COVID-19 Safety Information

COVID-19 Safety Information

Overview

SUNY Cortland is committed to protecting the health of our entire community. We continue to follow the public health and safety guidelines issued by New York state and the CDC in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All students are required to be vaccinated, and we have implemented a testing and monitoring program that allows us to identify and respond to changes in transmission rates.

This page explains SUNY Cortland’s policies and procedures regarding COVID-19 vaccination, testing and safety precautions. This guidance may change in response to the course of the pandemic.


Important information for new 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.

More details are provided below.

  • 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 covid.vaccine@cortland.edu

  • Non-New York state residents: Students who reside 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 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.
 
Other notes: Students who are considered fully vaccinated will be verified. To be considered fully vaccinated, two weeks must have passed since receiving a final COVID-19 vaccine dose. Additionally, vaccination records that are submitted manually will be reviewed by a campus representative before they are verified.

Information for Summer 2022

Surveillance testing for employees

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 and August. Faculty and staff members who have concluded their campus work obligations with Commencement are no longer required to test.

COVID-19 testing protocols for the fall semester will issued later in the summer.

COVID-19 testing requirement

Employees who are not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is not approved by Human Resources must continue to test weekly.

  • Additional test kits may be picked up in Human Resources, located in the mobile office building in the parking lots for Cornish and Van Hoesen halls.
  • Employees who recently tested positive continue to be exempt from testing for 90 days.
  • Take the test by following the instructions included in the test kit and wait for results.
    • Discard the swab, tube and test cassette.
    • Self-report the results using the online Surveillance Testing Reporting Form in myRedDragon.
  • Test results must be submitted by noon on Tuesdays.

    Fully vaccinated employees must submit a test if they are selected to test through the university’s surveillance selection program.

    • Employees who are selected to participate in a given week will receive a ‘Surveillance Test Required’ email from covidscreening@cortland.edu on Monday morning or on Tuesday if Monday is a holiday.
    • After receiving this email, the employee must: 
      • Pick up a test from their building administrator or at the Service Group for all CSEA OSU employees.
      • Take the test by following the instructions included in the test kit and wait for results. The testing deadline will be included in the email.
      • Discard the swab, tube and test cassette.
      • Self report the results using the online Surveillance Testing Reporting Form in myRedDragon.
    • It is possible to get selected more than once under this surveillance testing program. 
    • Campus test kits are not to be used for symptomatic testing or for potential contact testing. Campus tests are only available for those who are required to test weekly or are selected for a random test.

    If sick, stay home

    All employees should be aware of their daily health. If they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, they must stay home and self-administer an at-home test or seek out a testing facility.  

    Face coverings

    Face coverings are strongly encouraged in indoor spaces for all campus community members regardless of vaccination status. Indoor spaces include all buildings and campus buses.

    Please note:

    • Students are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted.
    • Masks are still required in health care settings, such as Student Health Service, in accordance with federal regulations.
    • It is SUNY Cortland’s expectation and the responsibility of unvaccinated individuals, as well as those who have received medical or religious exemptions, to continue to test weekly and wear face coverings indoors. This follows SUNY’s updated guidance for Spring 2022.

    Campus community members may choose to continue wearing face coverings and they can request that someone wears a mask in their office or space. However, campus community members may not require face coverings or ask another individual for proof of their vaccination status.

    This policy is based on recently updated guidance on masks from the CDC, which is evaluating the risk of strain on healthcare infrastructure and recommending that areas of the country at low or medium risk no longer mandate masks for most people.

    Booster details

    SUNY Cortland expects all students to receive a COVID-19 vaccination booster as soon as they are eligible. Students are eligible for a vaccine booster if:

    • They received the second shot of Moderna or Pfizer five or more months ago OR
    • They received one shot of Johnson & Johnson two or more months ago

    Non-New York residents and those who were boosted in a different state or country must provide a photograph of their vaccination record card through the vaccination submission portal in myRedDragon.

    Additional details

    • Students who are not yet eligible for a booster but will become eligible during the Spring 2022 semester will be notified by email and expected to receive a booster within 30 days.
    • Medical and religious exemptions for the booster will not be accepted for students who have completed the original COVID-19 vaccination series. Very limited exceptions will be made for those who have had a change in medical condition since their last vaccine dose.
    • Students who will not access campus for any reason in spring 2022 may exempt themselves from the booster requirement if they complete the attestation form through myRedDragon.
    • Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 can get the booster once they have completed their required isolation period and symptoms subside.

    Booster appointments also can be scheduled using New York state’s online portal or Vaccines.gov for sites outside of New York. 

    COVID-19 safety requirements

    Quick answers

    Further details on all topics are outlined in the guide below.

    Are vaccines required for all students?

    Yes. All students must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Limited exceptions will be made only for approved medical and religious reasons. Students with vaccination exemptions will be tested weekly and have limited access to certain programs and services. Because they are at risk, it is strongly recommended that they complete a daily screen for COVID-19 symptoms.

    graphic showing that on-campus students must submit vaccination proof and remote students must complete attestation form

    Are vaccines required to live on campus?

    Yes. Limited exceptions will be granted for approved medical or religious reasons.

    Are off-campus students required to be vaccinated?

    Yes. Following final FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, all SUNY Cortland students must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received approval for a medical or religious exemption.

    Are face coverings mandatory?

    Starting Wednesday, March 2, SUNY Cortland will no longer mandate face coverings in indoor spaces. Face coverings will be optional for all fully vaccinated and boosted students, faculty and staff. Indoor spaces include all buildings and campus buses.

    Masks are still required in health care settings, such as Student Health Service, in accordance with federal regulations. It is SUNY Cortland’s expectation and the responsibility of unvaccinated individuals, as well as those who have received medical or religious exemptions, to continue to test weekly and wear face coverings indoors. This follows SUNY’s updated guidance for Spring 2022.

    Is vaccination required for students who have recently had COVID-19?

    Yes. Experts have not yet determined how long immunity from being sick with COVID-19 lasts. Antibodies from prior recovery may not provide protection from more recent variants.

    Students who recently tested positive in the past 90 days and are eligible for a booster shot must receive their booster if they have completed their isolation period.

    Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

    Any students with COVID-19 symptoms should contact Student Health Service immediately at 607-753-4811 to schedule a test on campus. Students may also go to a local pharmacy or healthcare provider to receive a test.

    Students who would like to voluntarily participate in on-campus surveillance testing may register at any time through the COVID tab in myRedDragon. Those who are randomly selected for surveillance testing by email are reminded to register and attend testing. Weekly testing remains mandatory for students who have received a medical or religious exemption.

    Are students required to have a COVID-19 vaccine booster?

    Yes. As students become eligible for boosters during the semester, they will be expected to receive a booster shot within 30 days.

    Individuals are encouraged to sign up for a booster dose and read the CDC’s latest guidance on booster shots online.

    I recently tested positive for COVID-19. Do I still need a booster?

    Yes. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 can get the booster once they have completed their required isolation period and symptoms subside.

    What type of COVID-19 test may I submit for pre-arrival testing?

    Students may submit a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before their arrival or a negative rapid test taken at home the day they plan to travel to Cortland.

    Symptomatic individuals

    All students should continually be aware of possible COVID-19 symptoms.

    Symptomatic students

    Any students who have any symptoms of COVID-19 should contact Student Health Service 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 unnecessary social gathering unless you have been cleared to do so by Student Health Service.

    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.

    Symptomatic employees

    Likewise, symptomatic employees should not report to work and they should seek testing through their primary care provider or another testing resource in the community. Isolation is required until the appropriate medical evaluation has been completed.

    Face coverings

    Starting Wednesday, March 2, SUNY Cortland will no longer mandate face coverings in indoor spaces. Face coverings will be optional for all fully vaccinated and boosted students, faculty and staff. Indoor spaces include all buildings and campus buses.

    Please note:

    • Students are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted.
    • Masks are still required in health care settings, such as Student Health Service, in accordance with federal regulations.
    • It is SUNY Cortland’s expectation and the responsibility of unvaccinated individuals, as well as those who have received medical or religious exemptions, to continue to test weekly and wear face coverings indoors. This follows SUNY’s updated guidance for Spring 2022.

    Members of the campus community may choose to continue wearing face coverings.

    This policy is based on recently updated guidance on masks from the CDC, which is evaluating the risk of strain on healthcare infrastructure and recommending that areas of the country at low or medium risk no longer mandate masks for most people.

    Surveillance testing

    For the latest information on surveillance testing for the Spring 2022 semester, please consult the New information for Spring 2022 section above.

    Students must comply with sample testing during the semester if they are notified to test. Additionally, all students with an approved medical or religious exemption must participate in mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing once a week, whether they live on or off campus. Full details about testing location info, dates and times will be sent through email.

    Students who are randomly selected for testing will be notified via email. These emails, from covidscreening@cortland.edu, will have the following subject line: "MANDATORY COVID-19 TESTING – ACTION REQUIRED." Students will be given instructions on how to register for a test the following week via myRedDragon.

    Students will be granted one warning for failure to report for testing. After a second missed test, the student will be subject to the student conduct process and possible removal from campus housing. 

    If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days or if you are currently in quarantine or isolation as determined by the Cortland County Health Department, please indicate your status using our online form and do NOT proceed to the testing site.

    Students with COVID-19 symptoms should contact Student Health Service immediately at 607-753-4811 to schedule a test on campus or schedule a test with a local pharmacy or healthcare provider.

    If changes are made to the surveillance testing process, campus community members will be notified through email.

    Proof of vaccination

    Fully vaccinated students will enjoy a robust in-person campus experience during the Spring 2022 semester. All students accessing campus facilities are required to be vaccinated, with exceptions made only for approved medical and religious exemptions. 

    Students must complete the vaccination verification process, which will confirm a student is fully vaccinated. 

    All students living in campus residence halls and apartments must complete the vaccination verification process. All SUNY Cortland students residing off campus who will spend time on campus must be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

    Students who do not comply with the vaccination requirement will be de-registered for the semester, which has serious educational and financial consequences. 

    Students are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when: 

    • More than two weeks have passed since they received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or more than two weeks have passed since they received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen), AND
    • Fully vaccinated students have completed the vaccination verification process through the COVID tab in myRedDragon.

    Vaccination verification

    Student access to many resources and places will be linked to proof of vaccination through the vaccination verification portal under the COVID tab in myRedDragon. Fully vaccinated students were required to complete the vaccination verification process by Tuesday, Jan. 4 if they were accepted for the Spring 2022 semester.

    To complete the vaccination verification process:

    • New York residents who were vaccinated in the state will verify their information through the vaccination portal found through the COVID tab in myRedDragon. Students must confirm details — name, date of birth, zip code and phone number — that were provided at the time of vaccine appointment(s).

    • Out-of-state students, international students and New York residents who received the vaccine in another state must upload a copy of their vaccination record via the manual process found through the vaccination portal under the COVID tab in myRedDragon. Students must first attempt to automatically verify their information before they can upload an image of their record.

    • Students submitting their record manually should know that it will be reviewed by a campus representative before it is verified.

    • The system can only verify those who are considered fully vaccinated. Students must be at least two weeks past their final shot to complete this process.

    Students who have problems accessing the link with their Cortland credentials should contact The Help Center at 607-753-2500 or visit the COVID-19 Vaccination Portal FAQ.

    Resolving verification issues

    Student who cannot complete vaccination verification due to technology issues should upload a copy of their vaccination record via the manual process found through the vaccination portal under the COVID tab in myRedDragon. Students must first attempt to automatically verify their information before they can upload an image of their record.


    Academics

    Class attendance

    Students who must be absent from class because of COVID-19 are asked to treat it as if they were absent for any other illness or accident.

    For absences of a few days because of COVID-19 symptoms or self-isolation while awaiting test results, students should:

    • Notify each of their instructors individually. This is the responsibility of the student, not the instructor.

    Students facing longer absences due to entering isolation or quarantine should:

    • Contact instructors directly and work with them to make up work missed while out of class. Faculty are not expected to provide online or synchronous instruction but may provide handouts, slides and other material.
    • Schedule a virtual appointment during an instructor’s office hours to go over missed material or work and reach out to classmates about getting notes from classes they’ve missed.
    • Send an email to the associate dean of your school (Education, Arts and Sciences or Professional Studies) with official isolation or quarantine orders from the county health department. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the associate dean and provide documentation.

    Additional details about missed class time can be found online.

    Faculty and staff are also encouraged to work with students missing class time due to COVID-19 as if it were any other illness or accident.

    The associate dean will notify faculty members if a student has provided documentation for an extended absence. Students should be allowed to make up the missed work and faculty will provide the resources to help them keep up in their coursework.

    Additional details for faculty and staff can be found online.

    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 by Jan. 4, unless they have an already approved medical or religious exemption.

    If new students attempt to verify but cannot complete verification of their status, they can upload a photo of their vaccination record card to start a manual review. Vaccination is required for any activity taking place on campus, including employment, athletics, using the Student Life Center or using Memorial Library.

    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 to 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

    New York state has approved the SUNY Education Abroad Relaunch Plan for Spring 2022, which allows campuses to petition to reopen select programs in regions considered to be experiencing lower COVID-related risks, based on multiple health indicators.

    SUNY Cortland has received approval to reopen programs at the American University in Cairo in Egypt and the University of Salamanca in Spain for Spring 2022, and several cohorts of students plan to study at those locations or through other SUNY programs, barring significant changes in the pandemic. New York state requires all study abroad participants to be fully vaccinated.

    The status of Summer and Fall 2022 programs is not yet finalized, but SUNY Cortland likely will be able to run several programs during those terms. The campus will continue to welcome international matriculated, exchange and visiting students to our campus in Spring 2022 and beyond.

    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.


    Campus life

    Red Dragon Safe pass

    The Red Dragon Safe pass is now available for students through myRedDragon. This pass is a virtual ticket for your cell phone so that fully vaccinated students may access non-dining sections of the Student Life Center and participate in sport clubs and intramurals.

    The digital pass communicates with the university’s vaccination verification system. Students who have been verified as fully vaccinated will get a green screen with a check mark on their phone that they can show to get access. Fully vaccinated individuals are those who have received their final vaccine dose at least two weeks ago and who have completed the vaccine verification process through myRedDragon. All others will get a white screen that indicates their vaccination status could not be verified.

    An animated logo and a date and time stamp prevents the pass from being forged or otherwise digitally recreated by not yet fully vaccinated or exempt students.

    The Red Dragon Safe pass is available on the myRedDragon homepage. Students can also scan QR codes at the desks of the fitness and recreation wing of the Student Life Center and at Outdoor Pursuits to get the pass.

    Buses/transportation

    Buses

    Fully vaccinated and boosted members of the campus community are not currently required to wear face coverings on campus buses.

    Riders should note:

    • Hand sanitizer will be available at all bus shelters.
    • The front door of each bus should be used as the entrance point and the rear door should be used as the exit point.
    • The number of buses running has been increased to maintain lower occupancies.
    • All vehicles will be provided with hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes.

    University vehicles

    All university vehicles will be available to operate at normal capacity.

    Private transportation

    For groups using private coaches for transportation, it is the responsibility of the group leader to ensure that participants follow the company's face covering protocols when using their transportation.

    Student guest policy

    Residential students will not be permitted to have any daytime or overnight guests in residence halls. This includes SUNY Cortland students who live off campus, non-SUNY Cortland students, off-campus students, siblings and family members. 

    Residential students will be permitted to visit other residence halls. Visiting residents cannot stay overnight and must depart the building by 2 a.m. 

    All residents hosting guests from other residence halls are responsible for the actions of their visitors. Residents are expected to take reasonable action to prevent their visitors from violating university policies. 

    Student Life Center

    Access to the Student Life Center will be limited to individuals who are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated students, including those who have received medical or religious exemptions, will not be allowed to use the Student Life Center. 

    Student compliance with the vaccination requirement will be checked through a new app developed specifically for this purpose. Other users may show proof of vaccination through the Excelsior Pass or their physical COVID-19 vaccination card. 

    To be considered fully vaccinated, individuals must be two weeks past their final COVID-19 shot and have verified their vaccination status. Students may verify their status through the portal in myRedDragon and employees may follow the process created by Human Resources.

    Proof of full vaccination will also be required for those looking to participate in Recreational Sports programs such as intramurals and Outdoor Pursuits. 

    Learn more about the Student Life Center.

    Dining

    Fully vaccinated and boosted individuals are no longer required to wear face coverings in dining facilities.

    Athletics and club sports

    All student-athletes competing on SUNY Cortland’s varsity teams and sport club teams – both new and returning student-athletes – must be fully vaccinated in order to participate in team activities. Unvaccinated students, including those who have received medical or religious exemptions, will not be allowed to participate in athletic, sport club or intramural competition. 

    Student-athletes should contact their individual coaches with questions. 


    Requirements for exempt students

    Face coverings and physical distancing

    It is SUNY Cortland’s expectation and the responsibility of unvaccinated individuals, as well as those who have received medical or religious exemptions, to continue to wear face coverings indoors. This follows SUNY’s updated guidance for Spring 2022.

    These individuals are expected to:

    • Wear a face covering at all times indoors on campus, except:
      • When eating meals while seated.
      • When alone in a residence hall room or office.
    • Maintain six feet of physical distancing, where practicable.
    • Comply with all additional requirements applying to classroom, work and research spaces.

    Surveillance testing

    Pre-arrival

    All students who will be on campus for any reason were required to complete pre-arrival testing. This includes students with a religious or medical exemption and those who are fully vaccinated.

      An online test site finder is available through New York state. If students test positive, they were instructed to stay home, contact their doctor or local health department, and follow their guidance.

      Weekly

      Exempt students must participate in mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing once a week, whether they live on or off campus. Full details about testing location info, dates and times will be sent through email.

      It is a student’s responsibility to complete testing each week as long as they remain unvaccinated or are not yet fully vaccinated (less than two weeks post-completion of vaccination). 

      Students will be granted one warning for failure to report for testing. After a second missed test, the student will be subject to the student conduct process. Students found in violation will not be allowed to access some campus facilities for the remainder of the Spring 2022 semester. 

      If an unvaccinated student has tested positive for COVID-19, they will not be required to participate in mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing for 90 days after the date of their positive test result. At the end of those 90 days, they are required to test weekly. 

      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. 

      Students granted a medical or religious exemption will be subject to certain restrictions and COVID-19 screening and testing responsibilities detailed in this policy. 

      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. 

      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 consideration for a medical exemption from vaccination requirements 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.

      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. The student must explain how receiving the COVID-19 vaccination conflicts with the student’s 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.

      Residential students seeking medical and religious exemptions

      Students intending to live in campus residence halls who requested an exemption from the vaccination requirement were required to submit a petition for exemption to Student Health Service no later than Jan. 4.

      Students who are granted an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement are subject to several obligations to enable them to remain in on-campus housing. Students are required to:

      • Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days of the student’s move-in date or complete a 10-day self-quarantine prior arrival to campus. They will be required to attest to successful completion of the self-quarantine period. Test results must be submitted through the test results upload portal on the COVID tab in myRedDragon.
      • Comply with mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing once a week.
      • Complete a daily health screening.
      • Maintain six feet of physical distancing when practicable and wear a face covering at all times the student is indoors except:
        • When the student is in their private residence hall room or personal space;
        • When they are eating meals while seated and social distancing is appropriately enforced; or
        • When the student is alone in a residence hall room or office.

      Housing conditions for students exempted from vaccination requirement

      SUNY Cortland reserves the right to reassign exempted unvaccinated students from their housing assignment. The purpose of reassignment would be to avoid placing a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated students in the same room or suite.

      Students with an approved exemption from the vaccination requirement were allowed to request to remain in their assigned housing and share a room with their roommates and/or suitemates by gaining written consent from all roommates or suitemates.

      Unvaccinated students must initiate the process by disclosing their vaccination exemption status to their roommates or suitemates. After written consent was acquired in writing from all parties, unvaccinated students were required to provide these with an email to the Residence Life and Housing Office within five business days of notification that their exemption was approved.

      Off-campus students seeking medical and religious exemptions

      Off-campus students who wish to request an exemption from the vaccination requirement must submit an exemption request form to Student Health Service no later than Jan. 4. 

      Students who are granted an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement are subject to several obligations to enable them to use on-campus facilities. Students are required to:

      • Comply with mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing once a week.
      • Maintain six feet of physical distancing when practicable and wear a face covering at all times the student is indoors except:
        • When they are eating meals while seated and physical distancing is appropriately observed; or
        • When the student is alone.

      Housing cancellation

      Students unwilling to comply with the vaccination requirement for campus residents are required to cancel their housing by Jan. 4. New students are required to complete a New Student Off-Campus Approval Form.

      Students who petition for medical or religious exemption and are denied the exemption were required to complete their related form within three business days of notification that their exemption has been denied.

      De-registration and other deadlines

      Students who do not comply with the vaccination requirement by Jan. 4 will be de-registered for the semester, which has serious educational and financial consequences. This is the same protocol followed for students who fail to verify that they have received the required measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations. 

      Students who do not qualify for an exemption and do not intend to get vaccinated should be aware of the deadlines set by SUNY Cortland’s refund policy.


      Off-campus/remote students

      Community outreach

      The following letter was shared with local landlords before the start of the Fall 2021 semester. Community partners with questions should use the COVID Concerns form to contact the university.

      Dear Cortland landlord,

      We are about to begin another semester at SUNY Cortland and I am again reaching out to ask for your help in keeping our students and the greater Cortland community safe from COVID-19.

      The university’s Fall 2021 Guidance is available online and will be regularly updated throughout the semester. Please know SUNY Cortland is currently requiring all students who live on campus to be vaccinated against COVID-19. When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approves one of the COVID-19 vaccines, SUNY Cortland will require all students to be vaccinated. We anticipate this will happen early in the semester, possibly by Labor Day.

      Still, the potential spread of the Delta variant means we will remain vigilant in asking our students to participate in measures that will keep them and our neighbors in the community safe. As of August 3, 2021, SUNY Cortland is requiring all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings in indoor spaces on campus. Other steps the campus is taking, including surveillance testing, recommendations for symptomatic individuals and quarantine and isolation, are outlined in the Fall 2021 Guidance.

      Please coordinate your tenants’ return to avoid several families arriving at once. SUNY Cortland will continue to move its students into residence halls over an extended period — four days rather than the typical two — to reduce opportunities for contact. We encourage you to consider speaking with your tenants about using the same approach.

      Join us in reminding your tenants of their responsibilities to the community, in particular regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Wearing masks, physical distancing and not attending or hosting large social gatherings are crucial to the continued safety of our community. Allowing large gatherings at off-campus properties will, as we have already seen, only make the situation worse and students may face conduct action that could impact their status as a student.

      Consider providing not-yet-vaccinated international students and students who live in non-contiguous states an opportunity to return early. These students may be seeking a place to quarantine for 10 days before the start of classes. The university has recommended that not-yet-vaccinated students complete this quarantine at home but some may request to do so in Cortland. Also know that off-campus students who test positive for COVID-19 during the semester will need to isolate at home or their off-campus residence for 10 days.

      SUNY Cortland’s plan for the upcoming semester is subject to change pending new guidance from local, state and national health authorities. The university will inform students of any changes to city ordinances that could impact them and we ask you as landlords to also share this information with them.

      Thank you for your help in keeping our community safe. It is in all of our best interests to take whatever measures we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.

      Kevin Pristash
      Director, SUNY Cortland Campus Activities Office

      Mandatory actions

      Off-campus or fully remote students may include:

      • Off-campus residents with classes on campus
      • Students with a fully online course schedule
      • Student teachers in their field placement
      • Students pursuing an off-campus internship

      All new off-campus or remote students must complete one of the following actions to avoid being de-registered from their classes after Jan. 4:

      • Students accessing campus for any reason

      All students accessing campus for any reason must verify their vaccination status in myRedDragon by Jan. 4.

      If students attempt to verify but cannot complete verification of their status, they can upload a photo of their vaccination record card to start a manual review. Vaccination is required for any activity taking place on campus, including employment, athletics, using the Student Life Center or using Memorial Library.

      OR

      • Students not visiting campus

      If 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 to come to campus. These students may also verify their vaccination status through the COVID tab in myRedDragon.


      International students

      Vaccination

      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 (PDF) 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.


      Employees

      Ordering COVID-19 supplies and signage

      Faculty and staff may order COVID-19 safety supplies online. The process is the same as ordering office supplies.

      Please note that custodial staff will be disinfecting once per day. Faculty and staff are encouraged to order enough supplies to accommodate your personal needs.

      To order safety supplies:

      • Visit the COVID safety supplies online ordering system.
      • Add the needed supplies to your cart and check out with your departmental code.
      • Please contact Facilities Operations and Services customer service with any questions at 607-753-2100.

      To order signage:

      • Visit the Red Dragon Safe Signage page.
      • Select from pre-made options, or if you need a sign for your area other than the pre-made options, you may request a custom sign that can range from short sentences or phrases to a list of guidelines.

      Testing

      Employees who are unvaccinated or whose vaccination status has not been verified by Human Resources are required to submit a weekly COVID-19 test. This requirement is unchanged from the policy established in June 2021. If changes are made to the surveillance testing process, campus community members will be notified through email.

      As of Feb. 14, 2022, SUNY Cortland shifted to using rapid COVID-19 tests instead of PCR tests in an effort to supply faster results.

      For the latest information on surveillance testing for the Spring 2022 semester, please consult the New information for Spring 2022 section above.

      Employee proof of vaccination

      Detailed instructions for employees looking to submit proof of vaccination are available online.

      All SUNY Cortland employees, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings in all indoor spaces unless they are alone in their office.

      Fully vaccinated employees may submit proof of vaccination to Human Resources through the COVID-19 tab in myRedDragon. Not-yet-vaccinated employees and employees who have not submitted proof of vaccination to Human Resources must test for COVID-19 weekly. Employees who have received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged but not required to submit that documentation using the same process.

      Additional resources and information for employees is available from Human Resources.

      Isolation and quarantine standards

      SUNY Cortland will follow New York State Department of Health guidance issued Jan. 4.

      The updated information below reflects a Jan. 18 email to campus.

      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 mary.saracene@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 10.

       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 mary.saracene@cortland.edu.
      • Links to the self-reporting forms for the health departments of surrounding counties are included below:

      Eligibility for returning to campus following a direct exposure

       If an employee is directly exposed and not vaccinated

      • Quarantine from reporting to campus for a period of five days where day 0 is day of exposure, AND
      • Following the fifth day, if asymptomatic, employees may return to campus
        • It is highly recommended employees get tested at day 5
        • Employees must wear a well-fitting mask for an additional five days

      If an employee is directly exposed and is vaccinated but not yet boosted and is eligible for booster

      • Quarantine from reporting to campus for a period of five days where day 0 is the day of exposure
      • Following the fifth day, if asymptomatic, employees may return to campus
        • It is highly recommended employees get tested at day 5
        • Employees must wear a well-fitting mask for an additional five days

      If an employee is exposed and is vaccinated and not yet eligible for booster, or

      If an employee is exposed and is vaccinated and boosted at least two weeks prior to exposure

      • Employees may continue to report to work on campus
      • It is highly recommended employees get tested after five days
      • Employees must wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days

      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 any changes through campus email.


      Monitoring and containment

      Monitoring of community infection and vaccination measures

      According to the CDC, multiple factors should be considered for managing environments where 100% of the population is not fully vaccinated.

      The primary factors to consider include: (1) level of community transmission of COVID-19; (2) COVID-19 vaccination rate, including among students, faculty and staff; (3) implementation of a COVID-19 testing program with high participation from the not-yet-vaccinated campus population; and (4) any local COVID-19 outbreaks or increasing trends.

      Therefore, the following guidance applies:

      • Not-yet-vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or exempt individuals: Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated are responsible for continuing to wear face coverings on campus and should continue to observe physical distancing in indoor settings when possible.
      • Campus discretion: The university will work with campus stakeholders in the development of any additional changes and communicate those policies.
      • Special consideration: Pursuant to the CDC, “A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.)” may submit a request to the campus for consideration of an exemption from face coverings based on a medical accommodation, regardless of vaccination status.
      • Community transmission: Additional requirements may be adopted by SUNY Cortland or SUNY System Administration based on the increasing COVID-19 transmission rates on campus.

      Isolation and quarantine responsibilities

      Symptomatic students are expected to quarantine until their COVID-19 test results are known, at which time they will be instructed on next steps. COVID-19 positive individuals will be required to isolate based on guidance from the Cortland County Health Department.

      Campus residents: Students living on campus who test positive are required to isolate either at home or in designated spaces on campus, following all instructions and guidelines issued by SUNY Cortland and the Cortland County Health Department, until they are cleared to resume usual activities. They are expected to cooperate with contact tracing.

      Off-campus students: Off-campus students testing positive will isolate either at home or in their off-campus residence for the isolation period. They are expected to cooperate with contact tracing.

      Vaccinated individuals: Campus community members who are fully vaccinated and exposed to COVID-19-positive individuals do not need to quarantine as long as they remain asymptomatic. These individuals should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure, with appropriate follow up should symptoms develop.

      Not-yet-vaccinated and exempt individuals: Campus community members with recent COVID-19 exposure who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine for 10 days.

      In addition, not-yet-vaccinated or exempt individuals should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure. If symptoms develop, they should promptly follow up with a local health authority of healthcare provider and self-quarantine if they are no longer in mandatory quarantine. These individuals should wear a face covering and remain maintain physically distant from others until medical evaluation and follow-up instruction has been provided.

      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 also are encouraged to contact their supervisors with immediate questions.

      Spring 2022 move-in requirements

      Pre-arrival testing

      Students who will be on campus for any reason in the Spring 2022 semester were required to complete pre-arrival testing. This included students who are fully vaccinated and those with a religious or medical exemption.

      • Students were required to submit a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before their arrival and then upload the result through the through the test results upload portal on the COVID tab in myRedDragon. 

      • Students could also submit a negative result from a rapid at-home kit taken at home on the morning they departed for Cortland. 

      • Students who tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of arrival were exempt from the pre-arrival testing requirement. Students must submit proof of a positive test through test results upload portal on the COVID tab myRedDragon to receive this exemption.

      Arrival testing for residential students

      Spring 2022 arrival testing took place for students living on campus in addition to the pre-arrival testing they completed at home.

      Residential students were required to sign up for an arrival time. Students who arrived by car were provided a rapid test in the Park Center northwest lot and those who arrived by a different mode of transportation were provided a rapid test in the Student Life Center.

      Students who tested negative received a wristband and moved into their residence hall. Students who tested positive were instructed to return home and reschedule a move-in time. Students who tested positive within 90 days of move-in were provided a wristband in the Student Life Center.




      Restart News

      Information about Commencement 2022

      May 10, 2022
      Members of the campus community and guests are asked to be mindful of COVID-19.

      An update on COVID-19

      April 29, 2022
      Face coverings are strongly encouraged in indoor public spaces.

      Face coverings strongly recommended indoors

      April 3, 2022
      The New York State Department of Health is urging people in Central New York to wear face coverings.

      Please be mindful about COVID-19

      March 29, 2022
      An update to the campus community.

      Reminders on COVID-19 safety

      March 21, 2022
      Students must participate in surveillance testing if they are selected.

      Please consider testing before you return from break

      March 18, 2022
      Surveillance testing will also expand temporarily after break.

      Have fun, be safe during Spring Break

      March 10, 2022
      Students may consider taking a COVID-19 test before returning to campus.

      All students must submit booster information through myRedDragon

      March 3, 2022
      Students should complete this step as soon as possible.