What if I can’t comply with the requirement to wear a face-covering?

  • If you have a disability that prevents you from safely wearing a mask, please contact Amy Robasse, Coordinator of Disability Services at (319) 895-4207 or ARobasse@cornellcollege.edu to discuss accommodations. 

Will I be charged any fees above the One Course Summer Institute tuition if I need to isolate or quarantine?


What hospital is available for further treatment if it is needed?

We have four hospitals within a 30-minute radius of Mount Vernon; St. Luke's and Mercy in Cedar Rapids, and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. Our data team is keeping a close eye on the number of hospital beds and ventilators available in these hospitals, and all of them have an excellent capacity for patients at this time. Prior to your departure for the Summer Institute, please check with your health insurance company about medical coverage for care obtained in Iowa while studying with us.

How will shared campus spaces be cleaned and sanitized?

Cleaning products, equipment, techniques, and frequency have been enhanced to mitigate surface-based exposure risks. Restrooms and residence hall kitchens will be cleaned and sanitized three times per day. Surfaces in classrooms will be cleaned daily. A cleaning staff member will work during all operational hours of Thomas Commons. Bon Appétit staff will clean dining surfaces during and in-between meals. 

If someone contracts COVID-19, we will follow CDC protocol which includes ventilating the space for 24 hours, then wiping it down, and then completing electrostatic sanitization. For common spaces, the wipe down and electrostatic sanitization occurs as soon as possible.

Have there been any upgrades to HVAC filtering campus-wide?

Yes. We have looked at all spaces and are maximizing outdoor air and improving filtration. We are focusing on air changes per hour to minimize the risk of virus spread. We are also using portable units where needed to improve those air changes.

What will modified classrooms look like?

Classrooms will contain fewer tables and chairs so that everyone in the classroom can maintain six feet distance between one another. Some faculty may require that both a mask and shield be worn in the classroom. Please refer to the packing list in the Participant's Manual.

Will a seating chart be used?

Yes. To assist in facilitating contact tracing, seating arrangements will be used. Your instructor will create this chart on the first day of class once students have determined where they’d like to sit. 

How will students complete class if they are quarantining? What if they feel good enough to work on their class?

We will address this on a case by case basis. If they feel well enough to continue participating in the course remotely, from their quarantine space, we will make every effort to accommodate this. 

What study spaces are open in the afternoon and evenings?

Cole Library operating hours
Russell Science Center: Students can access this building in the evening with their Cornell ID card until 11 p.m.
Thomas Commons operating hours
West Hall: Students enrolled in the Genetic Engineering course can access this building 24/7 with their Cornell ID card.

  • Classrooms that have specialized technology equipment are not available for use as evening study spaces.

  • An open-use computer lab is not available due to exposure risks. 

  • Students are encouraged to help wipe down study spaces before and after use with materials from the centrally-located sanitizing stations.

Will water fountains be available?

Fillable water bottle stations will be available; traditional drinking fountains will not be available.

Can you walk and run outside around Mt. Vernon without a mask?

Yes. Note that masks are required in Mount Vernon for non-athletic pursuits and in all indoor business spaces.

Will the residence hall kitchen be open?

Yes. This will allow students to take extra to-go meals from campus dining and prepare them in their residence halls. Specific safety precautions will be posted in the kitchen, including cleaning plans. Storage will be available in the refrigerators and freezer; other storage will not be available. Equipment including pots, pans, and silverware will not be available. Microwaves are not allowed in student rooms, but you may use the microwave in the common kitchen area.

Will there be rules for laundry area use and cleaning?

Yes. Students will need to wear masks when in the laundry room. To reduce traffic in the laundry room, each floor in a residence hall will be assigned specific days on which they can use the laundry room. See signage in the laundry room and on your floor for details.

Will there specific rules for bathroom use and cleaning?

Yes. Students will be encouraged to “skip a stall or sink,” leaving an empty toilet or shower stall or sink between them and another resident. Masks are to be worn except when actively showering, shaving, brushing teeth, washing face, or applying make-up. Cleaning routines and materials have been adjusted in response to COVID-19 concerns; toilet lids have been added to each toilet stool and foot pulls have been installed on the back of each restroom door.

How often will the restrooms in the residence halls be cleaned?

There will be custodial teams assigned to each residence hall to do cleaning throughout the day. There will be multiple cleanings each day. We will adjust cleaning schedules as needs arise.

Will common areas, game areas, and study rooms in residence halls be open?

Yes, with limited capacities noted by signage.

Are there any restrictions on receiving care packages?

No. Please tell your loved ones to address the package to:

Your Name
One Course Summer Institute Participant
Cornell College
600 First Street SW
Mount Vernon, IA  52314