COVID-19 cases creeping upward at SUNY Oswego

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(WSYR-TV) — SUNY Oswego is coming dangerously close to temporarily shutting down the campus after the school announced it is just 22 cases away from New York State’s 100 case threshold.

SUNY Oswego added eight new cases on campus on Sept. 16, which puts them at 78 during the current 14-day period. If they hit 100 cases by Sept. 25, they will have to move to all online learning.

In comparison, Syracuse University reported 13 new student cases, making for a total of 26 active cases.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said there was “no cause for alarm” when he was on the SUNY Oswego campus one week ago. Since his visit, the school has shut down athletics and Greek Life for the rest of the semester.

The university’s president made it clear that, if they hit the 100 case threshold, she would not send students home.

“What we would do is encourage students to stay,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley. “We would try and satisfy them that way. And after 14 days hopefully, with the help of the health department, we would open up again and have our face-to-face classes again.”

With more than 150 confirmed COVID-19 cases in total among SUNY Oswego’s campus community, Malatras announced new protocols on Sunday to hopefully prevent any further spread of the virus.

According to a release from the SUNY school system, the new protocols are a result of “recurring reports of reckless behavior from a small fraction of students largely living off-campus whose actions jeopardize in-person learning for the entire college community.”

There were obviously a handful, a minority of students off-campus partying and doing other things that are clear violations of the rule, which are creating a problem. So, that is where you have to address the problem because most students are doing the right thing. And it’s a shame that they’re in this position and feeling anxiety when we’re able to finally open up our campuses again.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras

The college is also enhancing enforcement and instituting harsher penalties for those who violate SUNY Oswego’s COVID-19 protocols. The college is working with the City of Oswego Police Department to enforce the rules.

If a student violates the gathering size restriction on or off-campus, they could face an automatic suspension, loss of athletic eligibility or loss of campus Greek Life status.

If a student is put in quarantine or isolation and they break their quarantine/isolation, they will be suspended immediately and may face more penalties from the Oswego County Health Department.

To view the SUNY Oswego COVID-19 dashboard, click here.

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