vaccinated, or continually if a student has an approved medical or religious exemption.
    • Fully vaccinated students are no longer required to participate in scheduled surveillance testing. 
  • Indoor Masking: All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask when inside public areas of campus buildings or facilities.
  • Update the Fall Checklist: 
  • Research Reactivation: New policies allow graduate researchers to gather indoors with fewer limitations.
  • Fall Courses: 
    • The university anticipates that courses will be offered primarily in-person for the fall term. 
    • Graduate and professional students who plan to enroll should make arrangements to arrive on campus before the start of the term.  
    • We do not expect that most courses will have a remote or hybrid option.
  • Fall Assistantships:
    • Students must generally be in the U.S. to hold assistantships. Only limited exceptions are possible for students who are stranded abroad and cannot return to the U.S.
  • Vaccines:
    • Vaccination is expected to be mandatory for Fall 2021 enrollment.
    • Cornell University will accept all vaccines approved by the following three organizations: The FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the EMA (European Medical Association), and the WHO (World Health Organization). The current vaccines approved by these organizations are the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. New York State only accepts FDA-approved vaccines. This means that activities overseen by the Department of Health, such as contact tracing in the event of a positive case, will treat anyone not fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine as non-vaccinated.
    • Students should get vaccinated before arriving on campus. Those who are unable to get vaccinated prior to their arrival, or whose vaccination is not recognized by Cornell, will be expected to be vaccinated as soon as possible after arriving on campus. Cornell Health is offering on-campus vaccination clinics in August. Learn more on the Cornell Health website.

Look for continued updates to many Cornell policies as the university charts a course for the fall. 


Graduate School Students at Cornell Tech

Surveillance Testing: Fully vaccinated students are no longer required to participate in scheduled surveillance testing. 

Masks: All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask when inside public areas of campus buildings or facilities. More information is available on Cornell’s COVID-19 website public health requirements page.

Research Reactivation: New policies allow graduate researchers to gather indoors with fewer limitations.

Fall Courses:

  • The university anticipates that courses will be offered primarily in-person for the fall term. 
  • Graduate and professional students who plan to enroll should make arrangements to arrive on campus before the start of the term.  

Fall Assistantships: Students must generally be in the U.S. to hold assistantships. Only limited exceptions are possible for students who are stranded abroad and cannot return to the U.S.

Vaccines:

  • Vaccination is expected to be mandatory for Fall 2021 enrollment.
  • Cornell University will accept all vaccines approved by the following three organizations: The FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the EMA (European Medical Association), and the WHO (World Health Organization). The current vaccines approved by these organizations are the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. New York State only accepts FDA-approved vaccines. This means that activities overseen by the Department of Health, such as contact tracing in the event of a positive case, will treat anyone not fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine as non-vaccinated.
  • Students should get vaccinated before arriving on campus. Those who are unable to get vaccinated prior to their arrival, or whose vaccination is not recognized by Cornell, will be expected to be vaccinated as soon as possible after arriving on campus. Cornell Health is offering on-campus vaccination clinics in August. Learn more on the Cornell Health website.