Message to the Campus Community Regarding COVID-19, October 13, 2020
Dear Marist Community,
We are writing to inform you that the College has decided to extend the precautionary campus pause through Friday, October 16, as part of our strategy to protect students, faculty, staff, and local community. All classes will remain remote through Friday, October 16.
As detailed in previous communications, the College identified new cases of COVID-19 and immediately mobilized a rapid and comprehensive response to limit further spread, including extensive contact tracing and the testing of over 1,000 students in targeted populations. Through this testing, the College identified 27 positive cases, most of which can be attributed to an off-campus event. All cases are being appropriately managed in concert with the Dutchess County Department of Health. The Office of Student Conduct is currently investigating the nature of the off-campus event and any violations of policy associated with it; any individuals in violation of College policy will be disciplined swiftly and appropriately. It is worth noting that even with this recent outbreak, our post-arrival infection rate continues to be low (0.64%) and since the initial surge in cases late last week, our rate of positive cases has slowed. We believe that our proactive strategies, including the precautionary pause, have contained this situation. If the results of our most recent targeted testing support this, we plan to allow in-person classes to resume Saturday, October 17. We will also make a determination about other policies and whether to reopen the James J. McCann Recreation Center on that date.
The terms of the current campus pause are as follows:
- Classes will continue to be held remotely through Friday, October 16.
- All students must remain on campus and avoid traveling unless directed by Marist health professionals or staff; even trips home must be avoided.
- All official on- and off-campus in-person activities have been suspended.
- All on- and off-campus gatherings, including parties, are prohibited.
- All athletic team training sessions are suspended.
- The James J. McCann Recreation Center is closed.
- Campus is closed to all visitors, including parents and families.
The actions of everyone in the Marist community have a direct impact on the College’s next steps; we urge you to be vigilant and recognize that COVID-19 still presents a serious threat to our campus and to the greater community. We must continue to follow our three health protocols: wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and practicing good hygiene such as hand washing. In the majority of identified positive cases, individuals were not acting in compliance with our guidelines. Individual behavior will be a major determining factor in whether the pause is lifted on Saturday and in our ability to finish this semester in person.
Information on cases related to Marist is always available on our dashboard, which is updated daily. We will continue to provide additional updates on the status of our campus and community as more details become available. If you see any Marist community member violating our COVID-19-related Code of Conduct, please call (845) 575-MASK.
Thank you for all you do to “protect the pack.”
Geoff Brackett, Executive Vice President
Thom Wermuth, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Deb DiCaprio, Vice President for Student Affairs