Around 20 SUNY Oneonta students test positive for COVID-19


ONEONTA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As of Friday, around 20 students have tested positive for COVID-19 at SUNY Oneonta.

The college is investigating reports of social gatherings that may have contribued to the recent cases.

Officials said that disciplinary action will be taken against any student or student organization that has violated the student code of conduct of City of Oneonta ordinance.

The college already had to interim suspend a sorority that allegedly hosted an event that violated the Greek code of conduct.

SUNY Oneonta classes began this past Monday. Most are being offered fully online, but some courses are hybrid. Labs and classes that rely on hands-on activities take place in larger spaces.

All in-person instruction will end after Thanksgiving break with all classes shifting to online-only until Dec. 15.

Residence and dining halls have put protocols into place to limit capacity and enforce social distancing. Students living in the dorms are not allowed to have any guests.

The college is saving two residence halls — a total of 160 beds — for quarantine and isolation purposes.

All students and employees must participate in routine screenings and wear face coverings on campus where social distancing is not possible.

If an employee or student tests positive for COVID-19 on campus an email will be sent out to everyone on campus.

Earlier this summer, SUNY was approved by the New York State Department of Health to undertake pooled surveillance testing for COVID-19.

This method takes numerous saliva samples from different people that can be run as one test. The batches of saliva can be as small as 10 and as large as 25.

The samples are combined and tested as one. A negative test means that all those people who gave samples are negative for the virus.

A positive test would mean that every person in that sample group would need to be individually tested.

New Chancellor Jim Malatras is expected to visit the campus next week to get a report on cases and review all reopening plans that are in place.

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