Tips for End-of-Semester Travel

Testing prior to travel

Visit Global Cornell's guidelines for international travel, and learn how to get documentation of a negative COVID test prior to international travel. 

Public health and medical requirements for safe travel

Students are eager to get home to their families or spend time away from school or work around the holidays. As COVID cases are on the rise nationally and also locally, it is important to be aware of important public health and medical requirements to keep yourself, your family, and others safe.

Please be sure you are aware of the latest university guidance related to travel as well as this additional medical information related to traveling during the pandemic.

When it IS medically appropriate to travel

  • You have not tested positive for COVID, have not been identified as a close contact, and have had at least 2 negative surveillance tests through the surveillance testing program.
  • You don’t have any symptoms of COVID and are not ill in any way: keep in mind that many symptoms of COVID are subtle and can resemble other illnesses, like allergies, cold/flu viruses, strep infection, infectious mono, or others illnesses. When in doubt, call Cornell Health during business hours (607-255-5155) regarding any symptoms you have and have an evaluation of them to make a plan for travel.

When it is NOT medically appropriate to travel

  • You have had a confirmed case of COVID and are currently in isolation.
  • You have symptoms of COVID and are awaiting a test result, in isolation as a PUI (patient under investigation).
  • You are in Mandatory Quarantine and have not met medical and public health criteria for travel. Individuals in Mandatory Quarantine are only able to travel if all of the following conditions are met:
    • Travel is done via private vehicle (absolutely no public transport, taxis service, ride shares are allowed).
    • You have no symptoms.
    • There is a location that meets criteria for Mandatory Quarantine at the destination (private bedroom, private bathroom, private kitchen/food delivery).
    • You proactively identify a location where they will receive healthcare or testing should they develop symptoms. 
    • A report is made to TCHD to transfer your quarantine location to the Local Health Department of their destination.
  • You have completed an adaptive test due to a recent potential opportunity for exposure in a classroom, fraternity/sorority, housing or other location and are awaiting test results.
  • You have reason to believe that you may have been exposed to COVID – in this circumstance it is best to self-quarantine until you have a chance to speak with medical or public health authorities for recommendations and steps to take.
  • You will be in close or proximate contact with elderly relatives, babies/young children, or any individuals who may be at higher risk for COVID. Every possible effort should be taken to avoid exposure to those individuals who are high risk. Check out this advice from the CDC regarding specific medical conditions.

The rise in cases may cause fear and uncertainty, and students may wish to leave campus out of fear of potential exposures. However, if individuals travel when it isn’t appropriate, they risk the health and safety of themselves and others. When in doubt, call Cornell Health during business hours (607-255-5155)  to discuss your situation and try to exercise patience as the medical and public health authorities work to test and treat as many people as possible.

For students in on-campus housing, please know that if you are placed in isolation/quarantine, you should honor the release date from isolation/quarantine, even if it is later than your departure date from Housing and Residence Life. Please work with us at Cornell Health to arrange details of your departure. 

More information