College sees COVID surge; classes now back in-person


By Patsy Nicosia

SUNY Cobleskill is back in the classroom after a spike in COVID cases moved the campus to all-remote learning last week.
After the number of positive cases went from 35 Thursday to 53 Friday to 62 Saturday, no new cases were reported Sunday; there was one additional case reported Monday.
“I am cautiously optimistic,” said Schoharie County Public Health Director Amy Gildemeister.
The college’s pool testing gave the campus a heads-up on the spike, she said, and they acted quickly to move students into quarantine and isolation and classes to remote.
“I’m a little bit nervous about them being back to face-to-face,” Dr. Gildemeister said Monday, “but it’s reasonable and they acted quickly when there was a problem. They were right on top of it.”
According to a statement from SUNY Cobleskill President Marion Terenzio Friday, the college quickly moved to “enhance social distancing measures, including limiting campus movement to only essential needs,” including COVID testing and on-campus food takeout pick-up, “and moving all co-curricular activities to remote…”
“SUNY Cobleskill leadership is now working with our partners from the local to the state level to increase our testing capacity as we resume in-person instruction.”
The “pause” was consistent with the COVID strategy the college adopted last fall, Dr. Terenzio said and was taken “with the health of our campus community as our top priority.”
According to the state’s COVID Tracker website, 54 of the positive cases were discovered through pool testing with 22,650 tests administered as of Monday.
The rolling three-day positivity rate was 2.61 percent; statewide the three day rolling positivity rate was 3.1 percent.
Again according to Monday’s state statistics, six students were in precautionary quarantine, 86 were in mandatory quarantine, 35 were isolating off-campus and two were isolating on-campus.