City council revisits COVID-19 response

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Cortland Common Council revisited discussion on the city’s COVID-19 response, amid a spike in local cases linked primarily with the return of SUNY Cortland.

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Now in the third week of Fall classes, the university reports 72 total confirmed cases and 65 currently active. If the number rises to 100, students and staff are forced to transition to all-distance learning for at least 14 days.

Sports and Greek life have already been suspended, announced earlier this week by SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras and Cortland president Erik Bitterbaum, due to a rise in unsafe social gatherings held off campus.

However, last night city mayor Brian Tobin said it’s not just the college kids drawing :

“We received complaints over the summer about several large gatherings held by year-round residents,” Tobin said. “If there are concerns, then we do need to address them, but I caution everybody against painting any group of people with broad brush.”

Tobin said internal talks are ongoing with city officials about drafting a potential nuisance law that would allow them to shut down and vacate any property deemed a frequent violator of social distancing protocols.

Meanwhile, all basketball courts in the city are closing once again, after being reopened for several weeks since first being shut down back in April.

Tobin said that’s led to an unsafe amount of foot traffic at local parks.


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