ITHACA, N.Y.—Cornell University announced on Friday that it would be canceling or modifying “most in-person events” for its homecoming weekend, scheduled to take place later this month.

The school’s announcement stated that the decision was a hard one, but became more necessary because of the “continued course of the pandemic.” Cornell’s testing as students arrived during the last two weeks showed fairly high numbers of positive cases, though those have begun to dissipate—despite Cornell enacting a vaccine mandate for all of its students (with religious and medical exemptions).

The laser show, fireworks display and fan festival have all been canceled entirely.

“This decision was made out of an abundance of caution, weighing the risks of overcrowding and the potential for inviting larger numbers of individuals to campus who may not be fully vaccinated or are traveling from regions with high transmission rates,” said VP for Alumni Affairs and Development Fred Van Sickle.

Van Sickle continued that the Homecoming football game, held at Schoellkopf Field, will be held as well as the Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony (which had been canceled when it was originally scheduled because of the pandemic). Those events will have public health measures in place, highlighted by a mask mandate and limited attendance.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com