Oneonta, N.Y. - SUNY Oneonta students continue to move out after Thursday's announcement by SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras that he was shutting down the school for the fall semester to in-person learning due to the outbreak of COVID cases amongst students.
As those students move out, business owners and local residents are concerned for the local economy since the students and staff of SUNY Oneonta frequent so many businesses on and off of Main Street.
Business owner Debra Blake is one of those business owners who is concerned, "It’s not been actually good for us. I think it’s unfortunate for both the students and the community and I think it could’ve been prevented."
Oneonta resident John Toomey sympathizes with the business owners, "With all these businesses that are hurting right now, you could be walking down the street in the middle of the night 12 o’clock, 1 o’clock, and there’s like nobody on the street and it’s scary, it used to be thriving with kids. Having a good time, and I don’t blame them, they want to have a good time, that’s great, but do it responsibly."
The latest numbers show there are now 518 cases and all of those are students.
The school announced on Friday that so far none of the 208 staff members have tested positive.
Any students that are already under quarantine will remain in quarantine at the school for 14 days.
No students who have tested positive will be allowed to return to their hometowns until they test negative.