SUNY Cortland to go online Wednesday after 101 COVID-19 cases confirmed in two weeks

Back to School: Facts First

CORTLAND, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — SUNY Cortland is switching to online learning on Wednesday after the school hit the 100-case threshold with 101 active cases within the two-week time period.

The two-week period for the campus started on Saturday, Sept. 26 and was supposed to end on Friday, Oct. 9. According to SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, this is an off-campus issue. Students who are off-campus are mostly the ones who are contracting the virus.

“Now that SUNY Cortland must pause and shift to remote learning the college must redouble its efforts to stabilize and contain the virus on campus,” said Malatras. “It’s up to the entire campus community to come together and bend the curve so that every student has the chance to enjoy their campus experience.”

SUNY Cortland President Bitterbaum said that some students have already been punished for not following COVID-19 guidelines, but would not give specific details.

The health and safety of our community has always been our top priority, so making this shift in our operation is the best action to take given our circumstances. The next two weeks will be challenging. But it’s what we need to do in order to continue functioning as a campus and a concerned member of the Cortland community. We can’t let up. That’s not what members of the SUNY Cortland family do.

— President Bitterbaum

But, in a press release, the school said that those who violate guidelines will “face immediate academic and housing suspension and possible dismissal, loss of athletic eligibility, and ineligibility for admission at every other SUNY college.”

The release also said that student groups who violate the rules could be banned permanently from the campus.

Athletics and Greek Life were already suspended indefinitely on Sept. 13 and will remain suspended at this time.

Starting Wednesday, all students who currently live on campus or off campus must stay in their buildings for two weeks the only exceptions are for food, health and family issues or work. The school will have class as normal on Tuesday and go fully remote on Wednesday.

In late August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces that if a campus reaches 100 cases or a number of cases equal to 5% of their population or more within a two-week period the campus must implement the following:

  • Convert all campus dining and food service options to takeout/delivery.
  • Deliver all classes through remote learning, but may continue to conduct in-person activity such as clinical, laboratory, licensure, and research, in consultation with the local health department.
  • Suspend in-person athletics, extracurricular programs, and non-essential services. Medical services, counseling and other services will continue.
  • Keep all residential facilities open.

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