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CNY Colleges Scramble to Plan for Fall

Plans by area colleges include COVID-19 test, quarantine at home and use of face masks most of the time. Tweaking happens almost every week

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

As businesses continue to adjust to COVID-19 life, area colleges have made plans for students to return to class this fall. Each of the institutions contacted in mid-July offered a release outlining what students should expect.

SUNY Oswego

• Completing a pre-campus health screening questionnaire.

• Quarantining at home seven days prior to arrival.

• Presenting a negative COVID-19test for anyone with symptoms.

•Wearing a face covering at all times except when alone, with roommates or assigned “Pod” members, or while eating or drinking

•Maintaining 6-foot social distancing.

• Washing hands thoroughly and frequently or using 60% hand sanitizer.

• Limiting all group gatherings to fewer than 25 people while distanced.

•Holding all meetings, social events, conferences and special events in a virtual environment unless not possible due to a medical condition or otherwise vice president-approved need.

Cayuga Community College

•Offering at least 85% of the fall courses remotely and providing student support remotely when possible.

• Limiting points of entry so anyone entering the campuses will have their temperatures taken with a non-contact thermometer.

• Wearing facial coverings on campus and maintaining social distancing in classes and offices.

• Using Plexiglass shields in offices.

“Offering most courses remotely allows students to continue their academic pathway in a safe environment while still enjoying access to support services and other essential resources,” said Cayuga President Brian Durant.

“While we miss seeing our students on our campuses, this was not a difficult decision. Above all, we want our students to be healthy and safe, and the best way we can help is to allow them to work and learn from the safety of their homes,” Durant added. “Our students demonstrated their resiliency and ability to adapt this spring when they successfully shifted to a remote course format in the middle of a semester. We have no doubt they will continue succeeding in the fall, and that we will continue providing a high-quality education experience.”

LeMoyne College

•Reconfiguring space to allow better social distancing.

•Using protective barriers where social distancing can’t happen.

•Monitoring and surveilling ongoing student health.

• Using personal protective equipment like face coverings, and personal hygiene and social distancing.

•Re-opening in phases to reduce the number of students in one place at any given time.

•Limiting crowd sizes through college ID card access.

•Concluding in-person classes by Thanksgiving and conducting remaining instruction and final exams remotely.

• Using hybrid instruction — some in person, some remotely — to reduce population of students meeting.

•Screening students and employees daily before arriving on campus or before leaving their residence hall.

Syracuse University

•Completing an online health questionnaire before arriving on campus each day.

•Requiring face masks or face coverings for all students, faculty, staff and visitors while on campus, in the presence of others, and in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

• Isolating students testing positive for COVID-19 in student housing separated from other residential student rooms and supporting their needs until a negative test is achieved.

•Using social distancing in classrooms and configuring spaces to reduce risk of transmission.

•Using physical barriers where people must face each other or are unable to be 6 feet apart.

•Limiting in-person meetings to not exceed 50 percent of a room’s capacity, assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of social distancing.

•Using technology, rotated attendance policy and/or larger rooms to reduce the number of students meeting close by and in-person.

• Modifying the calendar to reduce class sizes.