COVID-19 Outbreak At SUNY Oneonta; 5 Students Suspended

A COVID-19 outbreak in Oneonta has led to troubles for a State University of New York campus.

The Daily Star of Oneonta reported Saturday that five SUNY Oneonta students who are alleged to have served as hosts of large off-campus parties have been suspended.

The Star also noted that since the start of the college’s fall season Monday at least 29 students have tested positive for the coronavirus, leading the state to step in and help city and college officials try to contain the virus.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras issued this statement in regard to the incidents.

“There have been a number of large gatherings and parties reported, so I support SUNY Oneonta President (Barbara) Morris’s decision to step up enforcement actions throughout the campus community, including the swift and prudent action she took with the additional interim suspensions today. We are in uncertain times and battling a virus that can spread rapidly, so we cannot allow a small number of individuals to impact the larger college community who are doing the right thing.

“I’ve been working closely with President Morris and City of Oneonta Mayor (Gary) Herzig regarding the number of COVID positive cases at SUNY Oneonta. Currently, in partnership with SUNY Upstate Medical University we are aggressively testing every student to determine how widespread the problem may be. The New York State Department of Health has agreed to provide six case investigators and 71 contact tracers to help with contact tracing while the campus is completing the testing of all its students. I want to thank Governor Cuomo and New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker for working closely with SUNY and sending much-needed resources to help manage the situation.

“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.”

Locally, through Friday, the State University of New York at Fredonia had reported two positive cases. Students began returning there on Aug. 15.


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