Selfies, suspensions and COVID-19 SWAT teams: Inside the worst college outbreak in New York where more than 670 students - 10 percent of the campus - have now tested positive

 The worst college coronavirus outbreak in New York that has forced a campus to shut down has been plagued by isolation party selfies, suspensions and even a COVID-19 SWAT team. 

The State University of New York at Oneonta was forced to cancel in-person classes for the fall earlier this month following the huge COVID-19 outbreak.

Since returning to campus, more than 670 students - a tenth of the student population - have tested positive for COVID-19.

SUNY Oneonta currently has the worst on-campus COVID-19 outbreak in the state and one of the largest in the United States. 

Some have blamed the outbreak on the university's lack of COVID-19 screening when students returned to campus and a failure to monitor parties and gatherings that have been held.

A photo that emerged earlier this month drew backlash after it showed about a dozen infected students partying in an isolation dorm on campus. 

The State University of New York at Oneonta was forced to cancel in-person classes for the fall earlier this month following the huge COVID-19 outbreak. This photo that emerged earlier this month drew backlash after it showed about a dozen infected students partying in an isolation dorm on campus

The photo, which was posted on social media just days after the campus switched to remote learning, showed the group of students drinking and smiling as they posed for the selfie. 

SUNY Oneonta president Barbara Jean Morris immediately slammed the photo and vowed to discipline - and possibly suspend - the students involved. 

'We have seen the photo taken in one of our residence halls of students blatantly violating our strict safety protocols and code of conduct and putting themselves and others at risk,' Morris said. 

'We are working to identify the students and will quickly issue disciplinary actions and possible suspensions. We will also step up our monitoring of these residence halls to prevent this behavior from happening again and to continue to protect the safety and health of our students. 

'It is deeply disappointing that following the severe action SUNY Oneonta took just days ago to shift to remote learning for all students, we are still faced with the reckless and irresponsible behavior of a few that are damaging the reputation of our campus and our dedicated students who followed the safety rules every day and were looking forward to a great semester on campus.'

The photo, which was posted on social media just days after the campus switched to remote learning, showed the group of students drinking and smiling as they posed for the selfie

The photo, which was posted on social media just days after the campus switched to remote learning, showed the group of students drinking and smiling as they posed for the selfie

Some have blamed the outbreak on the university's failure to monitor parties from taking place
Some have blamed the outbreak on the university's failure to monitor parties from taking place

Some have blamed the outbreak on the university's failure to monitor parties from taking place

SUNY Oneonta students allegedly spotted partying without masks
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SUNY Oneonta had already suspended a handful of students in late August for organizing parties. 

Jim Malatras, SUNY's chancellor, blamed the partying students for the outbreak on campus after more than 100 students - about three percent of the campus population - tested positive for COVID-19. 

'We have had reports of several large parties of our students at Oneonta last week, and unfortunately because of those larger gatherings, there were several students who were symptomatic of COVID,' Malatras said at the time. 

'Despite the diligence of the vast majority of our SUNY Oneonta students, faculty and staff, the actions of a few individuals who didn't comply resulted in the spread of COVID-19 over the past week.' 

The chancellor opted to suspend classes for two weeks on August 30 as a result of the outbreak.  

It prompted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to intervene by sending what he described as a 'SWAT team' to the campus to help control the outbreak. 

Since returning to campus, more than 670 students - a tenth of the student population - have tested positive for COVID-19. SUNY Oneonta currently has the worst on-campus COVID-19 outbreak in the state

Since returning to campus, more than 670 students - a tenth of the student population - have tested positive for COVID-19. SUNY Oneonta currently has the worst on-campus COVID-19 outbreak in the state

Five days after suspending classes, the number of cases jumped to more than 500. 

Malatras announced on September 5 that the campus would cease all in-person classes and activities for the rest of the fall semester due to the outbreak. 

As the university investigates what when wrong with their reopening plan, they are facing accusations they mishandled the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Some students and parents have slammed the school's decision not to require proof of a negative test prior to returning to campus. 

They also say the university didn't test students once they arrived. 

Malatras, who officially became chancellor on August 31, has since said that all SUNY schools will need to develop testing plans ahead of next semester. 

Surveillance testing is now also mandatory on all campuses.  

Oneonta is one of 64 campuses run by the State University of New York.

There are about 3,000 students based there.

Oneonta is the first to be shut down due to COVID-19 since reopening. 

Selfies, suspensions and COVID-19 SWAT teams: Inside the worst college outbreak in New York where more than 670 students - 10 percent of the campus - have now tested positive Selfies, suspensions and COVID-19 SWAT teams: Inside the worst college outbreak in New York where more than 670 students - 10 percent of the campus - have now tested positive Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:46 Rating: 5

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