University Sends All Students Home for Semester After Nearly 400 Test Positive for COVID-19

By 1010 WINS

ONEONTA, N.Y. (1010 WINS) – The State University of New York (SUNY) at Oneonta announced it is sending students home and ending all in-person classes and activities for the rest of the fall semester after 100 more coronavirus cases were reported on the campus Thursday following prohibited parties.

The campus had been on “pause” for two weeks, with in-person activities and classes suspended, but SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras directed the college to come up with a plan to send students home and end in-person classes as cases neared 400 since classes started last week.

“With the increase in confirmed cases within our campus community — 389 since the start of the semester on Aug. 24 — the college now needs to take this new action to contain the virus and prevent further community spread,” Malatras said in a message to the community.

“While this is sudden news and something no one wanted, the risk to our campus and Oneonta community is too great,” his statement continued. “I know the vast majority of our students have been diligent in protecting our campus since day one. We committed to do everything we could to mitigate this situation, and today, that means ending residential housing for this semester.”

Malatras said the school is working to get students home as quickly as possible so remote learning can resume. Students who have tested negative for COVID are asked to move out between Friday and Monday, while students who are in quarantine or isolation are “strongly” advised to “to remain on campus until they are cleared by the Department of Health to resume normal activities.”

Another 100 cases of the coronavirus were reported at SUNY Oneonta on Thursday—days after a spike in cases led to the suspension of all in-person activities on campus for two weeks.

The 100 new cases were announced in a message from the college Thursday morning. They follow continued testing at the campus after more than 100 cases were announced last weekend and dozens more earlier this week.

There were 68 new cases reported on Tuesday and 44 new cases on Wednesday.

Of the 389 people who have tested positive, 100 students are in isolation, officials said. There are 54 students in quarantine after being exposed to the virus.

About 2,700 people—including over 2,500 students and more than 200 employees—had been tested as of Wednesday, when there were 289 cases.

Malatras had announced Sunday that all in-person activities, including on-campus learning, were to be paused for two weeks amid a spike in cases linked to parties.

Several students were suspended for holding parties. Three organizations were also suspended.

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