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COVID-19: SUNY New Paltz Students Test Positive After Pickup Basketball Games, Some Quarantined

The basketball facilities at Tony Williams Town Park in Highland.
The basketball facilities at Tony Williams Town Park in Highland. Photo Credit: Shamel Jacques via Google Maps

Two more students have tested positive for COVID-19 following off-campus pickup basketball games among SUNY New Paltz students that's put administrators on edge and led to the quarantine of 12 students, bringing the total number of positive cases up to three. 

According to the college's website, the two students tested positive for the virus this week -- and one has already recovered. 

The two students were reportedly in contact with the first SUNY New Paltz COVID case, which was announced by the college on Thursday, Aug. 27. 

The first student to test positive had reportedly played in off-campus games at Tony Williams Park in Highland on Monday, Aug. 24 and Wednesday, Aug. 26, according to SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian. 

All of the students who played in these games or have been in close contact with the three individuals that tested positive have been tested and remain quarantined while the college investigates. They could be suspended. 

Following this initial positive, the entire student body submitted to coronavirus testing, which began on Monday, Aug. 31.

These positive cases come just days after 43 students were suspended for flouting social distancing rules at SUNY Plattsburg and 105 positive cases were discovered amongst the SUNY Oneonta student body after several large parties, for which five students were suspended, three campus organizations were disbanded and the college as a whole reverted to distance learning for at least the next two weeks. 

As of Monday, Aug. 31, Vassar College has reported 14 active cases; Currently, Marist college has reported one positive case, which led to the temporary quarantine of over 400 students in their largest dormitory facility.

"The virus is here," wrote Christian in a letter to students addressed Monday, Aug. 31. "And as we know, it is highly contagious...Your choice is simple – to follow these guidelines diligently or risk losing the opportunity to complete an on-campus semester with face-to-face course offerings."

In the letter, Christian committed to suspending students who flout the school's current no-visitor policy or guidelines regarding social distancing and personal protective equipment.

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