Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a SWAT Team to help the State University of New York (SUNY) Oneonta deal with a COVID-19 cluster, according to a Sunday school press release.
The SWAT team will implement three rapid testing sites for residents in Oneonta, according to the release. SUNY Oneonta immediately transitioned to online classes after 105 students tested positive for the coronavirus.
New York colleges must transition to virtual instruction with limited on-campus activity for two weeks if 5% of the population tests positive for the virus or if there are 100 cases, Cuomo said, in a Thursday press release.
“Colleges are the canary in the coal mine, and a three percent infection rate is high in a congregate situation, similar to a dense urban environment where you have people taking public transportation. That’s why we’re deploying state resources to contain the new COVID cluster at SUNY Oneonta,” Cuomo said, in a newer press release on Sunday.
“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,” he continued.
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BREAKING: SUNY Oneonta closes in-person classes for two weeks following a spike in positive coronavirus cases linked to student parties, state officials say. https://t.co/tcureSJ5AU
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) August 30, 2020
“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, according to Cuomo’s Sunday press release.
“Five students in Oneonta have been suspended for holding parties against the college policy,” he continued. “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.”
SUNY Oneonta is considering further suspension, according to the school’s press release.
The university is establishing a plan to face the COVID case spike and has begun transitioning to completely remote classes, Associate Director of Communications Kim MacLeod told the Daily Caller News Foundation
“Those studying on-campus accounted for 3 percent of students. The remote study will be for two weeks and we will reassess at that time,” MacLeod continued.
New York Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker gave eight case investigators and around 70 contact tracers to assist with contact tracing on the school’s campus, according to the school statement.
Cuomo’s Press Office did not immediately respond to the DCNF. The New York State Health Department directed the DCNF to the governor’s recent press release.
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