The Office of the President
September 7, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Administration,

As we begin the third week of the fall semester, I want to bring you up to date on where SUNY Oswego stands with COVID-19 cases and testing.  Since we began the intense effort of baseline testing on August 12, with the active involvement and support of our partners at SUNY Upstate Medical University, we have conducted nearly 6,000 tests of our students upon their initial arrival to campus and at numerous testing sites on campus over the past two weeks.  Following an aggressive 3-week period of baseline testing, SUNY Oswego is reporting 21 confirmed positive cases at this time. This testing data, as well as numbers of students in quarantine and isolation, are available for your review on the college’s COVID-19 dashboard, which is updated daily to provide you with current information on the health and safety of our campus community.  

What do these numbers mean; what do they tell us and how will they guide our actions?

Despite the rise in cases this weekend, we have a very low infection rate and are faring better than many other campuses across the state and around the nation at this time.  Testing helps us identify COVID-19 on our campus so that we can begin care for those who test positive, and take swift action to limit the spread to others.  We are closely monitoring results daily and taking appropriate action in consultation with the Oswego County Health Department.  Residential students who test positive are moved to campus-supported isolation rooms, and residential students who may have been in close contact with those who have tested positive are moved into campus-supported quarantine rooms.  

This week we will begin notifying campus generally of the face-to-face classes that have a student enrolled who has tested positive for COVID-19 (without identifying the student).  We will provide on-campus tests for faculty and students in those classes.

We are also significantly increasing ongoing on-campus testing immediately.  I have charged the SUNY Oswego campus to continue administering saliva-based testing for the rest of the semester as we move from baseline testing to aggressive surveillance testing.  Such continued testing will support our ongoing efforts to monitor and protect all members of the SUNY Oswego community.  We are also working with the City of Oswego and a private engineering firm to analyze our wastewater discharge to provide us the ability to identify traces of COVID-19 in our wastewater as another monitor for campus health.

It is more important than ever that we have your attention and focus; you are the reason we are keeping our infection rate low.  We need YOU – our students, faculty and staff – to remain committed to your health as well as the safety of others on our campus and in our community.  Please continue to wash your hands frequently, wear your mask (correctly), socially distance indoors and outdoors, and refrain from hosting or attending parties or large gatherings.  It is essential that we limit our engagement with others to very small groups, and make wise decisions on where we go, who we visit, and how we socialize.  Please make the right choices.  There is no doubt that this pandemic is exacting great sacrifices but I believe that we, in the academy, are prepared to do our best to meet the challenge.  Thank you.


Deborah F. Stanley

Office of the President
706 Culkin Hall
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