SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As part of group 1B, in-person instructors at New York colleges are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This announcement comes after several universities have made the decision to delay the start of their spring semester. That includes Syracuse University, SUNY ESF, and Le Moyne College.
NewsChannel 9 checked back in with Le Moyne, which still stands by its decision to delay the start of the spring semester by two weeks, with their first day on Feb. 8.
Back in the fall, Father Joe Marina, who is serving as interim president of the college, said they were able to utilize the good weather by keeping students outside as much as possible. The college installed white tents across campus, where students could sit and eat and even do work.
“It’s different now, now you’re coming back into very cold weather where it’s difficult to do that. That brings more students inside and of course, you know the rest from there,” Marina said.
Marina said this decision was made by Le Moyne’s own COVID task force, working with local health departments. A survey of students showing their willingness to come back sooner.
“There’s no doubt about that. They want the kind of college experience that they were used to,” Marina said.
But this is all uncharted territory, and three main things stood in the way of an earlier start. The task force looked at rising COVID cases in CNY, they wanted to avoid the impact of the flu season and COVID at the same time, plus the extension allows for better weather at the end of the semester, leaving room for more outdoor activities in a safer environment.
Before coming back, all Le Moyne students will have to test negative for COVID-19. There will be continued testing offered at the Rec Center on campus. Father Marina says the college did offer up its space to serve as a distribution site for the COVID vaccine, but there’s nothing in the works so far. The college has informed its staff they are now eligible to get their first dose of the COVID vaccine. That’ll have to be done via Onondaga County resources.