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. Any changes to COVID-19 safety policies will be communicated on this page and to the campus community by email.
All students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Boosters are strongly encouraged but will not be required for students for the 2022-23 academic year. The university will continue a testing and monitoring program for students, faculty and staff that identifies new cases and allows for a change in response if necessary.
This page explains SUNY Cortland’s policies and procedures regarding COVID-19 vaccination, testing and safety precautions. This guidance may change, and updates to policies will be communicated on this page and by email to the campus community.
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.
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 s ingle-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.
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.
New students may apply for a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement by submitting 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.
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.
All students planning to travel to Cortland for the Fall 2022 semester are strongly encouraged to submit a negative test before they leave home. Details on pre-arrival testing will be shared with students by email in August.
The university will have quarantine and isolation housing available on campus for residential students for the Fall 2022 semester. Students may also choose to isolate or quarantine at home.
Students who miss class for quarantine or isolation must follow policies outlined in the SUNY Cortland Handbook and Catalogs for alerting their associate dean and faculty and making up missed work. A checklist for students who are absent because of COVID-19 was shared during the Fall 2021 semester.
The university does not require face coverings in public indoor spaces but does encourage students, faculty and staff to wear well-fitting masks indoors during periods of high transmission in the local community. SUNY Cortland may reinstate an indoor face covering policy if recommended by local, state or federal health organizations.
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.
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 email@example.com
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.
New students may apply for a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement by submitting the appropriate forms, which are available through the Admissions tab in myRedDragon under the Student Health Service heading.
Applications will be 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.
All students who received approved medical or religious exemptions must participate in weekly surveillance testing. Details on the testing process will be shared with students at the start of the Fall 2022 semester.
All students are strongly encouraged to take a rapid antigen test before they arrive in Cortland for the start of the Fall 2022 semester. Additional details and instructions will be shared with students by email in August.
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.
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 vaccinated and exempt students. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should not attend class or any social gathering unless you have been cleared to do so by Student Health Service.
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.
If you are absent for a few days because you have COVID-19 symptoms and are self-isolating while awaiting testing or results, you should:
If you have a positive COVID-19 test and must enter isolation, or are not fully vaccinated and are identified as having been in close contact with someone who tested positive and must enter quarantine, you should:
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:
All new students accessing campus for any reason must verify their vaccination status through the COVID tab in myRedDragon.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 must submit their application for exemption by July 15, 2022.
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.
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.
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.
SUNY Cortland’s COVID-19 surveillance testing program for employees will continue throughout the summer.
Surveillance testing is required for all employees who regularly report to campus. This includes all 12-month employees and employees who work any portion of June, July or August. Faculty and staff members who have concluded their campus work obligations with Commencement are no longer required to test.
The COVID-19 testing procedure for the fall will communicated later this summer.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is not approved by Human Resources must continue to test weekly.
Fully vaccinated employees must submit a test if they are selected to test through the university’s surveillance selection program.
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.
If an employee has tested positive, you must isolate for a minimum of five days, notify Human Resources and wear a well-fitting face covering for at least 10 days after the date of the positive test.
The university will continue to monitor the local situation, adjust standards accordingly and communicate policy changes through campus email.
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.
Jan. 5, 2022
Students may submit a PCR test or a rapid at-home test.
Jan. 5, 2022
The state-run site, located in the stadium complex on Lankler Drive, opens Friday, Jan. 7.
Jan. 3, 2022
Students must also submit a negative test before arriving on campus.
Dec. 21, 2021
Students will have to submit a negative test before returning in January.
Dec. 16, 2021
The COVID-19 safety information page has been updated.
Dec. 14, 2021
President thanks students for a safe semester and encourages booster shots over winter break.
Dec. 7, 2021
Students have support from faculty and staff through final exams.
Nov. 30, 2021
A message from President Bitterbaum as students return from Thanksgiving break.