SUNY Oswego will go back to in-person classes starting Monday.
College President Deborah Stanley made the announcement with SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, and the approval of the Oswego County Health Department on Friday, two weeks after the college had gone to all remote learning because they expected to, and then did, hit more than 100 cases of COVID-19 in a two-week period.
Since then, the numbers have declined. Chancellor Malatras said getting classes in person again is the most important thing for students’ education.
“You look at the data, you see downward trends,” Malatras said. “A few weeks ago, it was like 3.6% positive rate. It’s down to about 1% here. The numbers are going downwards. They are low. That is really good news.”
Sports, Greek Life, in-person dining and residence hall visits will remain prohibited for the rest of the semester. President Stanley said going back to in-person classes on Monday is what’s best for students and faculty.
“We know that in-class instruction is very safe,” Stanley said.
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow said the Oswego Police Department has been doing aggressive off-campus social distancing and mass gathering enforcement. He said before the college went remote, OPD was issuing tickets and making some arrests that he said were necessary because some new COVID-19 cases were attributed to off-campus activity. Since going remote, there has been only one party OPD had to break up. Barlow said nearly all students did the right thing to be able to reopen in-person classes.
The college will continue testing students once every three weeks. Employees are also now required to be tested once every three weeks.