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SUNY Oswego tells on-campus students to stay put during two week pause or risk losing housing

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley with SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras.

SUNY Oswego had another jump in cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. 32 new cases reported in the last two days brings the total number of cases to 235, most coming in the last two weeks. The college announced Friday it would switch to 100% remote instruction for the next two weeks, and students who leave campus during the pause may not be allowed to come back. 

College president Deborah Stanley said Friday the college does not have the facilities or staff to monitor students who go home and then come back to campus and would have to quarantine for two weeks.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, who joined Stanley at a press conference Friday, said all residential facilities must remain open.

“Nobody goes home,” Malatras said. “We continue academic instruction. We continue to provide the services campuses provide. We just have to do it in a more limited way to make sure the virus is contained. The point is, this is a pause. This isn't a closure.”

If cases flatten, in-person classes would resume Oct. 5.

Michael Oher is a junior at the college and lives on campus. He said he has no plans to leave, and will stay and ride it out.

“I’d say it’s definitely a bit strange,” Oher said. “It’s not a normal semester at all. If we do stay the course, we can recover from this. I’m looking forward to things getting back to normal.”

State guidance says that any college that reaches 100 cases in a two week period must switch to remote learning for 14 days. SUNY Oswego is up to 122 for the current two-week period. There are 137 active cases of COVID-19 on campus, and 119 students are currently in quarantine on-campus.