Students returning to SUNY Oneonta in the spring will have a few changes to adapt to. Every student and employee must be screened for COVID 19 fourteen days prior to returning to campus. To try and reduce potential exposure, the College has limited the residence halls to single rooms, bringing the total occupancy rate from 3,700 down to around 1,100 students. SUNY Oneonta Acting President Dennis Craig believes the new plan comes with much needed safety improvements.
"I think that there’s a growing level of confidence in all the added features that are in our plan that weren’t in the fall plan. The testing piece is really big," he said.
All students who plan to be on campus during the spring 2021 semester must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.
"The testing center on our campus is really an incredible effort, state-of-the-art. I mean just imagine if every community had a testing center where you could walk in on a Monday or Tuesday, and very quickly, and efficiently, and safely most importantly get tested for COVID, and to know exactly what’s going on, and have someone get back to you with results," said Criag.
Throughout the semester, pooled and/or individual saliva testing of students and employees will be conducted.
"The test results go up to SUNY Upstate Medical where we get a pretty quick turnaround, and within the pool we can see if there are any positives. There’s a quick retest done, and we’re able to react appropriately if there are any positives that come in the pool," he said.
Should 5% or more of the campus test positive within a 14 day period, the campus will immediately transition to all remote learning, and suspend all in-person events, programs, and activities on campus for at least 14 days.