Update: The SUNY system no longer requires a COVID-19 vaccine for students. SUNY Cortland strongly suggests all members of the university community be fully vaccinated and boosted against the virus, but it is not mandatory.
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. 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 2023-24 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 is no longer required for students. COVID-19 vaccination and boosters, however, are strongly encouraged for students. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to stay up to date on vaccinations and boosters.
COVID-19 vaccination shots and boosters will be available on campus this fall during SUNY Cortland’s annual flu shot clinic. Appointments also can be scheduled using New York state’s online portal or vaccines.gov for sites outside of New York.
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.
Campus community members who test positive should stay home and isolate for at least five days, based on CDC guidance. They must wear a high-quality mask if they must be around others at home and in public.
Students who test positive have the option of returning home to their permanent address for their five-day isolation, or to isolate in place in their residence hall room or apartment. The university will have limited quarantine and isolation housing on campus for residential students who are unable to do either of those options.
Students should contact each of their instructors to let them know of a positive test. Class absences due to COVID-19 are handled like any other absence due to illness. Students should work with individual faculty members and follow policies outlined in the SUNY Cortland Handbook and Catalogs for making up missed work.
The university does not require face coverings. However, students who test positive should wear a mask at all times when not alone. For students isolating in place, this includes all roommates. All students who test positive for COVID-19 should wear a well-fitting mask for five days after ending isolation.
Please be aware that SUNY Cortland may reinstate an indoor face covering policy if recommended by local, state or federal health organizations.
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. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not attend class or any social gathering unless your symptoms have cleared or you have received negative test results.
Symptomatic students can be tested for COVID-19 at Student Health Service, in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-26. They are required to wear masks while there.
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. They are available for off-campus students at 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 campus residents test positive for COVID-19, they must notify their residence hall director and either return home to their permanent address to isolate or isolate in place. Both the ill student and all roommates must take precautions against COVID-19 infection such as wearing masks and social distancing. If they are unable to do that, the university provides limited quarantine space on campus in the Judson H Taylor Leadership House. Off-campus residents who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate in their off-campus residence or at home.
Length of isolation
Students who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home and isolate for at least five days, based on CDC guidance. Students must wear a high-quality mask if they must be around others at home and in public.
Students who test positive should contact each of their instructors individually to notify them that they have COVID and are isolating.
Positive students and masking
Students who test positive should wear a mask at all times when not alone. For students isolating in place, this includes 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 at the bottom of the student 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.
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 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 your supervisor. You must also wear a well-fitting face covering for at least five days after the date of the positive test.
If an employee tests positive, regardless of vaccination status:
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.
March 21, 2022
Students must participate in surveillance testing if they are selected.
March 18, 2022
Surveillance testing will also expand temporarily after break.
March 10, 2022
Students may consider taking a COVID-19 test before returning to campus.