Marist College has been forced to close parts of its campus as it contends with a small COVID-19 outbreak among students.
As of Thursday, March 18, Marist was reporting 128 active COVID-19 cases - 75 off-campus, 53 on campus - who have been placed into quarantine as a precaution.
Due to the rash of new cases, the college announced it would be entering a precautionary campus pause that will be in effect through 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23.
Students have been instructed to remain on campus and not return home during the pause. Any student that does leave will not be permitted back on campus until they are tested for COVID-19 upload negative COVID-19 test results to the College’s portal, and receive clearance to return to campus.
During the pause, there are no in-person gatherings permitted outside of households, in-person dining is suspended, and no visitors or guests are allowed in any residence hall.
Sports are suspended during the pause, including weight room training, and residents of Marian Hall and Champagnat Hall have been placed in a precautionary quarantine and will be subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing.
Surveillance testing will continue during the pause. It is unclear how the outbreak may have started or what contributed to it.
The seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate of those tested at Marist is 2.46 percent, while the Dutchess County infection rate is 4.71 percent. The college noted that the school’s COVID-19 numbers are below the state’s threshold for mandatory all-virtual learning.
“It is important to note that our current COVID-19 case numbers remain well below the New York State guidelines that would mandate a transition to virtual learning,” the school noted.
“Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution and to protect the health and safety of our community, we believe this is the best course of action to mitigate additional spread of the virus.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.