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COVID-19: Marist College's Campus-Wide Pause Extended Again

Marist's Champagnat Hall, which houses approximately 440 students
Marist's Champagnat Hall, which houses approximately 440 students Photo Credit: Marist College

Marist College has informed students that a campus-wide pause of in-person classes, visitation from those not living on-campus and activities, after nine active COVID cases linked to an illicit off-campus party multiplied to 29, according to the Marist College COVID Dashboard and student reporting from the Marist Circle

Initially, all classes for Marist students on Friday, Oct. 9 and Saturday, Oct. 10 were conducted online, according to a letter sent to students by college Vice President Geoff Brackett on Oct. 8

However, contact tracing on campus led to the identification and subsequent isolation of 20 additional students, leading campus administration to announce the extension of the school's hiatus until Wednesday, Oct. 14 on Oct. 11; after more positive test results, the school announced that they would halt in-person classes further, until Friday, Oct. 16.

"The College identified new cases of COVID-19 and immediately mobilized a rapid and comprehensive response to limit further spread, including extensive contact tracing and the testing of over 1,000 students in targeted populations," wrote Brackett in an Oct. 13 letter to students. "Through this testing, the College identified 27 positive cases, most of which can be attributed to an off-campus event."

Brackett said that all students that violated college policy during the disallowed off-campus party will be "disciplined swiftly and appropriately."

Thus far this semester Marist has tested 11,121 individuals for COVID-19, up by 1,838 since the pause was first enacted on Saturday, Oct. 9. 

Of the 37 students that tested positive before they arrived at campus when the semester began, all have quarantined, tested negative for the virus and returned to campus. Of the 37 who tested positive after they arrived on campus, eight have been cleared to return, while 26 are currently isolating at home and three are isolating somewhere on campus grounds.

In addition to conducting classes online and forbidding visitation from family members and those who do not live on campus, all athletic team meetings are canceled, as is the McCann Recreation Center and students are disallowed from visiting dorms they do not live in.

"We believe that our proactive strategies, including the precautionary pause, have contained this situation. If the results of our most recent targeted testing support this, we plan to allow in-person classes to resume Saturday, October 17," wrote Brackett in the Oct. 13 communication. "We will also make a determination about other policies and whether to reopen the James J. McCann Recreation Center on that date."

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