COVID Cases Stay Relatively Low on Campus But Rise in the State

SUNY New Paltz Campus
SUNY New Paltz students have maintained low COVID-19 cases levels despite upticks in case counts across the state and country. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

As of Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, SUNY New Paltz had 28 active student cases. SUNY requires a mandatory COVID-19 test from all students living in residence halls before the week before they return home for the winter holidays. 

Compared to other colleges and universities, SUNY New Paltz has been doing rather well. For example as of Nov 29. 2020, since the start of the fall semester alone, SUNY Oneonta has had 735 cases. SUNY New Paltz had just 32 positive cases since August. The campus positivity rate, which only measures the number of positives detected in on-campus testing, (thus not including students who tested positive using an off-campus facility), is just 0.19%.

But while SUNY New Paltz’s numbers remain low, New York state as a whole is seeing an increase in cases. New York’s statewide positivity rate as of November 15, 2020, is 2.74%.

The Greater Ulster County’s dashboard lists Ulster County, the county SUNY New Paltz resides in, as having 835 active cases, 2,412 recoveries, and 99 fatalities as of Nov. 29 2020. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that bars, gyms, and other in-person facilities, as of Friday Nov. 13, 2020, must close at 10:00 p.m. and social gatherings in private residences are limited to 10 people in a press release. The press release states that “The Governor took these actions amid a widespread increase in cases throughout the nation and an increase in New York, which was expected moving into the fall and winter seasons.”

“This is the calibration that we’ve talked about: increase economic activity, watch the positivity rate — if the positivity rate starts to go up, back off on the economic activity. It was never binary — economic activity or public health — it was always both,” Cuomo said in the release.

Gov. Cuomo has also used his “Cluster Action Initiative” in response to specific hot spots within New York city and the surrounding areas. This initiative enforces “new rules and restrictions directly targeted to areas with the highest concentration of COVID cases and the surrounding communities.” 

Areas with micro-clusters and designated as such can be found using this map.

More information on COVID-19 from SUNY New Paltz, including up-to-date information on cases counts and positivity rate can be found here.