COVID-19: Employee Guidance

Employee Guide Booklet

Cover: Working During COVID-19 Employee guide

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This guide is designed to provide employees with information on returning to working on campus as well as continuing in a remote arrangement.

  • Testing, Quarantine, Isolation
  • Travel, Gatherings, Support Services
  • Staffing, Checklists, FAQs

As is the case across the globe, our knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve. These guidelines, especially those surrounding health policies and practices, are subject to change as state and federal guidelines, and university committee recommendations, evolve. 

This document is updated frequently; check date on top right corner of cover and ensure that you have the most up-to-date version.


Working during COVID-19

As a university, we will embrace a phased approach to resuming operations on our campuses – one that is underscored by a commitment to the health and safety of our campus community, while continuing to pursue our core mission of teaching, research and public engagement.

Underlying all policies and procedures related to reactivation are Cornell’s guiding principles for COVID-19 response as expressed in President Pollack’s June 30 message to the community


Our Cornell Approach to Reentry

It’s important to note that Cornell’s approach to a phased reopening is designed to address the unique challenges of living, working and studying in this type of close-contact environment. While cloth face coverings and masks are important to minimizing the spread of COVID-19, reducing the density of our campuses continues to be a critical safety aspect of our plans. 

It should be noted that although local, state, and federal agency guidelines may allow for certain levels of reentry, the university views these as minimum thresholds. Cornell plans to continue to limit workforce presence on campus with continued use of remote work where possible.

Cornell is a continuously operating residential university and some employees must work on campus to provide services that are essential to residential life, campus health and safety, research, and/or education. As we move into a phased re-entry, some departments and units may increase their on-campus presence before others. 

Employees are only permitted to return to work on campus after receiving direction from their supervisor to do so. The supervisor may only give such guidance after having the unit’s reactivation plan approved in accordance with university reactivation guidelines for each phase. All other employees will be expected to continue to work remotely. If an employee is unclear if they are to report to work on-site, they should contact their supervisor.

As on-campus staffing increases and operations expand, Cornell leadership and public health officials will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as adjust existing policies and procedures to mitigate risk of infection.


Personal Preparedness

All faculty and staff are urged to take basic preventative measures to prepare themselves and their families to avoid exposure to or infection by the virus causing COVID-19.