Coronavirus Updates: SUNY Oneonta Sends Students Home As Outbreak Grows

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Four days after announcing that classes would be suspended for two weeks following a COVID-19 outbreak, SUNY Oneonta is now sending students home for the remainder of the semester.In a letter, school president Barbara Jean Morris explained: “The college entered a two-week ‘break’ period on August 30 to focus on testing while limiting the spread of COVID- 19. However, with the increased number of confirmed cases within our campus community – 389 since the start of the semester on August 24 – the college must now take this new step to contain the virus and prevent the community from spreading. ”

The 389 cases mark a steady increase from Sunday, when 105 cases were reported. The school has approximately 6,000 undergraduate students. SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said the positivity rate for Oneonta students was 13%.

“Today is a difficult day for SUNY and for SUNY Oneonta,” he added.

Malatras said the outbreak was the result of parties in which pandemic protocols – like social distancing, organizing small rallies, wearing masks – were not followed, according to the Daily Star. “I want to be the fun chancellor, but we’re not on a regular basis,” he said at a press conference. “I will act quickly and aggressively. ”

Students who have tested negative for the coronavirus are asking to move out by Monday, with classes canceled on Friday to facilitate movement. Some students may request permission to stay on campus.

Additionally, Morris wrote: “Along with our local Department of Health, we urge students who have been placed in quarantine or isolation to remain on campus until cleared by the Department of Health. Health to resume their normal activities. Students who must leave before this time should contact Environmental Health and Safety Officer Peter Booth for advice on their options and instructions to minimize the risk of spreading the virus to their families and others with whom they may. get in touch. ”

The school will offer full reimbursements for accommodation and pro-rated reimbursements for catering costs.

New York malls may reopen at 50% capacity on September 9

Thursday – or day 187 since New York took a BREAK to slow the spread of COVID-19 – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York malls could finally reopen on September 9, with appropriate pandemic protocols in place .

Shopping centers will be limited to 50% of their capacity and must require people to wear masks / masks and respect social distancing, as well as hiring additional staff to monitor crowds and ensure MERV 13 HVAC filters are in place. “No indoor dining, strolling or unnecessary congregation will be allowed in shopping malls,” said a press release from his office.


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Outside Manhattan Mall on August 17, 2020

Kostas Lymperopoulos / CSM / Shutterstock

Malls in all other parts of New York State have been open for weeks.

The governor added that indoor dining at New York shopping malls will not be permitted, as indoor dining is generally not permitted in the city.

Casinos are now allowed to reopen, at 25% of capacity and with masks, social distancing and additional staff. Table games and drink service are not open, but table games could come back if casinos build the physical barriers.

The state’s positivity rate for the coronavirus is still less than 1% – with 889 tests positive, out of about 88,000 tests in total, the current rate is 0.99%. The continuing outbreaks in western New York are more alarming for Cuomo. Buffalo’s positivity rate is 5.9%, while Chautauqua County is 4.5%; Niagara County represents 2.8% and Eric County, excluding Buffalo, 2.3%. In a conference call Thursday with reporters, Cuomo said he hoped people would take social distancing and mask-wearing seriously, noting that in other areas of the country where people were lax, municipalities or states had to cancel reopening measures.

Additionally, Cuomo had thoughts on reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants states to prepare for a fall vaccine.

“The president says he is going to be vaccinated,” said the governor during his appeal to the press. “The CDC is talking about a vaccine in early November. How convenient. It will be a miracle drug on election day. Some people are concerned that the vaccine could turn into hydroxychloroquine, so before recommending that New Yorkers get vaccinated, the state Department of Health will review all of the FDA’s protocol and research and whatever the Federal authorities say it is safe and effective. So before we recommend that New Yorkers take a vaccine, we’ll ask the Department of Health to review it. “

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