Hours after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced that SUNY and CUNY schools will move toward distance learning and reduce in-person classes. The announcement comes as the number of cases in the state rose from 173 on Tuesday, to 216 on Wednesday.
Officials at MVCC say their crisis team met late Wednesday afternoon, to determine the specifics of the governor's directive, and, how to implement it.
Herkimer College says they plan to offer alternate modes of course delivery starting Monday, March 23. They're recommending students take all personal belongings with them as they depart for spring break. Campus housing will remain open for students on a case by case basis. Students who plan to remain on campus over break have to notify the housing office.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, points out- the governor's directive could prove to be a huge undertaking.
"Do they go online? How do we assure that gets done and all the students are complying and are able to go online depending on where they live and what access they have? What do we do with that facility for the next three months?" asked Picente, following Wednesday's regular County Board of Legislators meeting. The county executive also wonders what the impact will be beyond the classroom.
"It's not just like closing a corner store for a couple months. It's a big system that has a lot of moving parts to it and again, I go back to the economic impact .....on local business that do business because of the students and housing issues and people that rent to them. There's a lot here that has to be dealt with," said Picente.
Utica College has also announced a move to online classes starting March 23.