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Keuka College to send students home amid spike in COVID cases

Keuka College to send students home amid spike in COVID cases Photo: News10NBC.

Emily Putnam
Updated: October 16, 2020 04:48 AM
Created: October 15, 2020 06:26 PM

KEUKA PARK, N.Y. (WHEC) — Keuka College is closing campus until further notice to avoid the spread of COVID-19 on campus. 

Last week, the college announced it would transition to online classes after a cluster of COVID-19 cases popped up this week. In the last 24 hours, 15 new cases have been reported, bringing the college’s total to over 70.

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Before the first case in the cluster was reported on Oct. 7, the college only had one case of COVID-19 on campus during the first six weeks of the semester.

“From last Thursday to this, it was a rapidly evolving situation, where today, the final straw was 15 more positive cases within the last 24 hours,” Keuka College President Amy Storey said. “Emotions are running high on-campus because the entire community had tried so hard to avoid this exact scenario.”

Many of the newly reported cases can be traced back to an off-campus, non-sanctioned party with over 100 people in attendance.

“You know when you're 18 to 22 years old you feel like you're invincible and nothing is going to hurt you, and now we know that isn't necessarily true," Storey said. 

Healthy students are asked to head home by the end of this week, and classes have been cancelled Thursday and Friday to facilitate the transition. Students who live on campus who have tested positive or may have come in contact with the virus are asked to stay put until they’re clear to head home as well.

The college currently has 172 students in quarantine, with about 105 of them quarantining on campus. Keuka College has about 900 total beds in residence halls on campus.

It’s unclear how long the shutdown will last, but the college will assess the situation daily in partnership with Yates County Public Health.

You can see the latest Keuka College COVID statistics on the college’s dashboard here.


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