This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Sunday, September 13th, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.
New York City is in Phase 4 of reopening now, which includes zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and gyms. A look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.
Here's the latest:
SUNY Oswego announced that it has 124 "active" coronavirus cases, but only 31 of those cases apply towards New York State's threshold of 100 cases that would force schools to move to remote learning.
Colleges and universities across the country are struggling with reconvening students on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that if institutions of higher education have more than 100 cases, or 5% of the school population, they will need to end all in-person learning. SUNY Oneonta has already sent students home after a spike in cases, while schools like New York University, are suspending students over their lack of social distancing.
According to LocalSyr, "SUNY Oswego spokesperson clarifies that the 100 cases"—to force remote learning—"have to happen within distinct two-week windows. The 14-day period is not a rolling 14-day period, they are set 14-day periods where the data resets after two weeks. The first 14-day period for the 2020-2021 school year was from August 28 until September 11. During that time, SUNY Oswego reported 82 new cases of COVID-19. The new 14-day period started on Saturday, September 12, and if SUNY Oswego can remain under 100 new cases until Saturday, September 26 , the campus should be able to remain open under the state health department’s guidelines."
In a letter to students and faculty on Friday, SUNY Oswego's President Deborah F. Stanley explained that the administration has "more than doubled the available quarantine and isolation rooms" and is "implementing wastewater testing of SUNY Oswego’s 12 residence halls" to collected data on possible COVID-19 outbreaks. Nearly 8,000 students were enrolled at the university in 2019.
New York has unveiled a college COVID case dashboard; SUNY Albany is monitoring their cases—their dashboard says they have a 4.3% positivity rate.
Despite the best efforts of school administrators, it seems that even students with confirmed COVID-19 are still inclined to socialize. In Ohio, a student at Miami University held a house party even though he knew he had coronavirus and was supposed to quarantine. 19News described the exchange between the student revelers and a police officer:
"I’ve never seen this before, there’s an input on the computer that you tested positive for COVID?” the officer asks.
The student answers, “Yes.”
“When was this?”
“This was, um, a week ago.”
The student tells the officer that everyone at the party has coronavirus.
Of the 20 people at the party, six students were cited, with five of them living at the residence.