Official: 5 Students Suspended Because Of Large Parties Last Week

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A State University of New York campus will shut down for two weeks after more than 100 people in the college community tested positive for COVID-19, officials announced Sunday.

The positive cases at SUNY Oneonta represent about 3% of the students and faculty on campus this semester, said Jim Malatras, the chancellor of the state university system.

Malatras, who joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo on a conference call, said five students have been suspended because of large parties that were held last week. He said three rapid-result testing sites will be set up in Oneonta starting Wednesday.

The state Department of Health is sending 70 contact tracers and eight investigators to the campus.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

The shutdown of the central New York campus is the first in the state, where most colleges are opening with a mix of in-person and online instruction.

Cuomo, urged students to follow virus safety guidelines and avoid large gatherings.

“I get it,” he said. “You go back to college. You want to see your friends. Part of the college experience is socializing.”

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

But he said a 3% infection rate is too high because the virus can spread quickly in a congregate setting like a college.

Cuomo said New York state’s overall coronavirus infection rate on Saturday was 0.69% based on 100,000 tests conducted statewide. New York’s infection rate has been below 1% every day for more than three weeks.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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