Two local institutions have joined Cornell university and schools across the state in moving class instruction online this spring in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ithaca College has extended its spring break by a week and is temporarily moving classes to online instruction. School president Shirley Collado announced the news in a letter to students and their families last night. IC will hold remote classes from Monday, March 23, to Friday, April 3, with the hope that on-campus classes will re-start on Monday, April 6. Collado notes that all students on campus should leave by Sunday, March 15.
Over at Tompkins Cortland Community College, classes will also move online after Spring Break ends March 30th, and through the end of the school year, according to an announcement made on the school’s website Thursday. However, the school is not closing, and residence halls will stay open the rest of the school year.
The NCAA has also canceled all national tournaments, ending the Cornell women’s and men’s hockey season, according to the Cornell Sun. This comes after the Ivy League called off all spring sports at Cornell University. It was also announced today that March Madness is canceled.
Lansing Central School District canceled school for all students on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, according to the Ithaca Voice. Additionally, faculty and staff will still be expected to work, as LCSD provides them with the necessary training and time to prepare for a longer duration closing should it be necessary.
Ithaca City School District, or ICSD, is banning large indoor gatherings held at school facilities, reports The Ithaca Times. Those gatherings include indoor fine arts and performing arts events, indoor sporting events, in addition to morning programs and assemblies. In an email, ICSD notes that regularly scheduled classes are not being cancelled at this time, and extended day clubs, rehearsals, and outdoor sporting practices will still take place.
As of 6 p.m. Thursday there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tompkins County, and there are 15 people in isolation with test results pending. There are also currently no confirmed cases of the the virus in Schuyler County, but Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility and Schuyler Hospital are implementing new guidelines to visitors. The Odessa File is reporting that effective Friday morning, all visitors to the hospital and nursing facility will be screened for symptoms and risk factors of novel coronavirus.
As of 5pm Thursday, gatherings with five hundred people or more are not permitted across New York State. This also applies to Broadway shows in Manhattan.
New York Governor Cuomo says the state is working to create a reserve workforce of health care professionals in case of a staffing shortage, This includes national guard medics, medical school staff, former doctors and nurses. There are 328 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in New York State, according to the Governor’s twitter page.