SUNY New Paltz reports 2 more COVID-19 cases; student basketball games lead to 12 quarantines

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The college reported on its website that the two newly diagnosed students were known to have close contact with">the one student who previously tested positive. But the college also said the total number of active cases as on Monday was two, and that one person with COVID had recovered, suggesting the previous case was no longer active. 

the one student who previously tested positive The college said Monday that the first student who tested positive had participated in two outdoor, off-campus pick-up basketball games — on Aug. 24 and 26 at Tony Williams Park in Highland. The student was not wearing a mask during the games, which is allowed under New York state sports and recreation guidelines but not SUNY New Paltz standards, the college said.

The 12 students who were involved in those games have all been tested for COVID and placed in quarantine, the college said. 

The college also said the two most recent students to test positive were placed in quarantine, but it did not say if they were among those who played in the basketball games.

The college has not provided the names of any of the students who have tested positive, nor has it said where on campus they live.

In announcing the initial case of COVID last week, SUNY New Paltz said all students would be tested for the illness starting Monday. The first group to be tested comprises those who live on the basement level of any on-campus residence hall, as well as students who live on the fourth floor of Lenape Hall.

SUNY New Paltz's fall 2020 semester began last Monday, Aug. 24 — marking the first time classes were taught on campus since March, when the SUNY system switched to all-online learning due to the growing pandemic. Still, only about 25% of New Paltz's classes are being taught in person as of now.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that New York state will require colleges to switch to remote-only learning for two weeks if, over a two-week period, a school has 100 cases of COVID, or if the number of cases equals 5% of the on-campus population.

On Sunday, SUNY Oneonta became the first college in the state system forced to make the switch because of COVID cases exceeding 100. Also, five Oneonta students were suspended because of large parties that were held last week.

Other schools in New York that have suspended students recently because of large gatherings are Marist College in Poughkeepsie, Syracuse University and SUNY Plattsburgh.

Ulster County on Monday reported seven more confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 2,184, according to the county’s online dashboard of COVID data. Active cases, though, rose by only two — from 127 to 129 — due to a greater number of recoveries.

county’s online dashboard The seven latest positive results were out of 631 tests, a rate of 1.1% — in line with the county trend that's been in place since early June, except for brief spikes in early July and early August.

At the local peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, in April, the number of active cases in Ulster County was 1,009 and the rate of positive test results was 33%.

There have been 1,961 recoveries from COVID-19 in Ulster since the pandemic and 94 fatalities.

Dutchess County, which last updated its online data on Saturday, has had 4,853 confirmed cases of COVID, or which 246 are active. Dutchess has had 4,453 recoveries from COVID and 153 deaths. 

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