Coronavirus Research Continuity Guidance

Updated April 26, 2022

Clarification for Researchers of Cornell COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines Effective July 1, 2021

The research reactivation guidance previously found on this page has been discontinued. Researchers and research visitors generally follow the same guidelines as other students, staff, and faculty, and visitors as they are amended from time to time. The following set of clarifications may be amended, as necessary. 

Students and visitors participating in research activities will follow the same rules as faculty and staff. Guidance on when masks must be worn may be found on the COVID-19 Response website.  

Whenever proof of vaccination or results of screening tests are obtained by hosts, that information should not be retained. Best practice is to have someone view the proof and then simply record having “cleared” the visitor.

General Clarifications

  1. Persons conducting field research must follow the same indoor and outdoor mask guidelines as required on campus. It is recommended that people traveling to field sites together in one vehicle wear masks.
  2. Sanitization of surfaces between users is not required for pandemic mitigation purposes. This does not affect sanitization required as part of research safety, for example in animal and human participants research.
  3. Undergraduates are allowed in research without any restrictions beyond those that apply to other researchers.
  4. High school students are allowed in research in accordance with policy 8.8, Children and Youth Safety, and following the same rules as other visitors for visits of less than one business week and other students for longer visits.
  5. At this time, there are no special restrictions for visiting researchers and other center users no matter the duration of their stay on campus. They are encouraged, but not required, to be tested for COVID-19 before arrival.

Human participants research

  1. The guidelines for human participants are the same as for other visitors to campus, including requirements for wearing masks. Some human participant research takes place in a health care setting and may have similar requirements. Refer to the IRB Covid-19 FAQ page for the most up-to-date details about masking and other requirements. 
  2. If the research requires human participants to be less than six feet from each other or from researchers, then taking the participant’s temperature and asking basic screening questions before allowing participation is required.
  3. Requiring voluntary research participants to be vaccinated and asking for proof of vaccination are acceptable practices in human participants research. It is not acceptable to require Cornell students who are participating in a research project as part of a class or academic program to be vaccinated or provide proof of vaccination.
  4. When proof of vaccination or results of screening tests are obtained for research participants, that proof should not be retained. Best practice is to have someone view the proof and then simply record having “cleared” the subject to participate.

For more information, visit the IRB COVID-19 FAQ page.

Published on: Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 1:54pm