Colleges

Even if they haven’t required all students to leave their campuses, local colleges are taking precautions to prevent COVID-19 spread, according to college officials.

Hartwick College, SUNY Cobleskill and most recently, SUNY Delhi, have shifted all instruction completely online. All campus athletic facilities have been closed until further notice.

On Wednesday, March 25, SUNY Delhi made the decision to suspend all on-campus lab-based instruction scheduled to begin April 20, according to a letter from SUNY Delhi President Michael Laliberte. Students will not return to the campus after spring break ends March 29 and anyone still living there must move out by March 29. Extenuating circumstances will be considered, according to the letter.

Until then, the college serves food to students via takeout only at Farrell Commons, college Vice President for Marketing and Communications Dawn Sohns said in a Wednesday email to The Daily Star. This is the only location food is being served and all chairs have been removed from the dining facility so students can’t congregate there, she said.

The college also has posted signs and sent daily emails about social distancing and other preventative measures recommended by the state Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the campus health center, she said.

At SUNY Cobleskill, all classes will take place remotely March 30. Designated computer labs are open to assist students who don’t have internet access at home and libraries are functional through online and remote access only, SUNY Cobleskill Director of Communications and Marketing James Feldman said in a Wednesday email to The Daily Star.

Students still on campus, including international students who can’t return home because of the pandemic and housing insecure students, have permission to do so, Feldman said. Food service is also available via pre-ordered takeout only.

SUNY Oneonta Associate Director of Communications Kim MacLeod said there are 162 students with extenuating circumstances who applied to stay on campus. Classes resumed Monday, March 23 and most are remote, MacLeod said. Lingering students can also receive meals via takeout only at Morris Hall. Of the 162 still on campus, less than 50 students are taking advantage of meal services and are being handed their meals through a window, she said.

MacLeod said college President Barbara Jean Morris has reported that students have been respectful and following directions well.

“With less than 50 taking part in those meals, they definitely seem to be staying in their rooms,” MacLeod said. “They’re being very respectful and seem to be following orders that are set by health officials.”

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at skarikehalli@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221.

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