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Hartwick College Switches to 14 Days of Remote Learning Amid Growing Community Health Concerns

September 1, 2020

Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich announced today the College, which had recently begun welcoming students to campus to begin in-person classes, will switch to all-remote instruction for the next 14 days.

“Because of the sudden and steep increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Oneonta community, we have decided to commence remote instruction only,” she said. “Though only two Hartwick students have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, we are taking this step as a precautionary measure to protect the health of all members of our campus-based community. This adaptation was anticipated in, and is consistent with, our Reopening Plan.”

All-remote instruction will be in place for the next 14 days. This change is effective immediately and will continue through September 15.

Both Hartwick students who have tested positive are isolating at their homes outside of the City of Oneonta. Contact tracing is being conducted by the Department of Health with the assistance of the College’s Perrella Health Center.

“We want to take every step that we can now to stop possible further spread of the virus,” Drugovich wrote to students and employees. “Our campus-based testing protocol (every two weeks until November 20) will continue. If you have any concerns about your health or potential exposure, I encourage you to also take advantage of the rapid testing sites that have been established by New York State in Oneonta.”

Residential students were informed that they should plan to remain on campus. Dining services continue, and all students not in quarantine will continue to have access to the campus and its facilities.

The College has a Reopening Plan that includes preparation for a hybrid semester of in-person and remote learning, and has followed its Plan, which included SARS CoV-2 PCR testing of every campus member. Hartwick also put in place extensive measures to provide socially-distanced classrooms and campus offices. Students were required to bring a negative test with them before entry to campus, and students were tested again upon returning to campus. All employees were also tested last week. All campus-based students and employees will be tested every two weeks henceforth.

“We understood that having our students study remotely was a possibility and have prepared for it,” Drugovich said. “We remain committed to each student’s success and have confidence in our ability to deliver the education that was planned for this fall. We will reevaluate the need for this continued approach in two weeks. If we can return to in classroom instruction at the end of this two weeks, we will. We look forward to that.”