The coronavirus outbreak at SUNY Oneonta is the worst in New York State due to large student parties. The college has canceled in-person learning for two weeks.

The Department Of Health will deploy 71 contact tracers and eight case investigators to the SUNY Oneonta Campus.

Following an investigation into reports of large student gatherings in the City of Oneonta, the college has suspended five students and three organizations that allegedly hosted parties. More suspensions are anticipated as the investigation into off-campus parties continues.

Otsego County Representative Clark Oliver has issued the following statement:

Important COVID-19 update regarding SUNY Oneonta:

“SUNY Oneonta will close for in-person instruction for the next two weeks following a spike in coronavirus infections, incoming Chancellor Jim Malatras said Sunday. The primary source of the infection spreading has been traced to several parties in and around campus. So far, five students and three campus organizations will be suspended for their involvement. Reports of illegal partying prompted widespread campus testing. Initially, 20 positive cases were detected. A SUNY Upstate medical team was dispatched to test all students, approximately 3,000 in total. After testing all students, the total number of positive cases rose to 105, Malatras said.”

Governor Cuomo stated  5 percent or 100 cases is the minimum necessary to force a campus closure. NBC New York reports  A COVID "SWAT" team will deploy to Oneonta with 15-minute rapid testing sites starting Wednesday, August 2, 2020. After the 2-week hiatus state and school officials, and the local health department will discuss returning to in-person learning.

SUNY Oneonta also issued a statement thanking the Oneonta Police Department for sharing information with the college to help identify those whose behavior is not acceptable. Law enforcement officials on campus and in the City of Oneonta will continue to work together to put an end to situations that compromise students’ and residents’ safety. As part of that ongoing effort, University Police Chief Jennifer Fila will ride along with an Oneonta Police Department patrol this evening.

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