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CUNY and SUNY Campuses Cancel In-Person Classes for Remainder of the Semester

(Photo Courtesy of Queens College)

March 11, 2020 By Allie Griffin

The CUNY and SUNY public college systems are cancelling in-person classes for the remainder of the semester, the governor announced today.

Beginning March 19, all CUNY and SUNY schools will switch to “distance-learning” for the remainder of the spring semester, due to fears of the novel coronavirus spreading.

The number of cases of the virus in New York is now more than 200.

“This will help us reduce density and reduce the spread of this virus,” Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote in a tweet.

Hundreds of thousands of students attend the 25 CUNY and 64 SUNY schools across the state.

To prepare for the switch, all CUNY students and faculty will have five days off from class, from tomorrow through March 18, CUNY said in a statement. In that time, faculty and students will work on a plan to move classes online.

However, CUNY’s 25 campuses, including dorms, libraries, research facilities, and essential on-campus services will remain open for students.

SUNY dorms — especially in the case of student hardships — will also remain open, Gov. Cuomo said.

Some classes, such as science labs, may not be able to be held online and in that case the state is working with the CUNY and SUNY systems to develop other options, such as reducing class sizes and staggering class times, a state official said.

In addition to classes, in-person graduations from SUNY colleges may also be canceled. SUNY officials are talking through the possibility, said Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor.

“The expectation is that yes, a large number of [graduations] will not be happening in person,” DeRosa said.

The governor’s decision to shut the public colleges’ physical classes comes after mounting demand from concerned students and follows a confirmed positive case of coronavirus at Baruch College.

An online petition to close CUNY schools and move classes online gained more than 47,500 signatures in just three days.

The number of COVID-19 cases reported in the state has now risen to more than 200, Gov. Cuomo said Wednesday.

The main outbreak remains in Westchester county where there are 121 cases. In New York City, there are 52 confirmed cases and in the state overall, there are 216 confirmed cases.

The governor said the state will begin contracting private labs in New York to increase its coronavirus testing capacity and is began talks with 28 labs today.

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