Important Update on Spring 2021 Move-in Plans

By La Jerne Terry Cornish and Rosanna Ferro, November 5, 2020
Change in New York policy removes "restricted states" designation.

Dear Students and Families,

As we have all been aware could happen, a change in New York State policy has led us to modify our previously announced move-in plan for students for the spring 2021 semester. The good news is that we believe the new policy will make it easier for more of our students to participate in an on-campus academic and residential experience this spring.

While the timing of residence hall move-in for some students will be adjusted from what we had announced on Oct. 27, the academic calendar will not change.

The updated travel advisory announced on Oct. 31 by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo no longer lists “restricted states.” It instead provides differing rules for states that are contiguous and non-contiguous with New York, U.S. territories, and countries with a Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that students from states that are contiguous with New York (Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont), or students from countries with a CDC No Travel Health Notice or Level 1 designation, do not need to quarantine.

Students from all other states, U.S. territories, and CDC Level 2 or 3 countries now have the option to “test out” of quarantining for 14 days after arriving in New York. They can accomplish this by doing all of the following:

  1. Obtaining a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival in New York;
  2. Completing a 3-day quarantine, measured from the time of arrival, within New York; and
  3. Obtaining a COVID-19 test on the 4th day. If that test is negative, they may exit quarantine.

Anyone arriving from a non-contiguous state, U.S. territory, or CDC Level 2 or 3 country must also complete New York’s Traveler Health Form.

While travelers from contiguous states are not subject to the quarantine requirements, the Travel Advisory specifically discourages all non-essential travel to these states.

These measures are critical in helping limit the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the region, the community, and the college. They reinforce our previous statements that any travel outside the immediate Ithaca area during the spring semester is strongly discouraged, as are any visits by family or friends to our campus. During the semester, we will not provide quarantine space to satisfy the Travel Advisory for students who elect to travel.

What This Means for Spring Move-In

For new and returning students from contiguous states who will reside on campus, a phased residence hall move-in will be conducted from January 19 to February 5. These students will be tested upon their arrival, and will enter Ithaca College’s precautionary quarantine (either on campus or in an Ithaca College-provided hotel room) overnight or until they receive a negative test result.

As noted above, new and returning students from non-contiguous states, U.S. territories and CDC Level 2 or 3 countries will need to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to arrival in New York, quarantine for 3 days (measured from the time of arrival), and obtain a COVID-19 test on day 4. Students who test negative at that time will be released from quarantine. Students must also complete New York’s Traveler Health Form.

Ithaca College will be able to provide a limited number of quarantine rooms on campus for residential students from non-contiguous states or CDC Level 2 or 3 countries who cannot make their own quarantine arrangements within New York. Beginning on Thursday, Jan. 7, and continuing for each of the next 3 Thursdays, 100 students per week will have the opportunity to arrive on campus for their 3-day quarantine (for a total of 400 students).

We are not able to accommodate residential students who are not able to obtain testing within their own state or country prior to travel. Students in this category will be required to quarantine for 14 days to satisfy the New York State Travel Advisory and must make alternative arrangements at their own cost.

Residential students whose circumstances are such that they can test prior to arrival in New York, but cannot make their own 3-day quarantine arrangements, must apply for an exception to be housed in one of the on-campus quarantine rooms. Students in non-contiguous states, U.S. territories, and CDC Level 2 or 3 countries will receive an email from the college the week of November 16, requesting that they verify their quarantine plans and, for residential students, requesting that they apply for an on-campus quarantine space if they need one.

Emerson Hall will serve as the primary quarantine housing space, since it has private bedrooms and bathrooms. Once they complete the 3-day quarantine and test negative via our on-campus testing process, residential students will then move into their regular assigned housing.

As a result of this new move-in schedule, we will be changing the dates of our Spring Welcome for new students to occur after we are sure all new students have arrived on campus. Student-athlete arrival times are pending decisions regarding winter sports.

Students will receive an email by December 7 providing information about how and when to sign up for a move-in appointment.

Questions and Answers

We will continue to provide updates as needed directly to students and families, faculty, and staff over the coming weeks. We will also continue to regularly update the Return to Campus websiteResidential Life move-in website, and other information sources.

You can also ask us questions at any time using the online feedback form.

We once again thank you for your patience as we navigate together through this ever-changing landscape, and assure you that the one thing that will not change is our commitment to serving our campus community to the absolute best of our ability.


La Jerne Terry Cornish, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Rosanna Ferro, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life