SUNY Cortland is extending remote learning for another two weeks to control the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
The university moved to “remote study-in-place” Oct. 7 because of a rise in COVID-19 cases on its campus. The university originally planned to lift the restrictions Oct. 21. SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras and Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum announced Oct. 20 the remote learning will now last until Nov. 3.
Malatras said the number of active COVID-19 cases on campus has decreased to an approximately 2% positivity rate among those tested. At the university’s peak in early October, 6% of COVID-19 tests were positive, Malatras said in the letter. However, because the university has 180 new cases in the two–week review period, it must continue remote instruction because it surpasses the 100-case threshold set by the state.
The university is located in Cortland County, which is in the central New York state region and is approximately a 40-minute drive from Ithaca College.
Students will remain on campus and are still encouraged to stay in Cortland to avoid spreading the virus to other areas. The letter to the community states there will be increased enforcement of health and safety guidelines, and 55 students have been suspended or restricted from campus due to violations.
As of Oct. 20, the university has 110 active cases and 14 new active cases. The university has administered 7,232 COVID-19 tests and had an estimated total of 490 positive COVID-19 cases, according to the SUNY dashboard. The university will increase testing with SUNY Upstate Medical University in the Syracuse, New York, mobile testing van during the next two weeks, according to the letter.
On-campus testing is available for Ithaca College students and employees from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday in October at the Athletics and Events Center. Students who are experiencing symptoms should call the Hammond Health Center at 607-274-3177. Faculty and staff who are symptomatic are not allowed on campus and should go to the sampling site at The Shops at Ithaca Mall.