Update: The SUNY system will no longer require a COVID-19 vaccine for students, effective for the start of Summer Session I. Sections of this webpage will be updated accordingly.
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 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.
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.
In line with SUNY’s updated guidance from April 11, 2023, the COVID-19 vaccine will no longer be required for students, effective for the start of Summer Session I. COVID-19 vaccination remains strongly encouraged for students, which is consistent with other viruses. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to stay up to date on vaccinations.
Students enrolled in an internship or other program at a third-party location must continue to comply with all health and safety guidelines imposed by that location.
During the 2022-23 academic year, students were required to show proof that they received both shots of a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or one of a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).
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 seeking a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement previously were required to submit the appropriate forms through myRedDragon. Students who received a medical or religious exemption still were required to comply with any vaccine or booster requirements they are required to meet through off-campus internships, field placements or student teaching assignments.
All students planning to travel to Cortland for the start of a new 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and isolate at home for at least five days.
The university will have limited quarantine and isolation housing on campus 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.
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.
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.
The SUNY system will no longer require a COVID-19 vaccine for students, effective for the start of Summer Session I.
Previously, all new first-year and transfer students were required to verify their initial COVID-19 vaccination status through the Admissions tab in myRedDragon.
New students seeking a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement previously were required to submit appropriate forms through myRedDragon.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19:
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.
Many SUNY Cortland study abroad programs have resumed following a pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please visit the International Programs Office COVID-19 information page and Horizons study abroad portal or contact the International Programs Office at email@example.com.
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.
During the 2022-23 academic year, notifications about COVID-19 exemptions came via email from Student Health Service staff.
Students may have been exempt from the previous vaccination requirement if a duly licensed healthcare provider certified in writing that the student has a medical contraindication to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Students requesting a medical exemption from vaccination requirements were required to 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 were included on the downloadable forms.
Student Health Service reviewed 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 were required to 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 were included on the downloadable forms.
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 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.
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 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.
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. 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.
Nov. 19, 2021
The FDA has approved single booster doses for fully vaccinated individuals age 18 and older.
Nov. 9, 2021
The video of the meeting from Monday, Nov. 8 is now available online.