Parties and COVID-19 Outbreak Force SUNY Oneonta to Close
It's been a difficult first week of classes at SUNY Oneonta with large parties and student suspensions due to COVID-19 restrictions, and now the college is closing for two-weeks because of positive cases.
105 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed during the first week of classes, according to the Oneonta Covid-19 dashboard. The positive cases include students and staff on campus, with a problematic three-percent of students and staff testing positive.
“I've been working closely with President Morris and City of Oneonta Mayor Herzig regarding the number of COVID positive cases at SUNY Oneonta,” said State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras. “Protecting the public health of the college community is our top priority. We are monitoring the situation closely and will take all necessary actions to contain the COVID virus.”
Five students and three student organizations have been suspended by the college.
On Friday, the college announced a partnership with SUNY Upstate Medical in Syracuse for rapid testing. According to a statement on their website, over 300 students had been tested and the process was continuing through this weekend.
"Today, with assistance from SUNY Upstate Medical University, the college began testing students for COVID-19 through an innovative method called pool testing that allows the oral swabs of several people to be tested at once. So far, more than 300 students have completed this mandatory test, and testing will continue over the weekend. Students will be contacted via email to sign up for a test time. Testing for campus employees, which is recommended but not mandatory, is expected to take place late next week.
The news of closure comes on Sunday as students were preparing to begin their second week of classes. The college has said that the campus will be closed for at least two-weeks.