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Here's the latest:
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1:10 p.m.: An upstate university will halt classes for two weeks after a spike in coronavirus cases which the State University of New York chancellor blamed on "several large parties" in Oneonta.
At the SUNY Oneonta campus, 105 people tested positive for coronavirus—amounting to 3 percent of on-site students and faculty, the recently appointed chancellor Jim Malatras said during a press call with Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday morning.
"We have had reports of several large parties of our students in Oneonta last week, and unfortunately, because of those larger gatherings, there were several students who were symptomatic for COVID, and upon testing, we found that 20 were positive for the COVID virus," said Malatras, an advisor to Cuomo.
About 3,000 students were tested, and dozens more cases were found. In-person classes and activities are suspended for two weeks after the campus reached the state threshold for a shutdown.
The state's threshold for a shut down on in-person classes or activities is 100 cases or 5 percent of on-site students and faculty, whichever is fewer.
Cuomo said the Oneonta campus shutdown should be a "message to the private colleges also."
State health officials will deploy a "SWAT team" to run three rapid-result test sites for residents of Oneonta in Otsego County to track any spread of the virus into the community—similar to test sites set up in Western New York where the positivity rate has risen. Locations will be announced Monday and testing begins Wednesday.
"We want to manage any potential spread and address it immediately," Malatras said. "We understand students are coming back. We understand people want to party, but individual responsibility plays into the collective good."
Five students have been suspended for hosting large parties after the Oneonta Police Department provided information with the college to identify "those whose behavior [was] not acceptable," SUNY Oneonta President Barbara Jean Morris said in a statement. Three campus organizations were shut down as well.
Forty-three students were suspended at the Plattsburgh campus for similar reasons, Malatras said. At Syracuse University, 23 were put on interim suspension earlier this month.
Cornell University saw nine positive cases tied to small gatherings. At SUNY New Paltz, one student tested positive, sparking the university to require that all students get tested.
More Than 1,000 Students Test Positive For Coronavirus At University Of Alabama
More than 1,000 students at the University of Alabama have tested positive for COVID-19 since classes began for the fall semester, according to the university's dashboard of cases.
Since the first day of school at the university on August 19th, 1,043 students have tested positive for the virus. In the same time period, nine faculty members were infected with coronavirus.
Students were required to confirm a negative test before attending in-person class. In advance of school starting, 310 students out of nearly 30,000 tested positive at the university in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with dozens more at the Birmingham and Huntsville campuses. Those students weren't allowed on campus after testing positive—but the effort didn't stop the spike in cases.
None of the students had been hospitalized as of Friday, according to a press release from the university system.
After the first week of classes, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox shuttered bars for two weeks, where university officials say the risk is highest, shortly after mostly maskless crowds of people lined up outside of bars. "We are trying to have college football season," Mayor Maddox tweeted.
"We remain satisfied that the precautions implemented prior to the resumption of classes—including masking, distancing, and a blend of in-person and remote instruction—are appropriate and effective," the Dean of College and Community Health Science at the university, Dr. Ricky Friend, said in a statement. He added there's "no evidence" of transmission from in-person classes.
The university's president, Stuart Bell, called the rise in cases "unacceptable" on Monday—before the cases nearly doubled in the second week of school.
At the university, professors have been instructed not to tell their classes about other students who test positive, saying that it could violate health privacy laws, the Daily Beast reported last week.
In New York State, Cornell University announced there was a "cluster of nine" cases among students "related to several small gatherings over the past week where social distancing and mask wearing were not adhered to," the vice president for student and campus life Ryan Lombardi said on Saturday.
The university, located in Ithaca, has about 15,000 undergraduate students.
In New York, higher education institutions must shut down and conduct remote classes entirely if cases reach 100 or 5 percent of the on-site faculty and students, whichever is fewer, Governor Andrew Cuomo said last week. If a spike in cases reaches that threshold, courses would have to go remote for two weeks before reassessing with the local health department. Students would be permitted to remain on campus.
At New York University, which is holding in-person classes, the first day of school is September 2nd.
The university required students from mandatory quarantine states move to NYC two weeks early to quarantine in their apartments or dorm rooms. During the quarantine, undergraduate students were often provided snacks as meals or were skipped for delivery altogether in some occurrences. Students also said dietary restrictions weren't being met, comparing it to the infamous Fyre Fest.