Students have not been back on campus for a full two weeks yet, but by Thursday SUNY Oneonta had recorded over 500 coronavirus cases.
By mid-afternoon, the school announced it would be sending students home and switching to online learning for the rest of the semester.
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras made the announcement on the college campus.
“A party of just a few dozen students resulted in nearly 389 cases that we know of today,” Malatras explained. “It could be more.”
The school did not have a test site on campus until last Friday, after classes had already started.
It only had a health center that was set up to test mostly symptomatic students.
Last Friday, was also when it was discovered that 20 students at a party had tested positive for the virus, leading the school to conduct more widespread testing.
The school shut down in-person activities on Sunday so students could quarantine for two weeks.
“This goes to show that a small minority, just a few people can ruin it for everyone else,” Malatras said. “And that’s unfortunate.”
Remote classes will not be held on Friday to give students time to move out of their dorms.
SUNY Oneonta will be working with the Health Department on a transitional plan, but students who have tested negative for COVID-19 can start the process of moving out.
Students that have tested positive will have to finish their quarantine before going home.
Chris Frommeyer, who is a senior at SUNY Oneonta, says he has been concerned with the lack of communication coming from the school throughout this entire process.
“Honestly I’m disappointed because like I said, I’m a senior I don’t have a lot of time left and I just hope that we do go back next semester,” Frommeyer explained.
No decision has been made yet on the spring semester.
Students will be fully refunded their living expenses, but dining will be refunded at a prorated rate.