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COVID-19: Iona College Cancels Classes Amid New Rochelle Coronavirus Outbreak

Spring Break will come early for Iona College students.
Spring Break will come early for Iona College students. Photo Credit: File

Iona College students are getting an extended Spring Break.

With New Rochelle being ground zero for the spread of coronavirus in Westchester, Iona College announced it is canceling classes as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Iona College will start Spring Break four days early, canceling all in-person and online undergraduate and graduate Arts and Science classes effective 10 p.m. on Monday, March 9,” officials announced, noting that, ”there remain no known or suspected cases of coronavirus at Iona College at this time. This action is a precaution.

“Students should work with their faculty regarding class content, midterms, and internships. All internal activities and events planned to be held on Iona’s campus between Tuesday, March 10 and Monday, March 23 will also be canceled.

School officials said that residence halls will close early for Spring Break at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10. Students who are unable to leave at this time have been instructed to contact Residential Life

According to Iona College, Residential Life staff will be conducting health and safety inspections over Spring Break.

Those who have already received permission to remain in College housing over Spring Break will still be approved, with that approval starting immediately. Those participating in official College-sponsored programs should complete the Spring Break approval request located in the StarRez Housing Portal.

As of March 9, there are now 142 positive coronavirus cases in New York, including 96 in Westchester County (including 16 new cases). Most of those cases have been traced back to 50-year-old New Rochelle attorney Lawrence Garbuz, who was the second confirmed coronavirus case in New York State.

Iona College Presidente Seamus Carey noted that since the outbreak of coronavirus, the college has taken steps to assure the safety of students and staff, including:

  • Reminding everyone of preventative practices;
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfecting on campus;
  • Removing self-service stations from dining halls;
  • Adding more hand sanitizer stations and distributed hand sanitizer to students;
  • Asking faculty to adjust practices to limit unnecessary contact with and among students;
  • Asking faculty to prepare to be able to deliver courses virtually in the event that becomes necessary;
  • Canceling spring break service trips;
  • Canceling international study abroad with partner institutions.

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