Two steps forward, one step back. That’s the situation on the SUNY Oneonta campus.  This as administrators re-imposed a campus wide mask mandate following a sharp rise in COVID 19 cases. There have been 26 positive cases out of 846 COVID tests administered by health professionals  on campus.  During the past two weeks the positivity rate is above 3%. That’s the highest rate since last January. There has also been an increase in cases of flu and strep throat.

“We are experiencing an uptick in both the student and employee populations,” Alberto Cardelle, SUNY Oneonta president, said in a public letter provided to CNY News.

The mandate requires students, faculty and staff to wear masks indoors. Exceptions include while eating, drinking, working at a cubical, or in one’s dorm room. Eating and drinking is prohibited in classrooms.  Students and staff are being encouraged to take advantage of the Spring weather to eat and hold meetings outside.  The mask requirement runs through May 20th. SUNY Oneonta Commencement ceremonies are set for May 21st. Administrators said they will decide by the week of May 16th if masking will be required at commencement.

Hartwick College does not have a mask requirement at this time nor does the Oneonta City School District. However, OCSD has had a surge of 38 newly reported cases of COVID from May 5th through May 9th.

“The school district has a plan in place in which any positive cases will be tracked through established contact tracing protocols and in coordination with the local health department,” according to a statement from the district.

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