Skip to Main Content

NYS Coronavirus Update: Guidance for Colleges -- Western NY Testing Team

Aug 27, 2020

As college students return to campus, schools must be prepared for all possibilities. We've seen troubling reports of students congregating on college campuses and unfortunately, we anticipate clusters at campuses here in New York, too. Today, we issued guidance that establishes a threshold: If a college experiences 100 COVID cases or an outbreak equal to 5% of its student body (whichever is less) — that college MUST go to remote learning for two weeks. If after two weeks, the local health department finds the college has demonstrated that it cannot contain the number of cases, then further remote learning could be required, along with other mitigation measures. Expanded guidance for colleges is available here.

Photo of the Day: Yesterday, landmarks across NY were illuminated in purple and gold in honor of the 19th Amendment centennial
(Photo by Kevin Coughlin)

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. We are deploying a testing SWAT team to Western NY to address the recent uptick in COVID cases. Yesterday, the infection rate in the region rose to 2.0%. The testing SWAT team will open free rapid testing sites across the region. Sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Saturday through Wednesday. All residents are eligible for tests and appointments can be made by calling 1-833-NYSTRNG (1-833-697-8764).

2. The total number of COVID hospitalizations remains low. Yesterday, there were 490 total hospitalizations. Of the 83,437 tests reported yesterday, 791, or 0.95%, were positive—the 20th straight day of an infection rate under 1 percent. Sadly, we lost 4 New Yorkers to the virus.

3. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will not change our science-based testing guidance. The CDC's unexplained reversal of established testing guidelines this week is reckless and unsupported by the facts. Individuals who are in close contact with those positive for COVID should get tested. Read the full joint statement with NJ Governor Phil Murphy and CT Governor Ned Lamont.

4. Hudson Valley farms are preparing for apple picking season. Apple picking, a classic fall tradition, will look a little different this year amid the pandemic. Many farms are limiting their capacity and implementing a reservation-only attendance to ensure a safe and fun experience for all visitors.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: The Auckland Zoo in New Zealand welcomed the birth of the first rhino calf to be born at the zoo in two decades. The female Southern White Rhinoceros calf, born to mother Jamila by 30-year-old father Zambezi, is healthy. While still unnamed, she brings hope to keep the near-threatened species population growing.

andrew-cuomo-news-conference.jpgIf you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to New York State's Coronavirus Updates here.
Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo