Elmira College reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 64 active cases

Local News

UPDATE (10/1): Elmira College’s COVID-19 dashboard now has 64 positive COVID-19 tests listed among its student population, as of Thursday evening.

The dashboard also lists an almost entirely full quarantine area with only 2 of the 65 quarantine beds available.

As the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve in Chemung County and the surrounding area, Elmira College has experienced an uptick in cases related to students and employees.

In a precautionary move, the College transitioned to online classes beginning Monday, September 28. Students remained on campus but transitioned to online learning per New York State guidelines.

However, as the numbers in the region continued to rise, so did numbers within the campus community. Dr. Elizabeth Lambert, vice president of enrollment management and student life, anticipates those numbers will see a jump as the College implements COVID-19 testing on October 1.

“As we test the students and employees currently on campus, we anticipate seeing an increase in our positive case numbers and subsequently quarantine numbers,” said Lambert. “Our Emergency Management Committee is meeting daily and preparing for that situation and we are in close contact with the Chemung County Health Department to ensure we are following the recommended guidelines.”

The October 1 testing is being completed in partnership with Cayuga Medical Center, which works with Rheonix Labs in Ithaca for analysis.

“We ordered testing equipment with the expectation that it would be available to do testing in early September, however demand on supplies has pushed the arrival of the equipment into October,” said Dr. Charles Lindsay, president of Elmira College. “As a result, we are partnering with Cayuga Medical Center to complete tests now. We will utilize the equipment we ordered for continued testing throughout the remainder of the academic year.”

The College anticipates passing the 5% threshold set by Governor Cuomo, and since classes are already online, the College will now work with the Chemung County Health Department to monitor the situation. According to NYS guidelines, the College must fall below the 5% threshold and work with the local health department to determine when in-person classes may resume.

“This is a constantly evolving situation,” said Lambert. “Even as we see numbers increase, we have students coming out of isolation and quarantine. We are certainly hopeful that we will get over this jump in cases and be able to return to in-person classes as quickly and safely as possible.”

In the meantime, the College is encouraging students currently on campus to remain on campus to help prevent the spread of the virus. Commuter students should continue to complete their coursework virtually, and those employees able to work from home should continue to do so.

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Elmira College currently has 25 active cases of COVID-19 among its student population, according to the college’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The dashboard shows that 114 people have been tested and 28 have resulted in a positive result. Three of those cases have since recovered.

In addition, there are 37 students in quarantine with just eight open quarantine beds.

On Sept. 25 the college announced that they were moving to online learning for two weeks beginning on Sept. 28 due to the recent spread of COVID-19 in Chemung County.

At the time there were only five active cases of COVID-19 among Elmira College students.

18 News has reached out to Elmira College for more information regarding the rise in cases.

On Wednesday morning Chemung County reported 92 active cases of COVID-19 wit 115 pending results, 333 recoveries, and six deaths.

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