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November 27, 2020   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Cornell raises COVID-19 alert level after increasing cases

Cornell University has changed its COVID-19 alert level from green, which means that cases are rare and transmission is controlled, to yellow, which means that there is a low to moderate risk of transmission, for a second time.

As of Nov. 13, there have been 158 total COVID-19 cases at Cornell since August. During the week of Nov. 7, there have been nine new positive cases. The shift to a low to moderate risk at Cornell means that the incidence of the virus is low, but there is an increased chance of transmission of the virus. Students are asked to wash their hands, maintain physical distancing and wear masks. The frequency of testing will be increased in certain populations, and Cornell may reduce capacities in on-campus buildings. Student gatherings will be limited to 10 people or fewer, and physical distancing and masks will be required. Visitors are not allowed on campus, and travel is strongly discouraged. 

Cornell previously changed its alert level to yellow Sept. 3 after two clusters of positive cases emerged but lowered the level back to green Sept. 16.

As planned during the summer, Nov. 13 is the last day of in-person classes for the university. Students will have semifinal study days and exams and then will begin transitioning home Nov. 25. Online instruction is set to run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 16.

Cornell’s most recent increase in cases is associated with small student gatherings, including a cluster within the Greek life community, according to a message from Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life at Cornell.

As of Nov. 13, there are 1117 active COVID-19 cases in Tompkins County, with a total of 771 since March 14. This is the highest number of active cases in the county since the pandemic began.

Ithaca College students who are experiencing symptoms should call the Hammond Health Center at 607-274-3177. Faculty and staff members who are symptomatic are not allowed on campus and should go to the sampling site at The Shops at Ithaca Mall. On-campus testing is available for students and employees from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Athletics and Events Center. There have been 46 positive cases at the college since Aug. 14.

Alexis Manore can be reached at amanore@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @AlexisManore