This week, two colleges have made temporary switches to remote learning in an attempt to contain COVID-19 outbreaks, and one has locked down a residence hall. The University of Memphis has canceled a football game and the State University of New York at Brockport has suspended its men’s soccer team.
The State University of New York at Oswego announced Friday that all in-person classes and activities would be paused for two weeks. Last weekend, after a surge in cases, the university paused athletics, Greek life, in-person dining and residence hall visitation and reported that the number of cases declined. The pause on in-person activity is set to end Oct. 5. Residence halls will remain open, and students are encouraged to stay on campus.
New York State Department of Health guidance has been strict, saying that any campus where 100 people or 5 percent of the on-campus population test positive in a two-week span must switch to fully remote learning, suspend in-person activities and convert dining to takeout or delivery. SUNY Oswego has reported 82 cases in its current two-week window and is implementing the pause on in-person classes as a precautionary measure.
Providence College has also issued a stay-at-home order for students and switched to remote learning until at least Saturday. Students may not leave the college grounds, at risk of suspension. The college has said police will be monitoring off-campus housing. The measures come after more than 80 students tested positive in a two-day period. If the outbreak isn’t quelled, officials have said they will have no choice but to close campus for the semester.
The University of Maryland at College Park has placed an entire residence hall on lockdown, instructing students to not leave the building for 14 days. The university is not calling the measure a quarantine, but students are not permitted to go to class or to dining halls (they are having meals delivered) and have been asked to wear masks in the bathrooms. Students were also given the option to leave campus and go home. In the past two weeks, there have been 23 cases in the building -- Denton Hall -- which houses 247 students.
The University of Memphis canceled a football game against the University of Texas at San Antonio and quarantined athletes because of positive COVID-19 cases on campus. Last week the university reported 46 active cases at the university, with 42 linked to the athletics department. The university also last week postponed a football game against the University of Houston for similar reasons.
The State University of New York at Brockport suspended its men’s soccer team this weekend. After a gathering of more than 50 people who did not abide by the university’s COVID-19 safety rules, the men’s soccer team has been placed on interim suspension and six players will be given individual suspensions. The team will not be permitted to hold any meetings, workouts or functions. The university also previously paused its wrestling program after one athlete confirmed contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. This resulted in the quarantine of 50 members of the wrestling team and their roommates.