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.
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.
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 are required to submit the appropriate forms through myRedDragon. 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 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.
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.
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 seeking a medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement are required to submit the appropriate forms through myRedDragon.
Applications are reviewed individually. 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Aug. 24, 2021
All students registered for the Fall 2021 semester must be vaccinated.
Aug. 17, 2021
Students should submit their vaccination status by Tuesday, Aug. 24.
Aug. 12, 2021
Details for students on SUNY Cortland's COVID-19 vaccine rules for Fall 2021.
Aug. 9, 2021
Certain students must provide a negative test within five days of their return to campus.
Aug. 3, 2021
Effective immediately, face coverings will be required for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
July 30, 2021
Students still have time to become fully vaccinated before the start of the Fall 2021 semester.
July 23, 2021
A reminder that all residential students will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 this fall.
July 19, 2021
All students planning to live on campus during the Fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated.