Manley Field House will convert into hospital space if needed
Manley Field House will convert into hospital space
With the surge of COVID-19 cases putting a strain on hospitals across the country, Syracuse University has offered Manley Field House as overflow hospital space should the need arise.
“I am very happy with partnership from Syracuse University, and especially a big thank you to Chancellor Syverud, who has been an absolute community team player throughout this,” said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon at his daily press conference.
Manley Field House, the multi-purpose facility which can seat 9,500 spectators, will be converted into a makeshift hospital space if Central New York hospitals become overcrowded.
“Certainly, Manley Field House gives us a lot of flexibility to build out an initial site to increase capacity as needed,” said McMahon.
While Manley is the first confirmed “surge site”, McMahon stressed that other sites are being considered in order to prepare for worst case scenarios.
As of Thursday, there are 111 confirmed cases in Onondaga and 36 cases in the city of Syracuse. Based on the trends however, New York health officials are preparing for things to get worse before they get better.
In the midst of a global pandemic, Syracuse students and faculty are finding new ways to serve their local community. Vice Chancellor Michael Haynie took the time to acknowledge these members of the University community in an email Thursday afternoon.
“I want to thank those members of the Orange family who continue to step up and selflessly serve others in need,” said Haynie.
Falk College graduate students and faculty are volunteering for the Onondaga County social welfare hotline. The hotline assists families who have been economically impacted by COVID-19.
Faculty and staff from the School of Architecture, College of Visual and Performing arts and College of Engineering and Computer Science are manufacturing 3D-printed face shields. These face shields will be given to local first responders and medical staff.
Syracuse Stage members are also producing protective equipment. They have pivoted from sewing costumes to stitching face masks and hospital gowns for local medical professionals.
“These efforts and many other examples demonstrate that while our community is physically apart,” said Haynie, “we continue to be connected in meaningful ways through learning, teaching and, most importantly, through our collective efforts in support of each other and our community.”
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon confirmed the first death related to coronavirus in the county in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. This announcement comes eight days after the county’s first COVID-19 case was confirmed.
“We never wanted to deliver this news, but we knew this could be part of this process,” McMahon said.
Onondaga County now has 60 confirmed cases. Eight people have been hospitalized and three are in critical condition. It was announced that there are three teenagers — ages 16, 18, and 19 — among the confirmed cases.
Also, eight of the cases have been linked through a social gathering. McMahon stressed these situations can be prevented with social distancing.
As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, there are 206 people in mandatory isolation and quarantine across the county with the city of Syracuse registering the most cases with 18.
Syracuse University classes resumed Monday, but the campus halls were empty with professors and students shifting to online learning using tools like Zoom and Blackboard.
With the arrival of distance learning for everyone, SU announced room and board refunds for those who left campus as on-campus events will no longer be permitted due to public health guidance. Also, SU is allowing undergraduate and some graduate students to choose a pass/fail grading option for classes. And notably to SU seniors is word that May’s Commencement ceremony has been officially canceled.
As the coronavirus situation develops in the coming days and weeks, stay tuned to The NewsHouse for updates on what’s happening at SU and beyond.
While coronavirus has been the predominant story throughout spring break, SU also deflated the Carrier Dome roof last week and #NotAgainSU moved out of Crouse Hinds Hall after protestors staged a 31-day occupation.
SU Chancellor Kent Syverud sent an email Monday to students announcing a “prorated reimbursement of room and board payments to students who vacate University housing,” as a response to COVID-19 forcing many students to leave campus. A form will be made available students via MySlice on March 27 that they will be able to submit their request for a refund.
Also, Syverud announced the cancellation of on-campus, in-person graduation events including Commencement that would’ve happened in May. He plans on sending out a survey to the graduating class to get their input on alternative options for commencement.
“We are still in the early stages of this crisis, and thus new and complex challenges lie ahead,” Syverud warned. “However, I’m confident that we will navigate those challenges together, in a way consistent with the values that define what it means to be Orange.”
On Sunday, the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Chris Johnson, sent out an email to the student body announcing the permission for students to choose the pass/fail grading option for any courses in which they are registered for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.
The announcement comes with a few exceptions as many some majors and departments still require their students to use the classic A-F grading option. Additionally, students taking University College online courses will not have the option to select pass/fail.
The change in policy comes after architecture freshman, Meenu Pillai, started an online petition for a pass/fail grading option accrued more than 2,700 signatures.
“These online classes place a burden on students who have no access to the internet or students who excel in physical classroom environments,” Pillai wrote in the petition’s description.
“These courses often have unique grading systems and may not be ideally suited to pass/fail grading,” Johnson said of studio and performance-based courses. He also encouraged students to consult with their advisers before switching.