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SUNY Oswego shifts to remote instruction for two weeks, but students will stay on campus

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley on Friday announced that the university would shift to remote instruction for a two-week period beginning on Saturday. Stanley calls it a voluntary step to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the SUNY Oswego campus. (Photo credit: SUNY Oswego)

OSWEGO, N.Y. — SUNY Oswego will move to fully remote instruction for 14 days beginning Saturday in a move to try to slow spread of the coronavirus on campus.

Even though the university hasn’t yet hit the infection-rate thresholds for a switch to remote instruction, “after consultation with SUNY Chancellor James Malatras, we have decided to stop face-to-face classes voluntarily,” SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley wrote in a letter to the campus community that was posted on the school’s website.

Those infection-rate thresholds include 100 individuals, or 5 percent of the total on-campus population, testing positive for COVID-19 in a two-week period, as specified by the New York State Department of Health in the “Interim Guidance for Higher Education during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency,” per Stanley’s letter.

She explained that SUNY Oswego is getting “so close” to the cap of 100 virus cases it seems “inevitable” the school will pass it before Sept. 25.

The state is requiring SUNY schools to switch to remote learning for 14 days if test positives reach 100 in a given two-week period, with the current period being between Sept. 12 and Sept. 25.

With eight days to go, SUNY Oswego is reporting 82 positive cases. In light of that, Stanley determined that “taking a pause in order to manage the virus with the goal of containing it on our campus is best for our entire college community.”

Stanley said SUNY Oswego will keep its campus open. “More importantly, we are not sending our students home,” she noted.

SUNY Oswego plans to resume face-to-face classes on Oct 5.

Other notes from letter

Stanley’s letter also included some specifics on how the school will operate during the two-week remote-instruction period.

All instruction (at both the main campus and Syracuse campus) will be delivered online and in a remote-learning format. All hybrid and face-to-face classes will shift to online.

Students will continue to have access to labs, studio work, and research activities that will continue to be available in existing formats as directed by faculty.

All extracurricular programs, and other non-essential student activities have been suspended. All operations of the college will continue, with essential personnel reporting to serve students as normal.

SUNY Oswego also plans to re-test all students — on-campus residential students, off-campus, and commuter students — over the next two weeks, Stanley wrote.

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