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Alert level red – Cornell shuts down, including all athletics

Cornell University has shut down its Ithaca campus and declared an “alert level red,” citing an increase in COVID cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Earlier this week, Cornell officials said there were 469 active COVID cases among students. 3% of students tested were positive. The school has moved its remaining fall semester finals online and all campus activities, including athletics, have been halted.

In a letter to the campus community, Cornell President Martha E. Pollack said “While I want to provide reassurance that, to date, we have not seen severe illness in any of our infected students, we do have a role to play in reducing the spread of the disease in the broader community.” Cornell officials say almost every case of the Omicron variant in students has been among those vaccinated. Several of the students had also had boosters.