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Cornell leaders offer guidance on Phase 4 reopening

Provost Michael Kotlikoff and Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Mary Opperman sent the following message June 26:

The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, which include our campuses in Ithaca and Geneva, are expected to be cleared by the state for Phase 4 reopening later today. This is welcome news as we continue to implement the university’s phased approach to campus reactivation and finalize plans for the fall semester.

In line with guidance provided earlier this month, faculty and staff must continue to work remotely, unless cleared to return to work on campus by your dean, department chair or supervisor. Even when cleared to return, individuals who can work effectively while remote should continue to do so until further notice. This is extremely important if we are to maintain 50% building capacity. However, faculty and staff whose work requires, or is markedly enhanced by, use of university facilities, may now begin to do so under guidance provided by our reactivation plan. As with research reactivation, plans should be submitted to departments or appropriate supervisory units, reviewed by the dean or appropriate administrative lead, and submitted for approval to Deputy Provost John Siliciano and Vice President Mary Opperman. As with earlier reopening benchmarks, our campuses in New York City remain on a different timetable for reactivation and are excluded from this latest guidance.

On Monday, we introduced Daily Check, an online screening system that will send daily reminders to employees who have been approved to work or conduct research on campus to complete a brief health assessment each day prior to arriving on campus or at a Cornell facility. We very much appreciate our community’s compliance with this new measure, which is required by New York state. We will continue to refine and improve the system based on your feedback. For additional information on Daily Check, or other workplace guidelines, please review the Working During COVID-19 guide issued by Human Resources last week.

As President Pollack announced on Monday, the Teaching Reactivation Options Committee and Preparation for Online Teaching Committee have released their recommendations for reactivating campus. These are being carefully reviewed and will guide Cornell’s plan for the fall semester, which is expected to be announced soon.

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Abby Butler