Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Families: Late yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified Onondaga County as a region of substantial transmission due to an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases. In response, a short time…
Consequences of Ignoring Public Health Guidelines
Your diligence and continued commitment to public health is helping to keep COVID-19 infection rates manageable on our campus. Most of you are doing the right things. However, we are writing to take advantage of a teachable moment in the context of our shared campus experience during the COVID-19 health emergency.
Yesterday we reported 10 new COVID-19 cases among Syracuse University students, with 68 students now in quarantine. That is the highest number of new cases and quarantined students we have recorded between any individual update of the COVID-19 dashboard.
What is noteworthy about these new COVID-19 cases is what they have in common. That is, most of these new COVID-19 cases represent instances where the virus was brought to our campus community by students who decided to travel away from Syracuse over Labor Day weekend and visit friends at other colleges. The infection returned with the travelers and exposed others on our campus.
This finding highlights the very real threat associated with risky travel that is outside and beyond the fragile bubble that is our campus and Central New York community.
As members of the campus and broader Syracuse communities, we have a moral and ethical obligation to take every step possible to protect and safeguard the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and neighbors. None of us wants to be responsible for even one person getting sick, much less an outbreak.
While you may not think you are at risk, the facts say otherwise: COVID-19 continues to endanger people of all ages. As a reminder, consequences, including possible suspension or even expulsion, are possible for those who knowingly violate public health guidelines, such as:
- Visiting a facility on campus, such as a library, fitness center, dining hall, etc. if you are sick, suspect you have or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or came into contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- Traveling outside of Central New York or to a state on New York State’s travel advisory and not quarantining upon your return.
- Hosting someone from a travel advisory state that has not quarantined.
- Interacting with others outside of your residence without a mask and without 6 feet of distance; this is particularly important if you are experiencing symptoms that could be associated with COVID-19.
These are explicit directives from New York State. Failure to comply has consequences. We want you here. You want to be here. Your families want you to be here.
Together, we can continue this semester on campus. It requires all of us to be accountable to each other. Keep wearing your mask. Keep your distance. Stay safe. Do your part.
Robert Hradsky, Ed.D.
Vice President for the Student Experience
Marianne Thomson, Ed.D.
Dean of Students