SUNY Oswego halts in-person classes amid COVID-19 outbreak

An upstate New York college is suspending in-person classes for two weeks because of a coronavirus outbreak, officials announced Friday, but the campus will stay open and students won't be sent home.

The State University of New York at Oswego is shifting to remote learning as a proactive measure as it nears the state's shutdown threshold of 100 COVID-19 cases, college President Deborah Stanley said.

SUNY Oswego has tallied 82 virus cases as of Friday and was projected to reach the 100-case mark on Sept. 25, Stanley wrote in a letter to students and staff and posted on the college's website.

“In that light, we determined that taking a pause in order to manage the virus with the goal of containing it on our campus is best for our entire college community,” Stanley wrote in the letter.

The suspension of in-person classes affects the main campus in Oswego and a satellite campus about 34 miles (55 kilometers) south in Syracuse. All extracurricular programs and student activities deemed non-essential are also being suspended.

Stanley said the college plans to resume regular classes on Oct. 5. About 8,000 students attend SUNY Oswego.

In the meantime, she said, students will be required to limit movement to essential needs, such as going to work, medical appointments and to pick up food. They will also continue to have access to labs, studios, health care and other student services.

Another state-run college, SUNY Oneonta, closed its campus Sept. 3 and shifted to online classes for the remainder of the fall semester after seeing nearly 400 cases of coronavirus.

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