St. John Fisher College says it will transition to all-remote instruction for the rest of the fall semester. The college made the announcement Tuesday afternoon after a spike in COVID-19 cases on campus over recent days.
On Monday, the college reported 52 positive cases. St John Fisher said that of the total number of students in dorms across the campus who tested positive for COVID-19, two-thirds of that number live in Dorsey Hall.
Tuesday, college officials said the most recent wastewater surveillance results show an increase in the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the residence halls. Officials said that while the number of confirmed cases does not meet the New York state threshold that would require further action, St. John Fisher remains focused on the safety and well-being of students, employees, and the surrounding community.
Undergraduate classes are canceled Thursday, Oct. 22 and Friday, Oct. 23. Undergraduate classes will resume remotely Monday, Oct. 26.
Graduate education will transition to remote instruction beginning Thursday, Oct. 22.
Students who live on campus are being told to follow quarantine protocols for two weeks when they return home.
College officials say there has been no change in the timeline for the end of the fall semester and classes and finals will remain as scheduled.
St. John Fisher says it is working on policies regarding refunds and/or credits for room and board charges.
College officials say that they have been vigilant in surveillance and testing, and the decision was made both in consultation with the Monroe County Department of Public Health.
Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza released this statement:
“I commend the leadership, staff and students of St. John Fisher College for their diligent planning, preparation and actions over the past several months. They faced the unprecedented challenge of returning to campus during the COVID-19 pandemic and, undoubtedly, this cluster of cases could have been much worse without their efforts. The Monroe County Department of Public Health has worked collaboratively with college officials throughout the process and I fully support their decision to implement remote learning for the remainder of the semester. Let this serve as a reminder to our entire community that, until we have an effective vaccine, all of us must remain vigilant in working to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
Monroe County on Tuesday reported 28 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.