The college had begun a two-week “pause” period on Aug. 30 in order to focus on testing while limiting the spread of COVID-19. However, "with the increase in confirmed cases within the campus community the college now needs to take this new action to contain the virus and prevent further community spread." said SUNY Oneonta President Barbara Jean Morris, Ph.D. in an announcement on Oneonta web page
"While this is sudden news and something no one wanted, the risk to our campus and Oneonta community is too great. I know the vast majority of our students have been diligent in protecting our campus since day one. We committed to do everything we could to mitigate this situation, and today, that means ending residential housing for this semester."
"Although this situation is unsettling, I must ask for patience and cooperation from students and families as we work to help students get home to resume remote learning as safely and quickly as possible. We will soon ask all students who have tested negative for COVID-19 to sign up for a move-out time from Friday, Sept. 4, to Monday, Sept. 7. There will also be a process for students who wish to remain on campus to request permission to do so." she added.
Several outbreaks of the virus on college campuses across the country have prompted school administrators to either outright cancel the on campus fall semester in favor of distance learning or go virtual for the first month or so.
Students at Oneonta who have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, been quarantined or isolated, have been strongly advised to remain on campus until they are cleared by local health officials. Students who have tested negative for COVID-19 are being directed to sign up for a move-out time from Friday, Sept. 4, to Monday, Sept. 7. There will also be a process in place for students who wish to remain on campus to request permission to do so. Classes for Friday Sept 4th have been cancelled to allow students time to prepare for the move out.
President Morris wrote "Alongside our local Department of Health, we strongly advise students who have been moved to quarantine or isolation to remain on campus until they are cleared by the Department of Health to resume normal activities. Students who need to leave before that time should contact Environmental Health and Safety Officer Peter Booth for counseling on their options and instructions for minimizing the risk of spreading the virus to their families and others with whom they may come in contact."
The college has a plan in place to issue full refunds for housing and prorated refunds for dining for students who move out of their rooms. Certain other broadly-charged fees will also be refunded on a prorated basis.
I appreciate all the efforts by SUNY, the Governor’s Office, the state and local departments of health, the City of Oneonta, the Town of Oneonta and the many SUNY Oneonta employees who have stepped up to support our students.
You can visit the SUNY Oneonta Covid-19 page for updates and details on the Move Out plans.