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SUNY Brockport

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SUNY Brockport is delaying the start of its spring semester. In a letter by college president Heidi Macpherson posted on their website, she said that with the threat of continued high COVID-19 rates nationwide, Brockport officials have decided to delay the start of remote learning until February 8 and push back the start of face-to-face instruction until March 1.

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A negative COVID-19 test will be required for some SUNY students before the Thanksgiving break. 

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras made the mandate public on Tuesday. He said the tests must happen within 10 days of Nov. 20, that’s when most SUNY campuses go fully remote to end the semester. The idea is to limit travel and the spread of COVID-19. Students who are positive will be asked to quarantine. Remote students will not be impacted. Testing for faculty and staff is also being encouraged.

brockport.edu

SUNY Brockport says it has raised its COVID-19 risk level from Green (New Normal) to Blue (Intermediate Alert). In a note on the college’s website, Brockport President Heidi Macpherson said it’s a proactive measure, noting that Brockport has just six active cases involving members of its community and none in the state’s 14-day measuring period that runs October 10-23.

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Just a week after SUNY Brockport announced that it was suspending its wrestling program pending the outcome of investigations stemming from potential COVID-19 policy violations, the college has now announced the interim suspension of the men’s soccer program.

brockport.edu

SUNY Brockport says that as of Saturday morning it suspended its wrestling program pending the outcome of investigations stemming from potential COVID-19 policy violations. Two wrestling physical education classes have also been canceled for the Fall semester.

College officials say that on Friday, they first learned that one of its student-athletes had contact with an individual who had tested positive for COVID-19.

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:

James Brown / WXXI News

Monroe Community College Interim President Kate Douglas said she doesn’t like the term “reopening,” because she said the college never really closed. Classes moved online in mid-March due to the pandemic. 

Douglas said different work groups filled with more than 70 staffers are discussing how to safely bring students back in person this fall.

“One of them is called the facilities and operations work group and they have been going through every room on campus and revising what the room capacity would be,” Douglas said. 

A. Sue Weisler/RIT

Local colleges and universities are cautiously optimistic about a fall campus reopening, although what that may look like is still up in the air.

Campuses emptied in March as the pandemic went into full swing, with schools switching to online learning and directing most students to go home. But as the state moves to slowly reopen portions of the economy this month, schools are looking ahead to the next academic year and most are preparing to reopen their campuses.

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.

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. 

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