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Cornell Students From States With Climbing COVID-19 Cases Told To Stay Home

TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY (WSKG) - The growing number of states and Puerto Rico on the New York travel advisory list has prompted Cornell University* to change its reopening instructions.

Cornell Vice Provost Ryan Lombardi explained the new guidelines for students during an online information session.

"We’d really encourage you to stay at your permanent residence until your state is lifted from the New York State advisory. We’re not going to dictate what you do but that’s our strong encouragement," he said.

Lombardi said the university will not pay for students to quarantine in nearby hotels before moving into University housing. Previously, Cornell indicated it would. He said the list has grown so large that it is no longer possible. Cornell would not say how many students are in quarantined states.

"If things in the country improve and states are removed from New York state’s advisory that we would have you join us on campus, we’ll be flexible with that," Lombardi said. "We’ll work with you to get you here, to welcome you properly to Cornell."

The exceptions to Cornell’s new requirements are students who can quarantine in a state not on the list or who can quarantine in New York state before coming to the Ithaca campus.

A University spokesperson explained officials are still deciding what penalties students might face if they do not follow the arrival and move-in guidelines.

Ithaca College announced in mid-July students in places on the travel restriction list are to stay at home and attend classes online. Ithaca College students from any location on the travel advisory lists will not be allowed to reside on campus, attend in-person classes or participate in school activities.

All students must be tested for COVID-19 and have negative results before moving into University-owned residences.

WSKG asked to interview officials at Cornell and Ithaca College. Neither school would speak, but Cornell provided written answers to some questions.

On Tuesday, New York state removed Washington, D.C. and Delaware from the quarantine list. Rhode Island was added to the list. There are now 34 states and Puerto Rico on the list. With some exemptions for essential personnel, the governor's order requires anyone traveling into New York from those places to quarantine for 14 days.

Full disclosure: Cornell University is a WSKG Underwriter.