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New York Deploys ‘SWAT Team’ of Contact Tracers to College After Coronavirus Outbreak

New York Deploys ‘SWAT Team’ of Contact Tracers to College After Coronavirus Outbreak

by Alexa Lardieri I U.S. News  |  Published on September 1, 2020

A “SWAT TEAM” OF coronavirus contact tracers has been deployed to a New York state university in an attempt to contain a COVID-19 cluster.

The SUNY Oneonta will move to remote learning for two weeks after a coronavirus outbreak developed there and 105 students tested positive. Gov. Andrew Cuomo deployed a team of 71 contact tracers and eight case investigators to the State University of New York campus.

The students tested positive after the university conducted COVID-19 tests on all students.

Three free rapid testing sites will open in Oneonta with results in about 15 minutes on Wednesday. Oneonta is in central New York, about 80 miles west of Albany and 170 miles north of New York City.

The university will also suspend all in-person activities until Sept. 13. Additionally, five students have been suspended for holding parties against university policy and three campus organizations have been suspended, as well. The institution and President Barbara Morris are pursuing additional suspensions.

The university will quarantine residential students in place for the next two weeks. And while they will be allowed outside, they will not be allowed to gather in groups. Facilities, including the library, will be closed, and students are not permitted to leave campus. Dining services will deliver meals to the residence halls.

Bus service to and from campus will be suspended. All classes will be conducted online and non-essential employees will not work on campus for two weeks, while most other employees will work remotely.

The state health department and college will reassess the situation before the quarantine is lifted on Sept. 13. If the spread has been effectively contained and the infection rate reduced, some in-person activities may be able to gradually resume.

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