SUNY Oswego suspends athletics, takes other action in response to rising COVID-19 cases

Sep 11, 2020

SUNY Oswego announced Friday it would suspend all athletics activity, including team meetings and workouts, for 14 days in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases. The school announced another 15 cases Friday, bringing the total number of students who have tested positive to 96, with most testing positive in the last week.

The state health department's guidance says that any college or university that sees 100 positive cases of COVID-19 among its on-campus population in a two week period must move to remote learning for 14 days. As of Friday, SUNY Oswego is at 82 cases.

"The campus has undertaken a pervasive social norming effort with outdoor kiosks, posters, digital signs and more to continue to stress the importance of self-quarantining if you are not feeling well, washing your hands, wearing your mask, socially distancing, limiting travel, and refraining from hosting or attending parties or large gatherings," SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley said in a news release Friday.

The college also announced it is increasing the number of rooms available for quarantine. Funnelle Hall, which was planned to be vacant this semester after undergoing renovations, will be used to quarantine students. That will more than double the number of rooms available for quarantine and isolation, officials said. As of Friday, 63 students were in on-campus quarantine, 55 were in isolation.

Stanley said Friday the school will expand its testing operation. A dedicated testing center will be opened on campus next week, and is expected to be open regularly for students and staff who are either symptomatic, or want to be tested. The testing center is expected to remain open for the rest of the semester. 

College officials are also working with the city of Oswego to step up enforcement for off-campus students.

"I want to thank Oswego Mayor Barlow for his steadfast support of our college community and President Stanley for her swift action," said SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras in a statement. "Their message to the campus community is clear: we must all do our part to stop the spread of this virus. Wearing a mask, keeping a social distance, and limiting social gatherings are critical measures for students to take to keep each other safe and continue campus activities."

Disclaimer: WRVO Public Media is located on the SUNY Oswego campus. WRVO's broadcast license is held by the State University of New York.