Fall 2021 Guidance/COVID-19 Information


Frequently Asked Questions/Tips

What is mumps?

Mumps is a contagious virus that typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. Most cases are mild but complications are possible and may include:

  • inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty; rarely does this lead to fertility problems
  • inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • inflammation of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
  • inflammation of the ovaries (oophoritis) and/or breast tissue (mastitis)
  • deafness
How does mumps spread?

Mumps spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. Mumps likely spreads before the salivary glands begin to swell and up to five days after the swelling begins. An infected person can spread the virus by:

  • coughing, sneezing, or talking
  • sharing items, such as cups or eating utensils, with others, and
  • touching objects or surfaces with unwashed hands that are then touched by others
Who is at risk?

People most at-risk include those who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems as well as those who have not been immunized.

I have been in close contact with someone who was diagnosed with mumps. What should I do?

If you share a living space with someone who has mumps, limit your contact with that person until it is determined that they are no longer contagious. It is also recommended to disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your shared space.

If you think you may have been exposed to mumps and experience any swelling of the face or in front of the ear plus fever, schedule an appointment with Student Health Service or your primary physician.

To help prevent the spread of mumps:
  • Use paper towels instead of hand towels.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or antibacterial liquid.
  • Avoiding sharing drinks, eating utensils, lip gloss, etc.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, tables and counters.
  • Maintain at least three feet of contact from someone you know is infected.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. We have masks available for students who wish to use them.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.

More tips for preventing the spread of mumps.

What should I do if I think I have mumps?

The symptoms of mumps include a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands (cheeks). If you think you may have mumps, see a physician to be examined and tested. SUNY Cortland students can schedule an appointment with Student Health Service. Outside of Student Health Service hours, students can go to an urgent care facility or Cortland Regional Medical Center. You should let staff at any facility know immediately that you think you might have mumps, and put on a mask immediately upon arrival.

Do I need to stay away from people if I have mumps, or if I think I have mumps?

YES, if you are confirmed or suspected to have mumps, the College will advise you on what you need to do next. If you visit an urgent care facility, Cortland Regional medical Center, or any off-campus physician to be tested for mumps, be sure to inform Student Health Service that you’ve been tested, and of the results.

When you have mumps, you should avoid prolonged, close contact with other people until at least five days after your salivary glands (cheeks) begin to swell because you are contagious during this time. You should not go to work or school. You should also limit contact with the people you live with; for example, sleep in a separate room by yourself if you can. People who are infected with mumps don’t get sick right away—it can take 2 to 4 weeks for them to show signs of infection.

What should members of the campus community do regarding their health?

All members of the SUNY Cortland community are advised to check their immunization status with their primary care provider to verify that they have received the recommended two doses of the MMR vaccine. It is presumed those born before 1957 have an immunity to mumps, and are not required to be vaccinated. If you have not had two doses of MMR vaccine, you can arrange to receive a second dose by contacting your primary care provider, or the Cortland County Health Department at 607-753-5028.  

For faculty and staff

Employees who may not be immunized or need additional information regarding their immunizations should contact their primary care providers. 

If you believe you have symptoms, you are strongly encouraged to leave work and seek an immediate medical appointment.   If you are currently out due to illness and believe it may be related to the mumps, please contact Mary Saracene, assistant director for benefits and classified employment, at 607-753-2302.  Employees who are absent from work due to the mumps will be treated the same as any other health related absence.  Appropriate medical documentation will be required attesting to your inability to work and a release to return to work will be required.

For students

Students showing symptoms, or who have concerns consistent with mumps, should call Student Health Service at 607-753-4811 and press option six (6) to speak with the triage nurse.

What is SUNY Cortland’s policy regarding student vaccinations?

In accordance with New York State laws, all new and incoming students are required to show proof of mumps immunization or provide a signed medical or religious exemption form.

I've only had one MMR immunization shot - do I need a booster?

If you have questions or concerns about your level of vaccination, please contact your primary care provider.

I’ve had two MMR immunizations. Should I get a third MMR dose to make sure I'm protected?

A third dose of MMR is generally not medically recommended. If you have questions or concerns about your level of vaccination, please contact your primary care provider.

I'm not immunized against mumps. What should I do?

If you were born after 1957 and are not immunized against mumps, you are at risk and should contact your primary care provider, the Cortland County Health Department, or Student Health Service to arrange for a vaccine.  If the health department declares an outbreak of Mumps on campus then those who are not immunized will be excluded from campus for 26 days from the identification of the most recent case. So at this time, we STRONGLY encourage anyone who has not been vaccinated to get vaccinated. 

I was born before 1957 and have not been immunized against mumps. Do I need to be?

Mumps immunization is generally not recommended for people born before 1957, who are presumed to be immune through natural exposure. If you have concerns about your risk, consult with your primary care provider.

I am pregnant or have a compromised immune system. Should I be on campus?

Most pregnant women have been immunized against mumps. If you are pregnant and have not been immunized, or if you are immunocompromised, you should contact your primary care physician or specialist to discuss your risk factors. If you are pregnant and have been immunized, but have concerns, seek the advice of your primary care provider.

Is the campus quarantined? Can people still come to campus? Are events being canceled?

The campus is not quarantined. Individuals are still welcome to come to campus and attend events. If you have not been immunized against mumps, however, you are at a higher risk. Individuals who have not been vaccinated are strongly discouraged from coming to campus at this time.

For appointments or information:

Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-26
Phone: 607-753-4811
Fax: 607-753-2486


Hours of operation are:

  • 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 PM – Phone triage and scheduling
  • 8:15 - 4:30 p.m. – Visits by appointment
  • Noon - 1:00 PM - Closed for cleaning