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COVID-19 Guidelines for Meetings & Events

Like most organizations during COVID-19, Cornell University has established a series of policies, procedures and guidelines for those wishing to hold meetings and/or events on campus. This information may change with little or no notice, so please check this page often.

When hosting academic- or business-related events, unit gatherings, symposia or other similar gatherings on campus, or permitting external third-party events, please adhere to the following guidance. Be aware that requirements may change quickly – impacting your event – if COVID-19 transmission rates increase on campus or within the local community, or in response to local, state, or federal guidelines or requirements. Event organizers are responsible for checking this site frequently and staying informed about changes in requirements. Guidance for all spectators of athletic events, as well as information on indoor and outdoor sporting events, is available on the Cornell Athletics website.

View the most recent updates and guidelines regarding Events or see highlights below. For additional information on face masks, including information about singing, musical instruments, and how to properly wear a mask visit Cornell's COVID-19 website.

Commencement Weekend

All graduates, faculty, staff and guests are required to wear high-quality masks when indoors, regardless of vaccination/booster status. Masking is also encouraged when outdoors in a crowded settings. Anyone experiencing symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 is expected to get tested prior to attending in-person events. Visit the Commencement website for more details on public health guidance.

Testing
Attendees should be encouraged to test for COVID-19 prior to travel and arrival on campus, and to test using a rapid antigen test should they become symptomatic.

The university will not supply antigen kits to non-Cornell Commencement visitors, as antigen kits are readily available at retail locations throughout the area. A bulk supply of antigen kits for students, faculty and staff may be requested for Commencement-related events and travel.

All In-Person Events and Meetings

All in-person events taking place on campus (and some virtual events) will need to schedule through the Scheduling@Cornell website for approval. For step-by-step instructions on how to request space for an event, how to edit your events, and how to get assistance, visit the Academic and Event Scheduling website page called Getting Help.

Indoor Room Capacity/Outdoor Event Attendance

Indoor events can be held at full room capacity, but, whenever possible, designate enough space to allow for physical distancing that could be used by unvaccinated individuals, or by vaccinated individuals who may not feel comfortable sitting near others. If an event may exceed the available room capacity, overflow space must be available to avoid overcrowding. When practical, Zoom or other online viewing option should be made available to accommodate those who would otherwise be at risk or unable to attend in person.

Masking

Mask requirements have been lifted for the majority of on-campus locations. The choice to continue masking, even when not required, is a personal one, and no one should be made to feel uncomfortable because of their choice. Visit Cornell’s masking policy for additional guidance.

Food and Drink

Events may provide food and beverages with the following considerations:

  • Choose larger/more spacious venues that allow for spacing while eating/drinking
  • Single serve is not required
  • Consider ways to serve food that would limit congregating:
    • Place food on one side of a space; place tables on the other
    • Consider using tables so people are inclined to sit and eat
    • Consider grab-and-go options to meet participants’ comfort level with shared food options

Event Organizer Guidance

As of April 11, screening and review of proof of vaccination and test result documents is no longer required at Cornell events. Be aware that requirements may change quickly – impacting your event – if COVID-19 transmission rates increase on campus or within the local community, or in response to local, state, or federal guidelines or requirements. Event organizers are responsible for checking this site frequently and staying informed about changes in requirements

Event organizers must ensure attendees are aware of all necessary public health guidance and communicate expectations to attendees in advance of the event. Access the available print and digital resources, and all events should include signage with the following language: “Please adhere to Cornell University’s COVID-19 guidelines. Stay informed at covid.cornell.edu.”

Additional Resources

  • Visit the Academic and Event Scheduling website for additional information about planning events and reserving space on campus.
  • Visit the Student and Campus Life website for information about in-person student events and meetings.
  • Visit the Cornell Athletics website for guidance for spectators of athletic events, as well as information on indoor and outdoor sporting events.
  • Visit the Cornell Tech COVID-19 website for information about events and on-campus gatherings for the Cornell Tech campus.

Virtual Events and Meetings

If you are hosting a virtual event, an event request form must be completed using Scheduling@Cornell if the event:

  • expects attendees under 18 years of age (excludes Cornell registered students)

  • uses the University logo
  • is photographed or recorded for distribution
  • invites an outside performer/speaker/musical artist
  • is a hosted conference
  • distributes any items to attendees prior to the virtual event/meeting
    • e.g., DYI kit, food, or alcohol
  • invites a dignitary or government official

If possible, provide options for remote viewing of your event or meeting (Zoom, webcast, etc.).  Cornell Information Technologies (CIT) provides the following resources:

Guidelines for Sororities and Fraternities

Visit the Sorority and Fraternity Life website for current policies and procedures for Greek organizations.