21 new positive COVID-19 cases emerge as a result of off-campus events

Off-campus clusters results in 21 new COVID-19 cases

In an email on Friday, SU officials warned students about a troubling increase in COVID-19 cases as a result of off-campus parties.
Published: October 30, 2020 | Updated: November 2nd, 2020 at 1:58 pm
Signs reminding students to wear a mask on campus can be found around Syracuse University.

October 30, 2020 6:15 pm

There are only 25 days left in the semester, and Syracuse University has just announced another 21 COVID-19 confirmed cases within two emerging off-campus clusters.

These newly confirmed cases are identified to be directly linked to two off-campus parties, one of which occurred at the Orange Crate Brewing Company and the other at an unrecognized Greek house, according to the most recent school-wide email sent by Robert D. Hradsky, vice president for the student experience, and Bobby Maldonado, chief of the Department of Public Safety.

Hradsky and Maldonado mentioned that the school administration is now reviewing all the videos that were posted on social media to identify the leaseholders as well as participants of these parties. Students who held or joined the party will be referred to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities and risk being suspended because they violated the Stay Safe Pledge, Hradsky, and Maldonado wrote in the email.

SU’s COVID-19 dashboard also reflected that the school has now confirmed a total of 29 active cases, and 90 students currently in quarantine. Hradsky and Maldonado identified that “70% of all positive COVID-19 cases associated with our most recent outbreak are among students living off-campus,” while no transmission took place within classrooms.

“The greatest threat to our ability to remain on campus this semester and welcome students back next semester is the behavior of students living off-campus and activities occurring off-campus,” Hradsky and Maldonado wrote in the email.

With Halloween tomorrow,  the school administration urges the student body to take into consideration the health of the SU community before participating in any parties or events this weekend.

As always, social gatherings off-campus should not exceed five individuals who do not live together. The DPS and other safety teams will monitor all off-campus gatherings this weekend, Hradsky and Maldonado wrote.

New COVID-19 cluster from off-campus gatherings emerges just days before Halloween weekend
October 29, 2020 7:00 pm

On Thursday afternoon, Vice Chancellor Mike Haynie sent an email informing the SU community of 21 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases.

According to Haynie, a majority of these cases are stemming from two unrelated off-campus gatherings, with the expectation of more positive cases to be confirmed within the coming days.

Following the same procedures in response to the cluster that occurred earlier this month, the university is working with Onondaga County Health Department to isolate those potentially exposed and prevent this cluster of cases from escalating any further.

Haynie notified the SU community that anyone potentially exposed to the virus will be contacted in the coming days by either the Barnes Center, the University’s COVID-19 Program Management Office, or the Onondaga County Health Department. Those contacted should respond immediately to contact tracing and testing purposes.

He also strongly advised anyone who was at the Orange Crate on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 24, or at any Greek life affiliated party this past weekend to immediately shelter in place, not attend any in-person classes, and contact the COVID-19 Program Management Office.

This news comes after Chancellor Syverud’s message on Tuesday to all students, faculty, and staff stressing the importance of adhering to the Stay Safe Pledge, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing for the remainder of the semester.

Syverud praised the community for its efforts in preventing the spread of the virus so far but emphasized the fact that just one party could result in a spike that would force SU to pause all in-person instruction and activities.

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