SUNY Oneonta Sends Students Home, Goes Remote for Semester
A college in New York State has closed campus for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester after a surge in COVID-19 cases.
NBC New York reports that SUNY Oneonta is officially going remote for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester. As of Thursday, September 3, 2020, there have been 507 positive cases of COVID-19 on campus, out of a student body of 6,000. All students will now go to remote, virtual learning, for all classes.
On August 31, we reported that over 25 students at SUNY Oneonta tested positive for COVID-19. From there, confirmed cases rose to 105, according to NBC New York. Then 118 more were confirmed. The source of the outbreak has been traced to various student parties on and near campus, according to NBC New York. Five students and three campus organizations have been suspended for their involvement.
Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo announced the threshold in which campuses must shut down. If a college had over 100 positive tests or 5% of the population, the college must switch to remote learning for two weeks. Once the SUNY Oneonta outbreak began, a "SWAT" team was sent to the college to test all students. 100 contact tracers were sent as well. It was reports of widespread partying that led to the testing of all students, according to NBC New York.
According to NBC New York, almost 60 students remain in quarantine. But those who have tested negative for COVID-19 are being asked to sign up for a move-out date. The college is asking students to sign up to move out as early as today, Friday, September 4, 2020. Students claim that they received an email from SUNY Oneonta that says they must vacate their housing by Monday, September 7, 2020, which is also Labor Day. The college does plan on issuing full refunds for housing, as well as prorated refunds for dining. Other campus fees will also be refunded on a prorated basis, however, terms for this still need to be determined. Some fees that might be included for this are student activity and athletic fees.