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SUNY reopening is still ‘going well’

Active and total cases remain low at the State University of New York at Fredonia compared to other campuses.

Fall Reopening Steering Committee Chair Tracy Collingwood gave the update during the College Council meeting, explaining the current cases, how the college has fared so far through the crisis, and what steps they are taking to prevent more cases. “It’s been an amazing and successful reopening and fall semester so far,” she said. “Things have been going really well. What I can say is that it took everyone on campus coming together to make this difference. Our students are excellent. The faculty, the staff, everyone came together and is really in compliance to do what they can from where they are.”

The current cases the school is dealing with can be found on their COVID-19 dashboard, which can be found at this link: https://www.fredonia.edu/returning/covid-19-dashboard. Currently, as Collingwood explained, the school has 10 active cases, compared to the height of the crisis at 82. There are two people in quarantine, and four people in isolation. There have been a total of 116 cases at the school since Aug. 28.

Collingwood mentioned that it is important to remember these numbers represent all students, faculty, and staff going to and working at the university whether on or off campus, and also include those who are not even in Fredonia.

Currently, the school is pool testing 400 people a week, including students, staff, and faculty. Collingwood reported they received guidance from SUNY to ramp up testing to over triple the current number. “Now it requires that we need to bump up our testing to basically about 1,500 tests per week,” she said. “That is huge, massive because you need all of the material, the staff, the administration, the follow-ups. That number includes 1,000 students and 500 staff and faculty. We are looking to wrap that up for mid-October.”

According to Collingwood, the biggest factor in having so few cases, compared to some other SUNY campuses, is the fact that everybody on campus and off have been complying well with the mask and distancing guidelines. She explained the masks are to be worn and have been worn throughout the whole campus, including dorms and food places, such as Tim Hortons, Starbucks, and the Faculty Student Association locations.

To maintain this low caseload, Fredonia must continue with its current procedures, which ensure the safety and health of students, faculty, and staff. Though this pandemic has been difficult, Collingwood knows that the school can get through it as long as everybody works together, as they have been.

“Along the way it’s been overwhelming,” she said. “But you know, as leaders, there are times you have to drive the ship and you don’t know exactly the way. Nobody knew with this virus.”

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