Governors of seven northeast states on Wednesday in a joint statement urged colleges and universities to test students for the coronavirus before returning home for a Thanksgiving break. 

The call for increasing testing comes as coronavirus cases are increasing around the country and amid concerns the holiday season will further the spread of the virus. 

"As everyone predicted, cases are rising as temperatures drop, and New York is not immune. With the holidays approaching, we are fighting 'living room spread' from small gatherings in private homes -- and adding college students' interstate travel will be like pouring gasoline on a fire," Cuomo said. 

"We know this virus does not respect borders, which is why governors from across the region are working together to stop the spread. Colleges and universities have to do their part by testing all students before they leave, informing them about quarantine rules, and keeping classes online between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. We beat back the COVID beast in the spring, and by working together we can do it once again this winter."

The statements from Cuomo, along with governors in New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts come after the governors met this weekend to discuss aligning COVID-19 pandemic strategy. 

In addition to the call for testing at colleges, the governors also urged colleges and universities to spell out quarantine policy going forward. The governors are also encouraging an end to in-person learning after Thanksgiving and expand remote learning.

In New York, SUNY officials previously announced an isolation-and-testing plan prior to the start of the Thanksgiving break.