Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse University narrowly avoided having to suspend in-person classes today after reporting its 98th new coronavirus case since Oct. 23.
The state requires colleges to suspend in-person activities for two weeks when they report 100 cases within a 14-day period. SU reported 14 new cases today, bringing it just two cases short of the threshold.
“What we know is the data is moving in the wrong direction,” Mike Haynie, an SU vice chancellor, said in an email to students and faculty. SU is seeing an increase in cases among students and employees that is coinciding with a surge of coronavirus throughout Central New York. Onondaga County reported 149 cases today, a new record. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today the state expects to impose new restrictions on Central New York to slow the spread of the virus.
SU has 79 active cases and 465 students in quarantine. It has reported 241 positive cases so far this semester and administered more than 91,000 coronavirus tests.
Many of the new cases at SU are not related to parties and other “super-spreader” off-campus events, Haynie said. Instead, they stem from numerous sources of exposure across Central New York, he said.
He urged students to get tested regularly, limit travel and not visit other colleges, host or attend parties or invite friends or family to visit.
“The current level of COVID-19 infection and spread within our community is both a real and present threat to our ability to stay on campus, and to our individual and collective health,” he said.
James T. Mulder covers health and higher education. Have a news tip? Contact him at (315) 470-2245 or firstname.lastname@example.org