COVID-19 Safety Information

COVID-19 Safety Information

Overview

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.

Quick answers

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.

Vaccination

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.

Boosters

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.

Exemptions

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.

Campus life

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.

Pre-arrival testing

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.

Quarantine and isolation housing

The university will have limited quarantine and isolation housing on campus in Fall 2022 for residential students who test positive for COVID-19. Students with COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to return home for their quarantine or isolation period. If the need for quarantine and isolation housing expands beyond available beds, students will be asked to return home. If that is not possible, they will be required to isolate in place where they live on campus.

Class absences

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.

Face coverings

The university does not require face coverings in most public indoor spaces. However, face coverings 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.

Information for 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.

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 covidvaccine@cortland.edu

Non-New York state residents

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.

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.

Testing for exempt students

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.

Pre-arrival testing

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.

If a student tests positive:

  • Stay home, notify your local county health department and follow guidelines for isolation. More information on this process may be found through the county health department page of the county in which you reside. A list of health department pages is available online.
  • These students should notify the associate dean of the school that hosts their major as well as their individual faculty members to inform them of their absence. Information on this process was shared with students in Fall 2021.
  • Residential students who test positive before they leave home should notify the Residence Life and Housing Office to arrange an alternate move-in time.

What to do if you are symptomatic

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.

Symptomatic students

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.

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.

What to do if you miss class or are in isolation or quarantine

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: 

  • Notify each of your instructors individually. During this time, work with your instructors to make up anything you missed. It is your responsibility, not your instructor’s. 
  • Remember, you cannot simply not go to class because you feel sick and then return when you feel better. If you have any symptoms, even minor ones, you must immediately arrange for testing. 

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:

  • Contact your instructors directly and work with them to make up work you will miss while out of class. They are not expected to provide online or synchronous instruction for students in isolation or quarantine, but they may be able to provide handouts, slides, or other material you can use to make up missed work.
  • Check your syllabus to see what work you are missing. 
  • Reach out to classmates about getting notes from classes you’ve missed. 
  • Schedule a phone or virtual appointment during your instructor’s office hours to go over missed material or work.  
  • Schedule a virtual appointment at the Learning Centeror the Writing Center to help you stay on track with your assignments. 
  • Once you receive your official isolation or quarantine orders from the county health department, send them in an email to the associate dean of your school (Education, Arts and Sciences, or Professional Studies) for verification. It is your responsibility to contact the associate dean and provide documentation. The associate dean will inform instructors of your extended absence. 

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.

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 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

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.

Vaccination for international students

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Information for employees


Surveillance testing requirement

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.

  • 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.

What to do if you are symptomatic

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.

What to do if you are in isolation or quarantine

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.

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 michelle.congdon@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 michelle.congdon@cortland.edu.
  • Self-reporting forms for the health departments of surrounding counties are available online:
  • Cortland County (select appropriate reporting link)
  • Broome County (scroll to “Reporting a Test” section)
  • Tompkins County (direct link to form)
  • Onondaga County (see self-attestation information)

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 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 policy changes through campus email.

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 are encouraged to contact their supervisors with immediate questions.




Restart News

Reminders on COVID-19 safety

Aug. 18, 2022
Important information for the campus community before the Fall 2022 semester.

Updates made to COVID-19 Safety Information page

June 28, 2022
The page includes new policies for the 2022-23 academic year.

COVID-19 Safety Information page updates

June 28, 2022
The page includes new information for the 2022-23 academic year.

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.