Testing and Screening

A cornerstone of our return to campus strategy is ongoing testing and regular self-screening for symptoms.

For Students

We strongly encourage that students obtain a COVID-19 test approximately 14 days prior to coming to campus and voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days prior to arriving on campus, even if they test negative for COVID. Those who have screened negative and completed a self-quarantine for 14 days in a non-travel advisory state can proceed to campus.

Students who have a positive COVID test should seek guidance from their primary care provider and must remain at home in isolation for a minimum of 10 days since symptoms first appeared and until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery. Recovery is defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath). Once these conditions are met, so long as isolation occurred in a non-travel advisory state, the student can proceed to campus.

NY State Travel Advisory Information

All students, whether living on or off-campus, will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival by staff from Cayuga Health System. This will primarily be accomplished using a walk-through process in the Athletics and Events Center. Only students will be permitted in the Athletics and Events Center, we ask that family members or helpers remain in their cars. 

Testing will involve a nasopharynegeal swab taken while the student is seated in a chair, in an area with fabric walls to ensure privacy. Swabs will be labeled and stored per established protocol and will be couriered to the Cayuga Medical Center for testing. 

Students must quarantine in their own rooms or in off-campus housing until test results are available. 

Students must remain in the room and may not access the remainder of the residence hall, except to use bathroom facilities, or the broader campus community until they receive a negative test result. Meals will be brought to the room by dining services.

Off-campus students must remain in their housing and may not access campus or the broader Ithaca community until they receive a negative test result.

Test results typically take approximately 24 hours to be shared. A Cayuga Health System employee will notify any student who tests negative. If testing results are negative, students will be released from quarantine and be approved for on-campus participation. A Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) employee will notify any student who tests positive and will initiate contact tracing. TCHD will also notify the county of the student’s home residence to initiate contact tracing for that community as well. If testing results are positive, the student will be placed in isolation at housing designated by Residential Life Staff (on-campus isolation residence hall site or hotel location) and evaluated via a telemedicine consultation with a Hammond Health Center provider. Additional confirmatory testing with Cayuga Health System or Hammond Health Center may be required. 

Students with a positive test result will be placed in isolation, which may require a temporary relocation to a different Residence Hall or local hotel arranged by the College. Students must remain in isolation until release is approved by the TCHD. Ithaca College will provide support to ensure that daily needs (e.g., food, medication) are met. 

Students will be re-tested for COVID-19 at regular intervals during the semester. We are currently finalizing our plans for the frequency of re-testing and will share that schedule as soon as it is available.

Students will be re-tested at regular intervals during the semester. We are currently finalizing our plans for the frequency of re-testing and will share that schedule as soon as it is available.

Students presenting with COVID-19 symptoms during the semester will be able to seek testing or medical attention from the Hammond Health Center. Should a student need testing or medical attention when the Health Center is closed, the normal process of seeking care at one of the urgent care centers in Ithaca or at the Cayuga Medical Center should be used.

Student employees are required to complete the electronic screening on days that they are scheduled to work. All other students will complete the electronic screening at a frequency to be determined.

For Employees

Employees working on-campus will be tested. We are finalizing the details for how this testing will occur. 

Test results typically take approximately 24 hours to be shared. 

Employees working on-campus will be re-tested at regular intervals during the semester. We are currently finalizing our plans for the frequency of re-testing and will share that schedule as soon as it is available.

All employees will be required to complete an electronic daily health screening for COVID-19 exposure or symptoms prior to coming to campus.

Details on how to complete the screening will be shared as soon as possible.