Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks on campus last year in the Student Activities Center on April 11, 2019. Today he announced that City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) schools will be going remote for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester starting March 19. GARY GHAYRAT/STATESMAN FILE

Update, 3/11/20 10:15 p.m.: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases was updated.

City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) schools will be going remote for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester starting March 19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference on March 11.

“Both systems will be doing that. CUNY will help reduce the density in New York City, SUNY will help reduce the density in downstate New York,” Cuomo said, listing Purchase College, SUNY Old Westbury and Stony Brook University as examples.

Though classes are going remote, campuses will not be completely closed. The state is working with SUNY and CUNY to make sure all classes can be delivered online. A state official acknowledged that some classes, such as those in a lab setting, may need to be on-site.

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There will be “different variability” at different campuses, Cuomo said.

Dorms may stay open to accommodate particular student situations, a state official said. The goal is to reduce the congregation of students in classroom studies. Students will be able to continue their studies online from home.

“If students have hardships where they have nowhere to go or they’re dorm students, I’m sure campuses will take that into consideration,” Cuomo said.

Graduation ceremonies are still being discussed, but state officials said they expect that a large number of them will not be happening in person.

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Rumors started circulating that Stony Brook University was going to move to online classes after spring break on Monday morning, and Nassau Community College went remote after two students tested positive for COVID-19.

Students protested in front of the administration building before Cuomo’s press conference on March 11, demanding answers from the university. Dean Rick Gatteau spoke to the crowd and told them that Cuomo would be making an announcement during a 1:45 p.m. press conference.

There are now 216 total COVID-19 cases statewide. There are six confirmed cases in Suffolk County, with three held at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Downstate New York has the highest density of COVID-19 cases right now, according to Cuomo.

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