October 28, 2020

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Keuka College shutting down temporarily; students sent home after COVID-19 outbreak

Oct 16, 2020 | ,

Keuka College announced plans to temporarily close campus operations and began making arrangements for healthy students to return home as it continues to navigate a cluster of coronavirus cases.

As of noon today, Yates County Public Health confirmed 14 new positive cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number among the College population to above 70. These figures don’t necessarily reflect new infections, as the College and public-health officials are still processing test results from an initial triggering event last week.

Out of an abundance of caution, the College is asking students who have not tested positive or been directed to quarantine to make arrangements to return home by the end of the week. Although the College moved to remote instruction last week, Thursday and Friday synchronous classes have been canceled to facilitate the transition.

Public-health directives require students quarantining or isolating to remain in place. Those students will be released by public health officials to return home once they are no longer infectious.

The College had experienced just a single positive coronavirus case during the first six weeks of the semester. That all changed after a public health investigation determined that a non-sanctioned, off-campus social gathering on Oct. 3 triggered the onset of the current cluster.

Since the first positive student case was reported on Oct. 7, the College has quickly instituted a series of escalating response strategies, including transitioning to distance learning, closing high-traffic campus facilities, canceling all athletics-related activity, requiring non-essential personnel to work from home, and converting the Geiser Dining Commons to 100% take-out.

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