Nazareth College monitoring COVID-19 cluster after 19 cases in 2 days

Updated: October 09, 2020 06:15 PM
Created: October 09, 2020 01:16 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Nazareth College is monitoring an “emerging cluster” of COVID-19 cases following 19 positive cases within the last two days related to one off-campus event. 

Sixty people with whom they had been in close contact with during their infectious days are now in quarantine, Nazareth College President Beth Paul said in a statement. There are also two unrelated cases, bringing the total to 21 positive COVID-19 cases.


Affected individuals are being regularly monitored and supported, and all are experiencing mild or no symptoms, Paul said.

According to college officials, the "upsurge" in cases is related to an off-campus event last weekend where some health and safety precautions were taken, but included sharing a meal without masks within six feet of each other. College officials are investigating the event, and violations of the codes of conduct and ethics are subject to disciplinary action.  

"For all of us, this is upsetting and sobering," Paul said. "COVID-19 requires constant vigilance and adherence to health and safety guidelines because of the virus’ ability to spread quickly. Science has shown that wearing face coverings is effective in reducing the spread of the virus."

Effective for the next two weeks starting Friday, the college is implementing the following protocols:

  • All on-campus gatherings are limited to 10 people; the exception applies only to classes/course activities. All health and safety guidelines (including face coverings, physical distancing, and daily online screening) must be followed.
  • No off-campus social gatherings. The student conduct code applies off campus as well. Any student who participates in off-campus social gatherings will not be allowed back on campus and will be subject to a student conduct investigation and subsequent sanctions.
  • No in-person meetings; use virtual options.
  • Dine-in eating within the Dining Commons is reduced to 25% of capacity. (All food is already available to go.) Since eating requires removing masks, any eating together should be only with people you live with.
  • Staffing in campus offices is reduced to 25% of capacity; others will work remotely.
  • Lounges, kitchens, and gathering areas in residence halls are closed.
  • Golisano Training Center fields, track, and fitness center are closed for fitness use, and the stadium fitness center is closed. Students can borrow equipment from GTC for outdoor use and shoot baskets inside the GTC.
  • COVID-19 testing is recommended for people who’ve been exposed to individuals who are symptomatic or who have tested positive. See Testing webpage for details.
  • Details of how these measures affect specific areas are being shared by departments and offices.

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