CVM Travel Policy


Revised April 2, 2021

College of Veterinary Medicine COVID-19 Pandemic Travel Policy


This INTERIM Policy Applies to all individuals approved to be on campus, and those using CVM facilities, including CVM employees, contractors, visitors, students conducting research on campus, student employees, and students participating in on-campus education.


Summary of Key Points


  • The CVM plays a unique role in offering critical veterinary medical and COVID-surveillance services, and require in-person teaching experiences. We must work to keep our college community safe.

  • As described by the U.S. CDC, and NY State, travel and participation in gatherings continues to be a major factor that can increase the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission as travelers are in new environments, and the infection rates and behaviors of others are unknown.

  • Increased-risk travel is defined as travel that exposes a person to many people whose COVID-19 status is not known, and where transmission could occur. This includes:
    • Travel to COVID-19 hot spots (e.g., >30 cases/100,000).
    • Travel using public modes of transportation, particularly through airport hubs, in planes, trains, subways, boats, ships and buses (excluding regular commuting).
    • Participation in gatherings with other people, particularly when inside.
  • The travel policy is one of many steps that ensure safety, including wearing face masks, following social distancing guidelines, hand washing and workplace disinfection, decreasing building occupancy, limiting gathering sizes, performing work remotely when possible, and being vaccinated.


  • Non-essential business travel is currently prohibited by Cornell University. Essential business travel requires approval by the dean of the college and must follow current Cornell policies. Personal travel outside of the local area is strongly discouraged.

  • Members of the CVM community may find it necessary to travel for personal or family reasons, to seek medical treatment, or other important activities. If so:
    • Students must follow the Cornell Travel Policy, and register travel in the Daily Check. Procedures for necessary exceptions to the Cornell policy are described below.
    • Employees who will travel and miss their regular testing day must register time away in the Daily Check, under ‘Change your Testing’. All CVM employees who are approved to work on campus must complete a travel risk assessment; this will initiate communication with HR about your return to campus, before travel.
    If travel was not discussed and assessed for risk in advance, please contact travel liaison regarding processes to return to campus.
  • Any travel to Ithaca by Cornell employees, contractors, vendors, or affiliates must follow the requirement of the New York State travel advisory including filling out the online traveler health form, and complying with testing and/or quarantine requirements.

Travel From Ithaca: CVM Students (including student employees)

CVM students are expected to follow the University Travel Policy. Exceptions may be approved on a case-by-case basis for fourth year DVM students and for other students whose education would be adversely impacted by the general policy. The University travel policy states:

  • Travel outside of the greater Ithaca area is strongly discouraged at this time.
  • Students who must travel outside of the area due to exceptional circumstances (e.g., a family emergency) must follow all New York state and Cornell requirements prior to leaving and upon returning to the Ithaca and Cornell communities.
  • Travel must be requested via the Daily Check tool to indicate dates when the student plans to be “out of Ithaca;” this will pause their Daily Check and surveillance testing schedule while away.

Travel From Ithaca: CVM Employees Working on Campus

Per the Cornell University Travel Policy, Non-essential business travel is prohibited. Essential business travel requires approval by the dean of the college and must follow current Cornell policies governing travel generally. Personal travel outside of the local area is discouraged at this time.

Any CVM employee approved to work on campus and who must travel:

Any questions should be referred to travel point-of-contact:

Returning to Ithaca, or Coming to Ithaca for First Time

All individuals coming to Ithaca must follow the NYS Travel Advisory and the state requirements for testing and quarantine. These change frequently, so do stay informed. In addition, CVM asks:

  • If you are “Fully Vaccinated” (two weeks after your last dose):
    • You may return to work. Please get a supplemental COVID-19 test at Cornell upon arrival, and on day 4; re-commence routine surveillance testing; and self-monitor for any COVID-19 type symptoms. Report those to the Daily Check.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, and your travel is defined as higher risk (travel letter from HR):
    • Plan: to get a supplemental COVID-19 test at Cornell upon your arrival, to stay off campus for 4 days, and to get a second supplemental COVID-19 test on Day 4. Await your test result. You may return work at CVM with two negative COVID-19 test results.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, and your travel is defined as lower risk (travel letter from HR):
    • Plan: to get a supplemental COVID-19 test at Cornell upon your arrival. Await your test result. You may return to work if your COVID-19 test is negative.

Contractors or other Approved Visitors:

  • Must follow the travel rules defined by NY State.
  • Must follow the daily check processes used by their employer, as well as by Cornell.
  • Unit host must develop a COVID-19 risk mitigation plan and submit to Dean for approval.

* Cornell COVID-19 Surveillance Testing facilities may be used, if registered and active in the Daily Check, and if Daily Check clears you to come to campus. Alternatively, testing is available at the Ithaca Mall, or contact your local health department or Cornell Health (students) for guidance on testing.