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Update: Governor moves all SUNY schools to online classes

Local News

UPDATED (2:25 pm)

Governor Cuomo has announced all SUNY schools – including Cortland – will move to online classes for the rest of the spring semester, beginning March 19 when students resume from break.

The change comes amid a nationwide COVID-19 outbreak.

State officials say schools will have some flexibility in housing students that have no other residence, but the primary goal is to prevent large gatherings of any kind. Classes may still be broken up into smaller labs, as well.

SUNY leaders are now considering how to handle graduation, which many schools in the system will not hold, said Cuomo.

Stay tuned with WXHC for updates.

ORIGINAL (7:15 am)

WXHC continues to follow the threat of novel coronavirus and its impact on the local community.

SUNY Cortland President Eric Bitterbaum issued a statement yesterday (March 10) ahead of a week-long spring break, in which he says the current plan is for classes to resume as-scheduled on Monday, March 23, but that the school’s “preparing for all potential contingencies” amid a rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.

Some schools like Syracuse and Cornell have already said they’ll turn to online-only learning after their breaks until at least the end of March.

Cornell’s also cancelled or postponed events of more than 100 people for non-essential and work related gatherings through April 15th.

Additionally, SUNY Cortland has a new online form for members of the campus community to keep better track of who’s traveled internationally since February 15 or plans to do so in the coming months.

The school’s Vice President for Student Affairs also sent out a letter yesterday with more details to keep in mind ahead of the break.

Stay tuned with us for updates on classes and other scheduled events.

Also announced this week was the rescheduling of the 2020 Blackbird Film Festival, which was originally set for late April and will now take place the weekend of October 1-4 due to growing concerns about COVID-19 from sponsors, filmmakers and community partners.

All screening times, locations and activities will remain the same, with more information available at

So far, no cases have been diagnosed in Cortland or any other nearby counties, with the vast majority located downstate and the closest being two cases in Saratoga county.

Health officials in Cayuga County say they’re currently waiting on test results from one resident who’s been under precautionary quarantine after traveling to a country deemed to be at risk.

A Cortland County family also remains quarantined after returning from overseas and one patient has tested negative at GCMC.

In Tompkins County, a total of 42 people have been tested for COVID-19, although no cases have been confirmed at this point.

Stay tuned with WXHC News for updates.

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