Given that COVID-19 is widespread around the globe, Ithaca College is asking that all employees and students reconsider personal travel plans outside of the Tompkins County area during the semester. The status of individual locations, as reported by the CDC, is changing rapidly and may be reclassified during travel, creating potential travel issues and the possibility of required self-quarantine upon return. Individuals choosing to travel out of state should be mindful of New York State requirements for quarantine when returning from high COVID-19 incidence states, which will be enforced by the College at the individual’s cost. Travel significantly increases the risk of importing the virus into the Ithaca area, potentially compromising our collective goal of completing an on-campus experience this fall.
All Ithaca College-sponsored travel by employees requires new approval. Any employee with an existing approved travel authorization form must seek reapproval from their respective vice president or dean by submitting a new travel authorization form. Employees should not travel on college business to locations where they do not feel comfortable going.
College travel is prohibited to countries with a CDC Warning Level 3 Travel Health Notice – Avoid All Non-Essential Travel. All Ithaca College employees who return to the United States after having traveled through or from countries with a CDC Warning Level 3 will be required to self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days after last being in the Level 3 country before they will be allowed to return to the Ithaca campus. Employees who choose to travel to a CDC Warning Level 3 country for non-college travel will be required to use paid time off to self-quarantine.
Domestic travel during the semester is strongly discouraged, and employees will be encouraged to be mindful of federal and state travel restrictions or requirements for quarantine as these may change over time. Employees who are self-quarantining should discuss flexible work arrangements with their supervisors. If not able to work remotely, employees will be expected to use paid time away while in quarantine following domestic travel unless under an order of quarantine or isolation from the Tompkins County Health Department. All employees are strongly encouraged to consult both New York State and CDC guidance before traveling domestically.
Employees will be encouraged to reconsider travel to non-Ithaca College professional meetings and/or conferences. In all instances, individuals should consider use of technology, such as Zoom videoconferencing, rather than in-person meetings.
Ithaca College has suspended our London Center and ICNYC programs as well as all affiliated study abroad programs for the 2020-21 academic year. The Roy H. Park School of Communications LA Program was suspended for fall 2020 but will resume in the spring 2021 semester unless pandemic conditions require that it be suspended.
Ithaca College’s existing travel policy does not permit student travel to countries with a U.S. Department of State travel warning or to countries where the college’s insurance carrier will not provide coverage. The college may permit exceptions to this travel policy after a review of the purpose of the proposed travel, the arrangements for safety and security, and the time to be spent at the destination. The Office of International Programs is responsible for the development and implementation of procedures for the review and approval of any exceptions to this policy.
In the case of approved travel to a destination under a U.S. Department of State travel warning, employees, students, and their parents/guardians must sign waivers releasing the college from liability, acknowledge having read and understood the U.S. Department of State travel warnings regarding the destination country, confirm their agreement to comply with the rules, regulations, and directives of the appropriate authorities of the country, and commit to register their travel and contact information with the United States Embassy.
To assure medical and political/security evacuation coverage for individuals to travel to countries with warnings, the college may be required to share the travel information with the college’s insurance carrier in advance of approved travel. Employees, students, and their parents/guardians should note that the carrier may not provide insurance or services for the destination country; costs not covered by the insurance carrier will be the responsibility of the employee, student, and/or parents/guardians.
Enforcement of Travel Guidelines
Non-compliance with travel guidelines is a violation of the community agreement. Violations by faculty or staff will be subject to disciplinary processes in accordance with the respective policies in the Ithaca College Policy Manual or collective bargaining agreement covering the individual. Violations by students, both residential and off-campus, will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Conduct Code.