SUNY Oneonta closes campus for rest of semester after coronavirus outbreak

SUNY Oneonta, a public state school located roughly 80 miles west of Albany, has announced that it is closing its campus for in-person learning and students will be sent home for the remainder of the semester after an outbreak of over 500 known coronavirus cases on the campus.

SUNY Oneonta is the first public college in the nation to be forced to shut down due to the pandemic.

“Most of the students, a vast majority of the students were doing the right thing,” said Dr. Jim Malatras, the school chancellor.

However, according to Malatras, a small number of students didn’t do the right thing, a few dozen of them deciding, in the middle of a pandemic, to have “several large parties.”

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Those parties resulted in over 500 coronavirus cases that they know of in a matter of days, leading to the shutdown just four days after officials had announced a two-week suspension. 

According to SUNY, the Oneonta campus is the only one in the system to have fully transitioned to remote learning, but campuses at Fredonia, Cobleskill, New Paltz, Albany, Geneseo, and Plattsburgh have all had to suspend students for ignoring safety protocols.

SUNY Oneonta students have until midnight on Monday to leave campus.