Cuomo issues guidance for New York colleges in event of virus outbreaks

New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new guidance on how to handle coronavirus outbreaks on college campuses in New York.

As colleges across the state begin the fall semester, many are choosing to have a mix of in-person and remote learning for students.

Niko Sassimakopoulos, a senior at The College of Saint Rose, said he’s hoping that this semester the campus won’t abruptly close like it did in the spring.

“The plan at Saint Rose at least is to stay here until November break and then go home at the end of that,” explained Sassimakopoulos. “That was the plan already, that the college of Saint Rose was gonna close if cases started popping up here too.”

However, if all doesn’t go according to plan, Cuomo is now releasing new guidance on the protocols schools must follow if a coronavirus outbreak were to occur.

If colleges have 100 cases or if the number of cases equal 5 percent of their population or more, they must go to remote learning for two weeks. Once those two weeks are up, the situation will be reassessed and campus activities would be limited.

If the state health department determines that a college can’t contain the number of positive cases, remote learning will continue and athletic and extracurricular activities will be forced to be suspended. Food at the dining halls would become take-out only.

“ I think that if there is a little outbreak, it’s better to stop it in its tracks so it isn’t continuing. I think it’s smart for 2 weeks because if a bunch of people get sick, it’s good to just chill for a second to make sure everything is fine. And start again and see if it gets worse, said Andi Volaj, a senior at UAlbany.

Sassimakopoulos also thinks that this is a good idea and is sharing this message with fellow college students to help keep everyone safe.

“If you really want to have a good time, wanna have a party and wanna get together, don’t. We got to remember to social distance, and we have to remember that it takes 100 people, probably less for Saint Rose to send everybody home,” said Sassimakopoulos. “So be cautious.”

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