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COVID-19: SUNY Delays Start Of Second Semester, Cancels Spring Break, Requires Testing

SUNY Photo Credit: SUNY

The State University of New York outlined a sweeping, system-wide plan for the second semester which includes delaying the start of classes, canceling spring break, and implementing a plan to test all students for COVID-19.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras made the announcement on Sunday morning, Nov. 8. 

Developed in consultation with public health experts within the university system, as well as campus, faculty, student, and union leadership, the plan combines a series of new protocols with proven strategies already being employed across SUNY's colleges and universities.

Main components of the comprehensive plan include:

  • Pushing the start date of the spring semester for in-person instruction until Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.
  • All students to be tested for COVID-19 upon return.
  • The cancellation of spring break in 2021.
  • All returning students must complete a seven-day precautionary quarantine prior to their arrival on campus.
  • Mandatory mask-wearing at all times, even with social distancing.
  • A "What Students Should Know" plain language information to be sent to all students so they know what to expect this spring at individual campuses, such as how many courses will be online, hybrid, or in person.

"With COVID-19 surging nationwide, and with increased cases in New York, SUNY has devised a comprehensive plan to keep this virus at bay throughout the flu season and through the spring semester," said Malatras. "We've demonstrated this past fall that by implementing an aggressive strategy to manage COVID, students can safely return to campus. 

"I have talked with countless students since August who have made tremendous sacrifices so that they can stay on campus and learn. Our students have done a remarkable job given the circumstances. 

"This aggressive strategy gives us the best chance to return our students once again to classrooms in early 2021. But as we know, this is a fluid situation so we will continue to adapt and be flexible as issues emerge."

For more details on the plan from SUNY, click here.

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