COVID-19 Outbreak Closes SUNY Oneonta, 5 Students Suspended, Swat Team Deployed
SUNY Oneonta is closing campus for the next two weeks, five students have been suspended and the Governor has deployed a swat team after a coronavirus outbreak.
71 contact tracers and eight case investigators will be on campus. Three free, rapid testing sites will also be set up in Oneonta for all city residents by appointment, with results in 15 minutes.
The state action comes as SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced a two-week suspension of in-person instruction at the SUNY Oneonta campus to help address the CVOID-19 cluster.
"I think the Chancellor is doing the exact right thing at Oneonta and I think he's taking the right actions across SUNY, and I think the private colleges should really follow the example," Governor Cuomo said.
"Individual responsibility plays into the collective good, so your individual actions have enormous consequences on everyone else in your college community," SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said. "Five students in Oneonta have been suspended for holding parties against the college policy. Three organizations, campus organizations, have been suspended and we're going to be tough not because we want to ruin their fun, but this is a different time and this goes to what other campuses have been doing."
There have been 105 positive COVID-19 cases since the fall semester began on Monday, August 24th. 36 students have been quarantined and 7 are in isolation.
New York State's Guidance for Infection Rates on College Campuses
Schools must return to remote learning with limited on-campus activity for two weeks when 5 percent or 100 individuals test positive for COVID-19 within a two-week period. After two weeks, if the local health department finds the college has demonstrated it cannot contain the number of cases, then they could continue to require remote learning, or impose other mitigation measures in consultation with the State Department of Health. During that time, athletic activities and other extracurricular activities must be suspended, and dining hall options must move to take-out only.
If clusters of positive cases emerge on particular areas of a campus while still below 5 percent or under 100 students, but strain the college's ability to isolate and contact trace, the college must return to 100 percent distance learning with limited on-campus activity. The local department of health or State Department of Health may order colleges to suspend on-campus activities upon a finding of the college's inability to control the outbreak, even under the metric.