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Sports, Greek life halted at SUNY Cortland

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SUNY Cortland has suspended all athletics and Greek Life indefinitely, as officials try curbing a recent uptick in positive coronavirus cases driven by off-campus gatherings.

The new restrictions were announced yesterday by SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras and university President Erik Bitterbaum.

“The vast majority of our students understand the seriousness of this situation and the potential life-threatening impact of the disease,” President Bitterbaum said. “But, as we have unfortunately seen, it only takes a single act of carelessness or willful disregard to impact the lives of many people.”

In addition to increased pooled surveillance testing to at least 1k students per week, the university will also double the frequency of wastewater testing to effectively pinpoint and contain the virus.

All testing is being done by Upstate Medical University.

Malatras visited SUNY Cortland on Sunday to endorse these restrictions.

“I want to thank SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum for continuing to build on Cortland’s comprehensive, evidence-based COVID-19 mitigation and response plan,” Chancellor Malatras said. “Increased testing frequency done in tandem with strict, consistent enforcement and data-driven decision making is the right, three-pronged strategy for keeping cases down and campuses open.”

Currently, the college has 45 positive cases of COVID-19, all of whom are isolating at home, in their off-campus apartment or in designated quarantine buildings on campus.

If the number rises to 100, students and staff are forced to an immediate transition from in-person classes to remote learning.

Officials at the Cortland County Health Deprtment are working closely with the university to help track and prevent any further spread.

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