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Coronavirus Update: Newburgh Campus to Resume Operations on Oct. 13

October 12, 2020

College community,

I hope you are having a restful Fall holiday. As our three-day weekend comes to a close, I am pleased to announce that our Newburgh campus will return to operation effective tomorrow morning (Tuesday, Oct. 13).  Those students with on-campus classes scheduled for Tuesday should report to campus at the appropriate time, as should all faculty and scheduled staff.

We received data from several sources late last week and over the weekend that give me confidence in our ability to resume hosting in-person, on-campus academic activities and College operations as per our approved Restart Plan. Our decision to "unpause" the Newburgh campus is informed, most importantly, by our learning that all 93 of our pooled testing samples from last week's testing sessions at Newburgh have come back negative. Certainly, that is the best result that we could have gotten.

We are still receiving information on those students and employees who were, or may have been, exposed to COVID-positive individuals. To date, we have been informed of two new positive cases within our College community, in addition to the two students who initially self-reported their cases. Each of the individuals who has tested positive had already been isolated and those around them have been quarantined for nearly two weeks.  Keep in mind, you can see our up-to-date COVID-19 statistics at the SUNY COVID-19 tracker (https://www.suny.edu/covid19-tracker/).  

Earlier today, our intentions to unpause the Newburgh campus were met with support from SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras as well as deputy Orange County Executive Harry Porr.

While the test results and outcomes have been somewhat reassuring, we cannot let our guard down. COVID-19 is a daily reality in our personal and professional lives as it impacts our SUNY Orange experience along with our interactions with family, friends, neighbors and strangers. We all know that COVID-related situations change rapidly, and without much, if any, warning, so I appreciate everyone’s flexibility in quickly and adeptly moving our Newburgh campus to remote status last week.

For students participating in on-campus instructional activities on the Middletown campus, I remind you that mandatory pooled COVID-19 testing begins in the Shepard Student Center tomorrow (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and continues for those same hours on Wednesday and Thursday. Please adhere to your assigned time as best as you can, and if you cannot be tested at that time, please contact the Wellness Center (wellnesscenter@sunyorange.edu) to arrange another time within the scheduled windows. We now see first-hand how reassuring testing information can be to an individual and how valuable it can be in helping the College make safe and confident decisions.

Mask up. Wash your hands often. Remain socially distanced. Monitor and be honest about any symptoms you may have, and use the #CampusClear self-screening app each day before arriving at one of our campuses.