Gov. Cuomo says SUNY, CUNY to move to distance learning model; NYS case numbers up to 216

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that all 89 CUNY and SUNY schools will move to a distance learning model starting March 19 during his update on coronavirus in New York state.

It will last until the end of the spring semester. He says reducing density on campuses can help slow the possibility of exposure to the coronavirus.

Gov. Cuomo unveiled new case numbers for New York state. The state says there are 14 new cases in Westchester County, 12 new cases in New York City, nine new cases in Nassau and five new cases in Suffolk. There are a total of 216 coronavirus cases in New York, according to the state, and of those cases, 32 are currently hospitalized. One new case in Ulster County has also been reported.

Gov. Cuomo also said New York state will start contracting with private labs for additional coronavirus testing. Following a call with 28 private labs, the governor announced that he has "instructed the labs to begin testing immediately as soon as they are ready."

The governor said the state would "set an example" by guaranteeing two weeks of paid leave for state workers who are quarantined or in isolation due to coronavirus.

Gov. Cuomo said Wednesday that students are not being evicted. He said dorms will stay open to accommodate students who don't have a place to go.

"It limits the in-person contact with in-classroom quarters and it gives the students options to go home if they want to," says SUNY Purchase Freshman Amanda Goodman.

Students have posted all over Facebook, some asking if they leave, will they be issued refunds for room and board?

"I'm a theater and performance and arts management major so I have a lot of classes that are like acting classes or practicum, where I build things, so I don't know how that would work online," says SUNY Purchase Freshman Jenna Karnatski

"A lot of students are upset because there's word that graduation won't be in person," says Goodman.

SUNY's chancellor said in part, "With more than 100,000 SUNY students currently taking one or more of their courses online with us, we believe we are prepared..."

CUNY's chancellor said, "Our 25 campuses, including dorms, libraries and research facilities, will remain open."

There's no word yet if the 2020 graduation ceremony will go on as usual.


MORE: A list of area schools and universities closed amid COVID-19 outbreak
MORE: Coronavirus: Staying healthy in the workplace 

According to a news release from Gov. Cuomo:

“Employees will not have to charge accruals during the time taken off work for quarantine. This will apply to all state employees, regardless of civil service classification, bargaining unit, and regardless of part time or accrual status.”

News 12 will host a 30-minute call-in show every night this week at 7 p.m. from March 9 to March 13 where experts will answer your questions about the coronavirus. The show will be followed by a special Facebook Live Q&A. The call in number is 914-378-4610.  

PHOTOS: The impact of coronavirus around the world

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