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COVID-19: Oneonta spike is reason for worry

What’s happened at the State University of New York at Oneonta is one of those worse-case scenarios many feared might happen. After a major COVID-19 outbreak, with some of it tied to house parties, the college has shifted to online classes only.

Through Monday, there were at least 245 positive cases reported at the campus and five students were suspended by the institution over the weekend. Not only is the incident concerning to SUNY officials, there also is concern for the community.

“Our campus-wide testing results give confirmation to our growing concern that SUNY Oneonta was at risk for more coronavirus cases as a few students blatantly ignored guidelines to keep the campus safe,” said Chancellor Jim Malatras. “We know that the vast majority of students at SUNY Oneonta – and across our system – recognize the importance of COVID-19 safety protocols, and now we need full compliance. Those who engage in selfish, irresponsible behavior will face consequences and I applaud President Morris for taking swift action. … Over the next two weeks as campus goes to remote learning, President Morris, Mayor Gary Herzig, and I will continue to monitor the situation and will be prepared to take further actions.”

We applaud the State University of New York at Fredonia for being proactive in its efforts. It has involved the mayors of Dunkirk and Fredonia in sending a letter to students about being responsible and the university also has set up a daily COVID-19 dashboard to keep everyone updated on the numbers of cases.

Recent events in Oneonta are alarming. It also shows there are major risk factors regarding the virus for everyone.

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