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Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 9:37 pm

Cuomo’s New COVID-19 Regulations

Bradley Hoppenstein, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Just three days after Kent Syverud, Syracuse University Chancellor, sent out an email condemning students for not following COVID-19 guidelines and warning the campus could soon go “on pause,” Governor Cuomo announced a major change in the State’s COVID-19 policy for colleges and universities.

The new policy, effective immediately upon its announcement on Friday, states that colleges and universities testing at least 25% of those on campus will now pause in-person activities if the positivity rate reaches 5% over 14 days, as opposed to the previous guidance of 100 cases in over 14 days. For Syracuse University, this means the decision to halt in-person activities is likely at the University’s discretion, not the State’s.

At a time when an in-person pause was looming for SU, and Chancellor Syverud’s recent email confirming that, the University got a significant break. Under the new guidance, the number of cases that would require SU to go on pause increases from 100 to roughly 880.

The State also shifted what qualifies as a 14 day period with the new policy change. The period now adjusts each day, rather than resetting at the end of each 14-day window.

“We don’t see transmission in the classroom…we see transmission from large parties,” said Dr. David Larsen, Associate Professor of Public Health at Syracuse University. “This is just an advancement and better understanding of the science,” he said.

Later on Friday, J. Michael Haynie, Syracuse Vice Chancellor and an at-large leader of the University’s COVID-19 response, showed optimism in the community and reminded it of the crucial guidelines to keep all safe and healthy throughout the semester.