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Update: Cornell coronavirus FAQ

Below is the latest information; for the full list of frequently asked questions, visit the university’s coronavirus resources and updates webpage. The situation is fluid; check back often.

What happens when someone tests positive for COVID-19? Will the community be notified?

In Ithaca, the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) serves as the lead health agency and takes primary responsibility for monitoring the health status of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. When someone tests positive, TCHD will conduct a contact investigation to help identify anyone who may have come in close contact with that individual, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If that individual was at a large gathering or public location, TCHD will notify the public so people are aware and can take appropriate action. Visit TCHD’s website to view new advisories related to positive cases.

What activities can be done outdoors while still practicing social distancing?

Multiple studies have shown that spending time in nature can help reduce stress and anxiety and increase one’s sense of overall well-being. There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors while practicing social distancing. Cornell Outdoor Education has provided a guide for outdoor activities to help get you started. The grounds of the Cornell Botanic Gardens are open every day, dawn to dusk; remember to stay 6 feet away from others, don’t gather in groups of any size and refrain from interacting with staff.

What community resources are available to help employees?

Human Resources has developed a collection of Cornell and community resources to support the physical, emotional and mental well-being of employees. It includes information on caregiving, food and delivery services, how to help others in the community and more.

What if students, faculty or staff in Ithaca don’t have reliable internet access at home and/or have a limited data plan?

Many providers across the nation are offering free installation and access for households without Wi-Fi, as well as temporary upgrades to students’ data plans to help support learning and working from home. The exact nature of what is available may depend on your vendor and where you live. Go here for information to get started, for tips about how to improve weak or slow Wi-Fi, and to address concerns about restricted or insecure Wi-Fi service.

Media Contact

Gillian Smith