COVID-19 Safety Information

COVID-19 Safety Information

Overview

SUNY Cortland is committed to protecting the health of the entire campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic. University policy is based on public health and safety guidelines issued by New York state, the State University of New York, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Cortland County Health Department.

This page explains SUNY Cortland’s policies and procedures regarding COVID-19 safety precautions. This guidance may change, and updates to policies will be communicated on this page and by email to the campus community.

Students who test positive for COVID-19

Complete self-reporting form

** Students who test positive should submit the confidential COVID-19 reporting form, also available through the Student tab in myRedDragon. Students should forward their email acknowledgement to the associate dean of their academic school.

Quick answers

Some of the following policies are new or have been revised for the 2022-23 academic year. Additional details for students and employees are outlined in those sections on this page. Any changes or updates to these policies will be communicated by email.

Vaccination

All SUNY Cortland students must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Students must show proof that they have received both shots of a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or one of a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). This follows SUNY’s system-wide COVID-19 vaccination policy, which requires compliance for students learning in person on all SUNY campuses.

Boosters

SUNY Cortland strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to receive a vaccine booster when they are eligible. Booster appointments also can be scheduled using New York state’s online portal or vaccines.gov for sites outside of New York.

Exemptions

New students seeking a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement were required to submit the appropriate forms through myRedDragon by July 15. Students who receive a medical or religious exemption must comply with weekly surveillance testing and they must comply with any vaccine or booster requirements they are required to meet through off-campus internships, field placements or student teaching assignments.

Campus life

Students with approved medical and religious exemptions will have full access to the Student Life Center and will be able to participate in varsity athletics, intramural athletics and in Performing Arts Department productions.

Pre-arrival testing

All students planning to travel to Cortland for the Fall 2022 semester are strongly encouraged to take an at-home COVID-19 test before they leave home. Negative tests do not need to be reported. If a test is positive, notify the Residence Life and Housing Office by email at residencelifeandhousing@cortland.edu and isolate at home for at least five days.

Isolation housing

The university will have limited quarantine and isolation housing on campus in Fall 2022 for residential students who test positive for COVID-19. If campus residents test positive for COVID-19, they must return home to their permanent address to isolate as soon as possible and notify their residence hall director. If campus residents are unable to travel home, they will be required to isolate in place where they live on campus. If off-campus residents test positive for COVID-19, they should isolate in their off-campus residence or at home.

Class absences

Students must complete a self-reporting form through the Student tab in myRedDragon and forward the email receipt to their associate dean to notify them of their absence (Arts and Sciences, Education or Professional Studies). Students should also follow up with faculty members individually and follow policies outlined in the SUNY Cortland Handbook and Catalogs for  making up missed work.

Face coverings

The university does not require face coverings in most public indoor spaces. However, students who test positive should wear a mask at all times when not alone. For students unable to isolate at home, this includes residence hall roommates. All students who test positive for COVID-19 should wear a well-fitting mask for five days after ending isolation.

Face coverings also are still required in healthcare settings, such as Student Health Service. SUNY Cortland encourages students, faculty and staff to wear well-fitting masks indoors during periods of high transmission in the local community.  Please be aware that SUNY Cortland may reinstate an indoor face covering policy if recommended by local, state or federal health organizations.

Information for students


Confirming COVID-19 vaccination status

All new first-year and transfer students must verify their initial COVID-19 vaccination status through the Admissions tab in myRedDragon.

More than two weeks must have passed since they received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). This follows SUNY’s system-wide COVID-19 vaccination policy, which requires compliance for students learning in person on all SUNY campuses.

Approximately 24 hours after vaccination status is verified, students can complete Orientation sign-up.

New York state residents

Log in to myRedDragon to complete the vaccination verification process. Select the Admissions tab and look for the yellow heading that reads “COVID-19 Vaccination for Students.”

Through the SUNY portal, confirm the details — name, date of birth, zip code and phone number — that were provided at the time of vaccine appointment. Verify that these details match exactly what was provided at the appointment.

If a vaccination record cannot be verified, students can manually upload an image of it. If students continue to receive an error message, email covidvaccine@cortland.edu

Non-New York state residents

Students who live outside New York state, international students and New York residents who received the COVID-19 vaccine in another state must upload a copy of their vaccination record through a manual process.

Visit the Admissions tab in myRedDragon and look for the yellow heading that reads “COVID-19 Vaccination for Students.” Students must first attempt to verify their information before they can manually upload an image of their record.

Exemptions

New students seeking a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement were required to submit the appropriate forms through myRedDragon by July 15.

Applications are reviewed individually and they must be approved before important next steps such as Orientation registration. Students who receive approval will be expected to follow all expectations for exempt students. If an exemption is not granted, students must follow the vaccination policy.

What to do if you are symptomatic

All students should be aware of possible COVID-19 symptoms, including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.

Symptomatic students

Any students who have any symptoms of COVID-19 should contact Student Health Service at 607-753-4811 on the first day they are ill, even if symptoms are mild. This applies to students who are fully vaccinated and exempt students. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the university strongly encourages not attending class or any social gathering unless your symptoms have cleared or you have received negative test results.

Rapid testing

SUNY Cortland is no longer conducting routine surveillance testing. Students are encouraged to use antigen rapid tests, which are available in drug stores and other retail locations, if they feel ill or suspect they have been exposed to the virus. Tests are available for on-campus students in residence hall offices.

Evening and weekend care

During the evening or weekends, symptomatic students should contact an off-campus health provider such as an urgent care facility or Guthrie Cortland Medical Center.

Students who test positive for COVID-19

If campus residents test positive for COVID-19, they must return home to their permanent address to isolate as soon as possible and notify their residence hall director. If campus residents are unable to travel home, they will be required to isolate in place where they live on campus. If off-campus residents test positive for COVID-19, they should isolate in their off-campus residence or at home.

Notifying campus and professors

Students who test positive should complete and submit the confidential COVID-19 reporting form under the Student tab in myRedDragon. When they receive an email acknowledgement that the form has been received, students should forward that to the associate dean of the academic school that houses their major (Arts and Sciences, Education or Professional Studies).

Positive students and masking

Students who test positive should wear a mask at all times when not alone. For students unable to isolate at home, this includes residence hall roommates. All students who test positive for COVID-19 should wear a well-fitting mask for five days after ending isolation.

Campus dining for campus residents in isolation

Students who are unable to return home for isolation must complete the online meal form available under the COVID tab in myRedDragon. COVID-positive students must wear a well-fitting mask and pick up their meals from the Bistro Off Broadway during designated times. They may also send a friend to pick up to-go meals for them.  

  • Lunch meals will be provided with labels (noting initials and last four digits of C-number) at noon Monday through Friday outside Bistro.
  • Dinner will be provided at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Breakfast items for the next day will be included with dinner.
  • Weekend packages will be given with dinner on Friday if a student is still in isolation over weekend. If a student enters isolation over the weekend, Cortland Auxiliary Services will prepare a weekend package for pick-up outside Bistro once Cortland Auxiliary Services is contacted.

What to do if you miss class

If you have tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Complete the self-reporting form through the Student tab in myRedDragon, then forward the email receipt you receive to your associate dean of the academic school that houses your major to notify them of your absence (Arts and Sciences, Education or Professional Studies).
  • After a student notifies the associate dean, the associate dean will notify the student’s instructors.
  • Treat COVID-19 the same as any extended absence. Students may contact instructors individually regarding coursework missed.
  • Professors are not expected to provide online or synchronous instruction for students in isolation, but they may be able to provide handouts, slides or other material you can use to make up missed work. Keeping up with assignments is a student’s responsibility.
  • Check your syllabus to see what work you are missing. 
  • Reach out to classmates about getting notes from classes you’ve missed. 
  • Schedule a phone or virtual appointment during your instructor’s office hours to go over missed material or work.  
  • Schedule a virtual appointment at the Learning Center or the Writing Center to help you stay on track with your assignments.

Internships and student teaching

Students who are working as student teachers or interns, including those in on- and off-campus placements, are expected to comply with vaccination and safety guidance established by those placements.

All off-campus or remote student teachers or interns must complete one of the following actions to avoid being de-registered from their classes:

Students accessing campus for any reason

All new students accessing campus for any reason must verify their vaccination status through the COVID tab in myRedDragon.

OR

Students not visiting campus

If new students do not plan to be on campus for any reason, they must log in to myRedDragon and complete the attestation form confirming that they will not come to campus. These students may also verify their vaccination status through the COVID tab in myRedDragon.

Additional notes

  • If a student teacher or a student in a full-time internship/field experience is living on campus, they must follow the campus vaccination guidelines for those students living on campus and also follow the safety protocols in place at their placements.
  • If a student teacher or a student in a full-time internship/field experience is living out of the region while they complete their student teaching or full-time internship, and will not be accessing any campus facilities, they will follow the vaccine guidance and safety protocols of their placements. That is, if a placement requires the student teacher or intern to be vaccinated, they must be vaccinated.
  • Student teachers or students in full-time internships/field experiences who choose not to comply with their placement's vaccination policies and/or safety policies will not be given new placements and will need to withdraw from their student teaching/internship courses for the semester.

Study abroad

For the latest updates on the status of the university’s study abroad and exchange programs or more information on planning to study abroad, please visit the International Programs Office COVID-19 information page and Horizons study abroad portal or contact the International Programs Office at studyabroad@cortland.edu.

Vaccination for international students

The CDC and New York State Department of Health have recommended that completing a WHO-approved vaccine series is acceptable as proof of being fully vaccinated.

The current list of WHO-approved vaccines is available online. A vaccine is approved if “Finalized” appears in the column called “Status of Assessment.”

All health information requirements must be presented in English or accompanied by a translation. Students who require the translation of documents can use one of the many translation services available on the internet.

Medical and religious exemptions

Students may be exempt from a COVID-19 vaccination on the basis of a medical or religious exemption if they meet very specific criteria.

Decisions on exemptions will be made in a few business days, depending on volume. Students will be notified via email from Student Health Service staff.

New students for the 2022-23 academic year were required to submit their application for exemption by July 15, 2022.

Medical exemptions

Students may be exempt from the vaccination requirement if a duly licensed healthcare provider certifies in writing that the student has a medical contraindication to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Students requesting a medical exemption from vaccination requirements must submit the exemption request form to Student Health Service. Exemption request forms can be accessed on the Student Health Service channel located on the student tab in myRedDragon. Instructions for submitting exemption requests are included on the downloadable forms.

Requests for medical exemptions must contain:
  • The certification of a licensed healthcare provider,
  • Sufficient information for Student Health Service staff to understand the medical basis for the exemption,
  • The necessary length of the requested exemption,
  • Contact information for the healthcare provider.

Student Health Service will review exemptions in the same way the university considers requests for medical exemptions from measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunization requirements.

Religious exemptions

Students who hold genuine religious beliefs that are contrary to COVID-19 vaccination must submit an exemption request form to Student Health Service. Exemption request forms can be accessed on the Student Health Service channel located on the student tab in myRedDragon. Instructions for submitting exemption requests are included on the downloadable forms.

Students must explain how receiving the COVID-19 vaccination conflicts with their deeply held religious belief or practice. Student Health Service will review all exemption requests as it does for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) immunization exemption requests.

Information for employees


Surveillance testing requirement

SUNY Cortland’s COVID-19 surveillance testing program ended Aug. 31, 2022. This coincides with the expiration of the Statewide Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place with each of the unions. Surveillance testing previously was required for all employees who regularly reported to campus.

What to do if you are symptomatic

All employees should be aware of possible COVID-19 symptoms, including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.

If you have symptoms, please take a rapid antigen test or schedule an appointment at a site near you using the State Department of Health’s online portal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published helpful information for people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

If you are sick, please stay home and notify your supervisor.

What to do if you are in isolation or quarantine

If an employee has tested positive, you must isolate for a minimum of five days and notify Human Resources. You must also wear a well-fitting face covering for at least five days after the date of the positive test.

Eligibility for returning to campus following a positive test

If an employee tests positive, regardless of vaccination status:
  • Isolate for a minimum of five days. Day 0 is the day of symptoms or, if asymptomatic, the date of the first positive test, AND
  • Notify your close contacts, AND
  • Notify the Human Resources Office by emailing michelle.congdon@cortland.edu or calling 607-753-2302, AND
  • If symptomatic, stay in isolation until symptoms are improving and fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask upon return through day 5.
If an employee tests positive with an at-home rapid test:
  • Employees must self-report to the health department in their county of residence.
  • Provide copies of the self-report and any emails from the county health department to the Human Resources Office by emailing michelle.congdon@cortland.edu.
  • Self-reporting forms for the health departments of surrounding counties are available online:
  • Cortland County (select appropriate reporting link)
  • Broome County (scroll to “Reporting a Test” section)
  • Tompkins County (direct link to form)
  • Onondaga County (see self-attestation information)

    Eligibility for returning to campus following a direct exposure

    If employees are directly exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status:
    • Employees may continue to report to work on campus
    • It is highly recommended employees monitor symptoms and get tested within five days
    • Employees should wear a well-fitting mask for five days after exposure

    Work and leave during isolation or quarantine

    • During any periods of isolation or quarantine under these standards, remote work will be endorsed, subject to approval of supervisors and the nature of the work performed by the employee
    • Paid quarantine leave is available to employees for their first two instances of quarantine and one instance of isolation
      • Employees are eligible for this leave when their absence is due to being positive for COVID-19 or being required to stay away from work as a direct contact to someone who is positive. Staying home to care for another person who is a direct contact following self-quarantine precautions does not meet eligibility for this leave. In this case, the university supports working from home as an option subject to supervisor approval and operational ability to work remotely.
    • Each instance of covered leave provides up to 10 days of paid leave without charge to accruals.

    The university will continue to monitor the local situation, adjust standards accordingly and communicate policy changes through campus email.

    Questions

    COVID questions form

    If you have questions that are not addressed in the guidance above, please submit them through the COVID Questions form.

    Employees are encouraged to contact their supervisors with immediate questions.




    Restart News

    State COVID-19 test center at Stadium Complex closes

    March 1, 2022
    Due to low demand, the state-run community testing clinic ceased operation last week.

    An update on the student surveillance testing process

    Feb. 13, 2022
    Rapid tests will be used starting Monday, Feb. 14.

    SUNY’s mask mandate remains in effect

    Feb. 11, 2022
    Face coverings are still required for people in indoor spaces at SUNY Cortland.

    Update on a new approach to surveillance testing

    Feb. 7, 2022
    Rapid tests will be used starting Monday, Feb. 14.

    Focus on your physical and mental health this semester

    Jan. 27, 2022
    Several fun events are happening on campus this weekend.

    Face coverings remain required in all indoor spaces

    Jan. 25, 2022
    Face coverings are an important step in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

    Welcome back and a reminder about face coverings on campus

    Jan. 24, 2022
    Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces at all times.

    Welcome back and a reminder about face coverings on campus

    Jan. 24, 2022
    Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces at all times.