SUNY announced Sunday that it is canceling its spring break while also requiring all students to be tested for COVID-19 and quarantine for a week if they return to campus for in-person learning in February.
The State University of New York system, which includes 64 colleges, released a statement listing the precautions, which also include the pushback of the spring semester’s start date to Feb. 1 and mask-wearing at all times, even amid social-distancing.
“With COVID-19 surging nationwide, and with increased cases in New York, SUNY has devised a comprehensive plan to keep this virus at bay throughout the flu season and through the spring semester,” SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said in the release.
“This aggressive strategy gives us the best chance to return our students once again to classrooms in early 2021.”
Several of the system’s schools have suffered coronavirus outbreaks.
The school system is going all online after Thanksgiving amid widespread concern over a feared inevitable uptick in the deadly contagion, and this remote approach is continuing through SUNY’s winter session, only letting up in the spring, assuming conditions allow, school officials said.
SUNY said it has conducted more than 370,000 coronavirus tests since August, with a positive rate of .48 percent.
Any school that hits either 100 “active’’ cases or a positive-test rate of more than 5 percent for two weeks will have its in-person learning for two weeks, SUNY said.