March 11 Coronavirus Update

Published date
6 p.m.
News Type

Today brought big news related to New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s announcement that all SUNY and CUNY institutions immediately develop plans to transition courses wherever possible to remote instruction including distance learning and online in response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), effective Thursday, March 19.

The campus and residence halls will remain open. Students who choose not to leave campus during spring break are welcome to stay. We will welcome students back after spring break on Monday, March 23.

At this point, we will continue to develop online, remote and alternative delivery methods for instruction. Students, faculty and staff should expect to return to normal operations except where announcements for course changes are made. This is consistent with the college’s mission of applied, hands-on learning in smaller class sizes.

Faculty should be preparing course materials to accommodate distance learning, either for students or by instructors who are quarantined or otherwise limited from being in class in person. This is consistent with the regular memos the Office of the Provost continues to send to faculty.

Additionally, we want to address several issues related to spring break, including travel guidelines.

The main objectives of both these measures is to 1) reduce density and 2) limit exposure.

Senior leadership and staff are developing comprehensive plans, in consultation with local Department of Health officials and SUNY system administration, to reduce campus density and limit potential exposure to the virus while ensuring the continuation of the academic semester.

We will consider student housing needs and develop alternative class and laboratory schedules, as well as the potential for staggering mealtimes and otherwise broadening food options to limit mass gatherings. Large events, including those that are more than 50 people, are expected to be canceled or rescheduled.

Plans are constantly evolving. Details will be shared by and will be shared online at

Spring Break Travel

Please follow travel guidelines to limit your possible exposure to COVID-19, or the coronavirus. Avoid travel to Level 3 and Level 2 countries. Reconsider travel to areas in the United States and New York State with known clusters of positive COVID-9 cases. Most notable are cases in Westchester County, especially around the New Rochelle area. The following table reports positive cases in New York State as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 11.

Westchester County 121

Nassau County 28

Suffolk County 6

Rockland County 6

Saratoga County 2

Ulster County 1

New York State (Outside of NYC) 164

New York City 52

Total Positive Cases (Statewide) 216

If you believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus through a positive-tested person, or because of symptoms you present, follow the direction of the New York State Department of Health:

  • DO NOT RETURN TO CAMPUS. Contact your local health department and health care provider. You can call the New York State hotline at 1.888.364.3065.
  • Seek medical care right away. Call ahead and tell them about your travel and symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others. Stay home, except for seeking medical care.
  • Avoid further travel until the illness resolves.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


Current guidelines for individuals who should be tested for COVID-19 include:

  • Any person who has been in contact with a known positive COVID-19 patient
  • Any person with travel to Level 2 or 3 countries who also have symptoms
  • Some individuals who have symptoms of fever and cough and have recently been in an area with an outbreak of COVID-19
  • Other cases as determined by Madison County Health Department (or other local health department)
  • IF YOU TEST POSITIVE, please contact the campus’s Student Health Center at 315.684.6078 and, if you are an employee, your supervisor.

Current tests are readily available in standard viral culture kits on hand at local health care centers and are sent to Albany for testing.