Multiple COVID-19 cases contracted at an off-campus party led Marist College to suspend in-person classes and on-campus activities, according to the institution.
Nine new cases were associated with the off-campus event, according to student reporters at the Marist Circle, bringing the total of documented cases among students since the fall semester began on Aug. 24 to 17 and bringing Marist's COVID-19 alert level to "yellow," according to the school's COVID-19 dashboard.
Indicators used to determine alert levels include
- Number of cases among Marist College students
- Quarantine/isolation capacity on campus
- Local factors as determined by the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health
- New York State factors, such as an increase in infection rates statewide, or an executive order from the Governor
This semester, the college has tested 9,283 individuals for COVID-19, with 37 students testing positive before they arrived at campus.
Currently, nine students are quarantining at home, off-campus, while one is doing so on campus.
All classes for Marist students on Friday, Oct. 9 and Saturday, Oct. 10 will be conducted online, said the college's Vice President Geoff Brackett and Vice President of Student Affairs Deb DiCaprio in a letter sent to students. All athletic team meetings are also canceled, as is the McCann Recreation Center, no off-campus visitors are permitted on campus and students are disallowed from visiting dorms they do not live in.
"Students who do not abide by the rules of the pause will be subject to disciplinary action," said the letter. "We ask that all students answer their phones and ensure they can retrieve voicemail messages. When contacted by our contact tracers and administrators of the College, we expect students to be honest and forthcoming."
Earlier in the semester on the week of Oct. 23, 15 students were initially suspended from the institution after another off-campus gathering led to a spread of COVID-19.
That was followed by another group of students who school officials learned had also attended the party.
In connection to that incident, approximately 440 freshmen living in Champagnat Hall were placed under quarantine, followed by 300 students in Leo Hall that were sequestered to their rooms to quarantine from Monday, Aug. 31 at approximately 2:15 p.m. until the next day at 11 a.m.
The school's contract tracing team has paired with the Dutchess County Department of Health, said the letter to students, to identify and test students that may have bee exposed to the virus. These students, said the college, will be isolated while they await their test results.
"Please understand that the students who hosted and attended the gathering will be held responsible for their actions and will be disciplined accordingly," read the letter.
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