Iona College in New Rochelle, New York has announced a transition to remote learning due to an outbreak of 60 new COVID-19 cases detected after routine surveillance testing at the campus.
A sudden spike in positive tests identified among athletes late last week was traced to “a single, isolated event” after contact tracing and widespread testing, according to the college’s Twitter feed. There is no indication of a larger spread on campus.
Acting out of an abundance of caution, a college spokesperson explained to Daily Voice Southern Westchester, “While our positive test number does not approach the New York State threshold forcing colleges to move to virtual instruction, we are acting decisively to protect our community.”
Classes and class registration will continue online as usual for at least two weeks, while those who have tested positive are being told to socially isolate in their dorms. Those exposed to a positive case are also being asked to socially isolate for 14 days after exposure.
While our positive test number does not approach the NYS threshold for a move to virtual instruction, we are acting decisively to protect our community. We will move to virtual instruction from Oct. 12-26 while we continue to monitor the situation closely https://t.co/MdhxOMq8o4
— Iona College (@ionacollege) October 12, 2020
According to the college, a variety of additional restrictions have been implemented to contain the outbreak.
Students not living in residence halls will not be allowed to come to campus, nor will they be able to gather in groups indoors. Those living in dorms who can safely go home without taking public transportation are being allowed to do so.
Certain on-campus restaurants and cafes will remain open for delivery and takeout. Visitors are not being allowed on campus during the quarantine and residential students may not visit students in other residence halls.
Employees who already work on campus will continue as usual.
The outbreak at Iona College comes amid a rising trend of COVID-19 cases being reported at colleges across the US. Over 178,000 students across more than 1,400 campuses have been infected, according to the New York Times.