Quarantine & Isolation


What is quarantine?

Quarantine is for someone who has been exposed to the Covid-19 virus through close contact with someone who is infected, but has not tested positive for COVID-19 and does not have symptoms.

What is isolation?

Isolation is for individuals who have been infected with COVID-19, even if they don't have symptoms.

Self-reporting a Positive Test

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 outside the area, through a home antigen test or through any other non-Cornell or non-Cayuga Medical Center testing within the past 90 days, report your positive result in the Daily Check portal. The information is critical for Cornell as it may exempt you from testing. Do not use this option to report an antigen test result from a Cornell-provided Symptomatic Test Kit.

Symptomatic Employees

Employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 should complete the Daily Check health assessment when scheduled to work on campus, regardless of vaccination and booster status.



Employees who were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and believe they need to self-quarantine in accordance with Tompkins County Health Department guidance are expected to work remotely if possible.  Employees who are unable to work remotely, due to the nature of their work should contact local HR for details on how to proceed.

Upon release, employees must comply with all health and safety requirements including:

  • Complete the Daily Check health assessment if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are scheduled to work on campus.
  • Participate in COVID-19 testing program, if assigned. Go to the Daily Check home page to view your testing schedule, if any.
  • Although not required, it is recommended that employees complete a supplemental test after day five of quarantine unless they have tested positive in the last 90 days.



Employees who receive a positive COVID-19 test result (see sidebar on self-reporting a positive result ) are to follow Tompkins County Health Department guidance and are not allowed on campus for any reason until cleared to do so. Employees are expected to work remotely if possible. Employees who are unable to work remotely, due to the nature of their work or their symptoms, will be expected to record their time in Workday as directed.

Employees are not required to tell their supervisor any medical diagnosis. However, if an employee is unable to work, in keeping with current policy, the employee is expected to notify his or her supervisor as soon as possible.

Once an employee’s isolation period has ended, and they are therefore cleared to return to work, employees are expected to continue compliance with all health and safety guidance.

CDC guidance indicates that a person who has recovered from COVID-19 may continue to have a positive test result for up to three months, even though they are not spreading COVID-19. Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 will have their participation in surveillance and supplemental testing programs suspended for 90 days from the date of their test results.

Note: The employee may self-disclose medical information with anyone of their choosing; however, ADA does not permit employers, regardless of how the information was obtained, to disclose an employee’s medical information to an employee’s colleagues, customers, or vendors. Employers can generally inform colleagues, customers, or vendors that an “employee has tested positive for COVID-19” or that an employee “has been exposed to COVID-19.” The employee(s) should not be identified and identifying information should not be provided. Employers may and should report a positive test result to public health officials


See also: Quarantine FAQ on the Cornell COVID-19 website