Students attending college at one of New York's public universities in the spring will have to quarantine at home for a week first and be tested for COVID-19, officials announced Sunday.

The spring semester will start later than usual, on Feb. 1 instead of Jan. 22, and there will be no spring break, which was canceled to prevent the spread of the coronavirus through the end of the academic year.

Graduation plans for the Class of 2021 will be similar to those for the Class of 2020, whose diplomas arrived by mail after scaled-back or virtual ceremonies.

SUNY: Systemwide COVID-19 Testing Ready

Sep 4, 2020

Two weeks after many campuses started the fall semester, SUNY says all of its colleges and universities will implement a testing program to continually monitor for COVID-19. 

Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state has closed its first public college to in-person learning after 105 individuals on campus tested positive for the coronavirus, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said Sunday, and a handful of students have been suspended for contributing to that spread.

Those cases have been traced to a string of parties held off campus by students at SUNY Oneonta, a public college in Otsego County.

"As a result of the increase of tests, and the positive cases of COVID, we are going to be closing the SUNY Oneonta campus for two weeks for instruction,” Malatras said.

We continue our series of conversations about reopening colleges and universities. Monday, the University of Alabama reported more than 560 coronavirus cases on its campuses after reopening last week. Other schools, including the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Notre Dame, switched to virtual classes just days after students returned in person. Local cases are lower than what we're seeing in some other states, but as reported by WXXI News last week, institutions like RIT and the University of Rochester have seen positive cases on campus.

This hour, we talk with presidents of SUNY colleges about their reopening plans. We discuss policies related to masking, testing, physical distancing, and more. Our guests:

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Students from the first group of study-abroad SUNY and CUNY students under voluntary quarantine at the College at Brockport went home on Saturday.

Officials say 14 of the students were released. They were part of a group of more than 30 SUNY and CUNY students from various campuses choosing to quarantine at Gordon Hall, which had been a vacant dorm, on the Brockport campus.

The students had been returning from various study-abroad programs, and were quarantined for 14 days. They had all tested negative for the virus, but agreed to remain in isolation for the two weeks.

Governor Cuomo's office

The vast state and city university systems in New York are switching to long-distance learning March 19, and most students will be going home due to worries about the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

The governor also said the state is contracting with 28 private labs to speed up what's been a slow process of testing potential virus victims.


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that health experts are recommending that New York City's venerable St. Patrick's Day parade be cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The governor told a news conference at the state Capitol that officials would likely make a decision later Wednesday. The parade, scheduled for Tuesday, would draw thousands to Manhattan at a time when officials are trying to reduce large gatherings.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Another 13 State University of New York students who were studying abroad are now waiting out a two-week voluntary quarantine period at a dorm on the campus of The College at Brockport. 

That brings the total number of quarantined students in at Gordon Hall to 31. The latest group included students who were studying in Italy, South Korea, and Japan -- countries that are considered coronavirus hot spots. 

Max Schulte / WXXI News

UPDATE: As of Monday afternoon, Town of Sweden Supervisor Kevin Johnson says he has learned from state officials that another 14 students from study abroad programs in South Korea and Japan will also be quarantined at Brockport. Four others will go to Stonybrook.

The addiitional students will arrive either Monday night or Tuesday. The students have been screened, and are not believed to be infected.--------------------earlier story: 

James Brown / WXXI News

The State University of New York is working on a plan to quarantine hundreds of returning study-abroad students on several campuses, and it might include the College at Brockport. 

The two-week quarantines would affect people returning from certain countries that were hit hard by novel coronavirus outbreaks.