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Colleges across CNY change schedules due to COVID-19

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Governor Cuomo has moved all SUNY schools, including Cortland and TC3, to an online-only learning format for the remainder of the spring semester due to growing concerns about the spread of novel coronavirus.

The scheduling change is consistent with other schools across the country that have already sent students home.

Syracuse and Cornell have already moved to remote classrooms, and both Ithaca and Lemoyne Colleges have extended their spring breaks by a week.

SUNY Cortland president Erik Bitterbaum said the university’s academic continuity plan for beyond spring break is currently under review by SUNY Administration and will be released as soon as possible.

Additionally, the NCAA announced yesterday that the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without fans because of the coronavirus.

Only essential staff and a limited number of family members will be able to attend the March Madness games, with several major college conferences also announcing their league tournaments would also take place with restricted fan access.

That includes the rest of the ACC basketball tournament and this weekend’s Cornell men’s and women’s ice hockey games.

Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that the state will contract with 28 private labs to increase testing capacity for the novel coronavirus.

Each has been instructed to begin testing immediately as soon as they are ready.

The 28 labs are specialized in virology and are routine partners with the New York State Department of Health.

Cuomo also confirmed 43 additional cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 216 confirmed cases in New York State. Of the 216 total individuals who tested positive, the geographic breakdown is as follows:

Westchester: 121 (13 new)

New York City: 52 (16 new)

Nassau: 28 (9 new)

Suffolk: 6 (5 new)

Rockland: 6

Saratoga: 2

Ulster: 1

“While the risk to New Yorkers remains low, we are taking a number of steps out of an abundance of caution to protect public health including asking SUNY and CUNY to implement strategies to reduce density on campuses for the remainder of the semester,” Governor Cuomo said. “At the same time, we’re continuing to prioritize ramping up testing capacity because the more people you identify as having the virus, the better you can contain it. We’re also leading by example and providing paid leave to all state workers who are quarantined as a result of the virus – and we encourage businesses to voluntarily do telecommuting to the extent possible. Again I want to remind people to keep this in perspective: the facts do not justify the fear in this situation and the facts here should actually reduce anxiety.”

More SUNY Cortland updates from President Bitterbaum:

SUNY Cortland understands that the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has caused great concern and raised many questions for our students and their families. Please know that we continue to work with SUNY administration and state and local health officials to keep members of the SUNY Cortland community safe and healthy. The situation is fluid, but at this point I can share the following updates related to COVID-19 and spring break:

  • The campus is not closing down, but after spring break it will begin delivering most of its academic instruction through means other than face-to-face instruction;
  • Students living in residence halls do not need to take all of their belongings home prior to spring break;
  • If you have any hardships that requires you to remain on campus for spring break, you will need to complete a late-stay request form:
    • Log into myRedDragon
    • Go to the student tab
    • Scroll down to the Residence Life and Housing section
    • Select the Housing Process and Information link
    • Go to forms; select the late stay request form
  • Students leaving for break should not pack as if they are leaving for the semester. They should, however, be prepare to resume classes from a remote location, if necessary. They should bring home:
    • Additional clothing or supplies home (including medications)
    • Any personal documentation home with you, including health insurance cards.
    • All coursework materials – books/notes/binders/etc.
    • Laptops/tablets (and their chargers) – including any other electronics they may want;
  • If students travel during the break:
    • They may be subject to public health restrictions such as extended self-quarantine
    • They should practice personnel protective measures to safeguard your health
  • Continue to regularly check your email and the SUNY Cortland webpage for any updates.

Stay tuned with WXHC News for updates to this story.

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